Pumpkin Mac' and Cheese

You know that feeling you get inside watching your children eat nutritious food? Your heart is full and so are their tummies—you think to yourself I may just be pulling this parenting thing off, after all.
You deserve that feeling every day. Even on Halloween. And most importantly, your kids need the vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, as well as the macro-nutrients—like protein and fiber—to properly develop.
Well, pumpkin is no doubt the ultimate Halloween emblem. And since the easiest way to make healthy choices is to incorporate fresh, seasonal produce into your family meals, we'd like to do just that with a pumpkin recipe from Parenting Pod that your kids will love.
Pumpkin provides plenty of essential nutrients including vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, B-complex vitamins (including folic acid), potassium, iron, magnesium, and calcium. It is packed with disease-fighting antioxidants, it’s rich in fiber, and it even contains protein.
Your kids will gobble up this Pumpkin Mac’ and Cheese. You know that only fresh ingredients are going into it, and your kids know that it tastes great. That’s a win-win.

Pumpkin Mac’ and Cheese

Talk about comfort food. Tis’ the season, after all, for deliciously ooey-gooey comfort dishes. This healthier take on classic mac’ and cheese will fill little—and big—tummies with lots of nutrients, and nobody’s the wiser.
So, skip the artificial flavoring, the food coloring, the preservatives, and the empty calories from commercial macaroni and cheese.
That bright orange color starring in this dish? All beta-carotene, baby.  
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Ready in: 30 minutes
Ingredients:
  • One package of your favorite pasta (choose whole-grain pasta for added fiber!) [If you eat gluten free like we do, just substitute with your favorite gluten free pasta!]
  • 3-4 cups cubed pumpkin, seeds removed
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
  • ½ cup vegetable broth
  • 1 cup milk (you can use non-dairy milk, like cashew or almond milk)
  • 1½ cups of shredded cheddar cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp paprika
Instructions:
  1. Fill two pots with water (one for the pasta, and one with enough water to cover the pumpkin). Bring to a boil.
  2. In one pot, cook the pasta according to package directions. Set aside
  3. Add pumpkin to the second pot and cook until tender, then drain.
  4. Transfer the pumpkin to a blender or mixer along with the melted butter, broth, milk, salt, pepper, and paprika.
  5. Once completely blended, pour the sauce over the pasta (it should still be very hot) and add shredded cheese, stirring until the cheese melts.
  6. For fancy adults, add a sprig of parsley on top of each serving. But who are we kidding?
  7. Devour and enjoy!

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