The past few days here in Massachusetts have been frigid. We’ve had a mild winter – for New England standards – thus far this season, but I have a feeling this is not the end of the cold weather… which means more indoor time, inevitably leading to the spread of germs and the pesky common cold.
Although I very rarely get sick, I do like to nurture my body with an arsenal of cold-fighting foods to ward off any lingering bacteria or viruses. Luckily for me, one of my very favorite foods – pumpkin – has the nutritional power to boost the immune system!
Packed with beta carotene, a nutrient that breaks down to make vitamin A, the orange squash is a powerful antioxidant.
That’s where this warm, comforting, and cold-fighting breakfast comes in.
A welcomed departure from stovetop oatmeal, (my go-to winter breakfast), polenta can be a delicious and healthy way to start the day. In this recipe, the creamy cooked polenta is joined by earthy pumpkin puree, warm spices, a touch of brown sugar, sweet maple syrup, and crunchy pecans.
Healthy, easy, warm, and delicious? I’d say that’s a perfect way to start a winter morning.
Pumpkin Pie Polenta
- 1 Tbsp salted butter
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup 1% milk, preferably organic
- 1/4 tsp Kosher salt
- 1/2 cup stone-ground corn grits/polenta, such as Bob’s Red Mill
- 1/2 cup pure pumpkin puree
- 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
- 1 Tbsp brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- maple syrup, for serving
- chopped toasted pecans, for serving, optional
- Melt butter in a medium-sized saucepan set over medium heat. Swirl butter in saucepan until lightly browned and fragrant, about 3 minutes.
- Add in the water and milk; bring to a low boil. Stir in the grits and salt; reduce heat to simmer. Cook grits over low heat until thick and creamy, stirring often, about 10 minutes.
- Stir the pumpkin puree into the grits until well-combined and warmed through. Stir in pumpkin pie spice, vanilla extract, and brown sugar.
- Serve hot, drizzled with maple syrup and topped with chopped toasted nuts, if using.
Nutritional Information Per Serving (without maple syrup & pecans):
281.9 calories, 7.7 grams fat, 4.4 grams saturated fat, 4.5 grams fiber, 17.6 grams sugar, 8.2 grams protein
Recipe by Lauren Zembron www.healthyfoodforliving.com