Fight inflammation with this savory fall treat

Pumpkin RecipeLike clockwork, they arrive. Beautiful, bulbous and bountiful. A pilgrimage of sorts, the eager harvest comes rolling in just in time for the holidays. Sweetly perched upon grocery store shelves and scattered atop grassy fields at local farmers markets, they wait. Hoping someone, anyone, takes them home and turns them into a pie, a fun fall decoration or better yet, an amazingly decadent treat to eat.

Pumpkins. They come in an artful array of creative colors like burnt orange, toned-down tan, robust red, incredible ivory and believe it or not, dusty blue. But before you carve up these glorious gourds into a festive jack-o-lantern, consider this — they’re good for you. And have anti-inflammatory health benefits. They can also help prevent and alleviate a variety of chronic conditions and diseases such as kidney stones, depression, skin complaints, parasitic infections, even cancer.

The great news is, you won’t have to wait for Halloween or Thanksgiving to start enjoying this anti-inflammatory food. In fact, the health benefits you’ll derive by consuming even a modest portion of this tasty treat may actually surprise you.

So the next time you’re looking for a recipe filled with amazing health benefits, why not try this rippled, rotund superfood?

It’s a fabulous fall recipe that’ll warm your heart and spirit.

Pumpkin Soup with Parmesan Croutons

Total time: 40 minutes  Servings: 4

Ingredients:

2 cups cubed baguette

1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided

1 large sweet onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

Two 15-ounce cans pure pumpkin puree (or 4 cups fresh roasted pumpkin)

1 quart vegetable stock

1 tablespoon maple syrup

2 teaspoons salt

1/4 teaspoon fresh nutmeg

1/4 cup heavy cream*

*substitute fat-free cream cheese or low fat cream cheese for a healthier option

Preparation:

  1. Preheat oven at 425°.
  2. Arrange the cubed baguette on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Toss with 2 heaping tablespoons of olive oil and Parmesan. Place the subtlety soaked bread evenly across the baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes or until the bread turns golden brown and feels crispy. Remove from oven and set aside until soup is complete.
  3. In a large, stainless steel pot, heat up the remaining oil, Pour in the onion, sautéing on medium-high heat for about 5 minutes or until soft. Stir in garlic, and cook an additional 2 minutes.
  4. Slowly add in the final ingredients of pumpkin, stock, maple syrup, salt and nutmeg. Stir until it comes to a fast boil then back off the heat to medium and let it simmer 20-25 minutes, or until the soup fully coats the back of your spoon. Turn off the heat and stir in the cream. Puree using a blender until soup becomes very smooth.
  5. Serve in festive bowls, topping off with the toasty parmesan croutons.

Recipe adapted from Food & Wine Magazine

Fueling your body with anti-inflammatory, nutrient-rich foods like pumpkin can work wonders in combatting many chronic conditions. Yet sometimes, those who suffer from debilitating neck or back pain may require nonsurgical pain management options. If you’ve had unsuccessful results from conservative treatments and have been told you might need surgery, we may be able to help. Contact Laser Spine Institute. We’ll let you know if you’re a candidate for our minimally invasive spine procedures.

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