Spice up your Halloween with this healthy pumpkin turkey chili

Siddhi Shroff

Siddhi Shroff

Written by Siddhi Shroff, a registered dietitian at the UK Markey Cancer Center.

What better way to celebrate Halloween than with a pumpkin-inspired meal? This spicy pumpkin turkey chili is perfect for a chilly fall night and is loaded with healthy ingredients.

The pumpkin and bell pepper are great sources of beta-carotene, vitamin A and potassium. Beta-carotene is an antioxidant that can help prevent cardiovascular disease and cancer. Vitamin A promotes healthy vision, and potassium is an essential mineral that aids in regulating blood pressure. Additionally, the turkey and black beans are great sources of protein, while black beans are also a great source of fiber.

For cancer patients going through treatment and experiencing taste changes, you can kick up the recipe’s flavor by adding a pinch more chili powder or even a pinch of cumin. Serve the chili with whole-grain bread or cornbread to balance out this hearty meal.

Pumpkin Turkey Chili

Adapted from AllRecipes

Ingredients:

• 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
• 1 cup chopped onion
• 1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
• 1/2 cup chopped yellow bell pepper
• 1 clove garlic, minced
• 1 pound ground turkey
• 2 (14.5 ounces) can diced tomatoes
• 1 (14.5 ounces) can black beans (no salt added)
• 2 cups pumpkin puree
• 1 1/2 tablespoons chili powder
• 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
• Salt, to taste
• Pepper, to taste
• Cheddar cheese for garnish (optional)
• Reduced-fat sour cream for garnish (optional)

Directions:

  1. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
  2. Saute the onion, green bell pepper, yellow bell pepper and garlic until tender.
  3. Stir in the turkey, and cook until evenly brown. Drain and mix in tomatoes, black beans and pumpkin.
  4. Season with chili powder, pepper and salt. Reduce heat to low, cover and let simmer for 20 minutes.
  5. Serve topped with cheddar cheese and sour cream.

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Headed to the orchard? Use your apples in this easy, healthy recipe

Siddhi Shroff

Siddhi Shroff

Written by Siddhi Shroff, a registered dietitian at the UK Markey Cancer Center.

Fall is here! And that means apple season is upon us.

Many people look forward to apple festivals, trips to orchards and all the tasty apple treats, such as pie, cider and doughnuts. Although these seasonal favorites can be loaded with added sugars and refined ingredients that can be unhealthy when consumed in excess, fresh apples offer many beneficial nutrients for your health.

Apples are a good source of fiber – a large apple provides about 5g, or about 20 percent of your daily recommended intake. They’re a good source of vitamin C, too, which is essential to the growth and repair of tissues in the body, such as cartilage, bones and teeth. Vitamin C also helps heal wounds and form scar tissue. Additionally, apples are also low in calories and low in fat, which can help with weight maintenance.

Here’s even more reason to incorporate apples and other fruits and vegetables into your diet: According to the American Institute of Cancer Research, current evidence shows that diets high in foods containing dietary fiber can lower the risk of colorectal cancer, and diets high in fruit could lower the risk of cancers of the mouth, pharynx, larynx and lung.

Here’s an easy, healthy and delicious recipe that uses our favorite fall fruit:

Healthy Cinnamon Skillet Apples

Adapted from Healthy-Liv

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup water.
  • 6 fresh apples, any type you prefer.
  • 1-2 teaspoons cinnamon.
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans, optional for topping.

Directions:

  1. Toast nuts in a medium skillet over medium-low heat for six to eight minutes or until slightly fragrant. Remove from skillet.
  2. Peel and chop apples into small, fairly uniform pieces. Turn the skillet onto medium-low heat and add water. Next, add apples and cinnamon to taste, stirring and cooking until apples are softened over six to 10 minutes. If the water evaporates, add a little more water as the apples cook.
  3. Add cooked apples to serving bowls and top with toasted nuts. You can also let the apples cool and stir them into plain or vanilla yogurt. Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to five days.

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