Morning Mix


Healthy pumpkin side dishes to serve this holiday season

Posted at 10:59 AM, Nov 07, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-07 10:59:39-05

Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and with it being fall there's an abundance of pumpkin flavored everything! The flavor can be made into sweet pies, custards, and breads, but also savory dishes like in stews and side dishes.

Pumpkin is very rich in vitamins and minerals like Vitamin C,Vitamin E, Thiamin, Niacin, Vitamin B6, Folate, Iron, Magnesium and Phosphorus, and a very good source of Dietary Fiber, Vitamin A, Riboflavin, Potassium, Copper and Manganese. Pumpkin contains a rich amount of beta-carotene too, which is a powerful anti-oxidant.

Dr. Diana Bitner, loves the taste of pumpkins and the healthy contents they bring into our bodies. Join her in the kitchen this holiday season as she teaches us how to make pumpkin side dishes.

Pumpkin Rice:

  • Short-grain brown rice: 2 cups hot cooked
  • Pumpkin: roasted, cubed, 1 cup
  • 2 slices bacon
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 T pine nuts
  • Chicken broth 2 cups
  • Salt, pepper to taste
  • Nutmeg: 1/2 tsp or fresh grated to taste


  1. Cook brown rice, keep warm
  2. Roast pumpkin approximately one hour at 350 degrees, when cool cube approximately 1 cup.
  3. Chop bacon into small cubes, brown in heavy bottom saucepan, add onion and garlic, cook until soft.
  4. Add chicken broth to deglaze pan and then cubed pumpkin and nutmeg, cook until tender.
  5. Add rice, pine nuts, and salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Enjoy as side to roasted turkey or chicken, or roasted salmon

Pumpkin Custard

  • 2 cups Pumpkin, roasted until soft, 1 hour at 350 degrees
  • 1 cup Almond or cow milk mixed with 1 T cornstarch (or evaporated milk)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 c. brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp Allspice
  • 1/4 tsp cloves
  • Small dollop Whipped cream or vanilla ice cream


  1. Roast pumpkin, scoop out of shell, put in sauce pan.
  2. Add spices, sugar, maple syrup.
  3. Cook until soft, using potato masher to get smooth.
  4. Put into bowl and add two beaten eggs and milk with cornstarch.
  5. Pour into ramekins, and place on cookie sheet, bake at 325 degrees for one hour until set and knife comes out clean, allow to cool, and serve!

Dr. Bitner's office is located at 3800 Lake Michigan Drive Northwest, Suite A. To schedule an appointment with her, call (616)-267-8225.

All information was provided by Dr. Diana Bitner, her blog. Read more.