I am a fan of the pumpkin. It is a winter squash and it is loaded with vitamins and phytochemicals that help clear up some of the naturally and not so naturally occurring free radical damage in our bodies.

For a list of the nutrients in a 100 grams of boiled pumpkin click here. You can use this website to choose different types to evaluate; canned or raw and by different measures; i.e cups or ounces. Oh did I say it is very low in calories for all the nutrients it provides? It is. The pumpkin is remarkable.

That was the topic of a recent USA Today story about the benefits of pumpkin and how these benefits are often lost in processed pumpkin dishes and even our own homemade pumpkin pies. If you make your own pie you have a lot more control over the added ingredients and which to leave out - for instance, there is no need to add fats or oils and if you aren't opposed to artificial sweetener you can use Splenda instead of sugar. Even if you use sugar, I bet you could use less.

If you have diabetic relatives/ friends (and chances are you DO) you can serve this pumpkin cake which continues (as recently as last friday) to WOW my friends of all ages and geographic regions - though I am not sure if any men have tried it.