Pumpkins are delicious when prepared correctly, and they also pack a nutritional wallop. Loaded with a powerful antioxidant called beta carotene, pumpkins are low in fat and packed with important nutrients like iron, calcium and vitamin C. Anytime you have a chance to sneak this ingredient into a kids' snack, grab it!
Easy Pumpkin Pie
Little hands can help put together this no-bake pie, which is so delicious it won't be around for long. Prepare two boxes of instant vanilla pudding per the instructions, then slowly add a can of cooked pumpkin and some brown sugar and cinnamon, to taste. Pour this mixture into a graham cracker pie shell and let it chill in the refrigerator for an hour. Serve with a spoonful of whipped cream for a cool kids' snack.
Pumpkin seeds are a healthy treat. Take advantage of Halloween pumpkin carving by setting the seeds aside and roasting them to nutty snack perfection. To prepare, mix two cups of rinsed pumpkin seeds with two tablespoons of melted butter and a tablespoon of garlic powder. Spread in a single layer on a cookie sheet, and bake at 275º for 40 minutes, or until golden brown. Eat the seeds immediately or store in a sealed contained for up to one week.
Spicy Pumpkin Milkshake
This great snack has a nice, spicy kick and is easy to whip together if you have the ingredients on hand. Kids will slurp up every ounce. In a blender, combine two cups of undiluted frozen apple juice concentrate, one cup milk, one cup canned pumpkin puree, one cup vanilla ice cream, one teaspoon ground cinnamon and a 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg. Grown-ups will love it too.
Quick Pumpkin Muffins
Pumpkin muffins are a treat at any time of the day. These are quick to make and perfect for breakfast or a mid-afternoon snack. Mix together one package yellow cake mix, one can pumpkin puree, one teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg and1/4 teaspoon ground cloves. Divide batter equally into a 12-count muffin tin that has been prepared with paper liners. Bake in a 350º oven for 20 minutes, and serve warm with a pat of butter and a sprinkle of cinnamon sugar.