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29 November, 2019

Glazed Pumpkin Cookies

Mental Health Benefits

Pumpkin is a great source of potassium. A cup of pumpkin has about 500 mg of potassium – more than the boastful banana! Potassium is a critical electrolyte that contains a positive electrical charge and works closely with chloride in regulating blood pressure and PH balance. Potassium is necessary for the heart, kidneys, and other organs to work properly. Potassium allows our muscles to move, our nerves to fire, and our kidneys to filter blood. The right balance of potassium literally allows the heart to beat.

Low potassium levels have been associated with greater risk for mood disturbances and depression. Potassium deficiency can cause irritability, fatigue, muscle weakness, cramps, restless leg syndrome, and chronic pain. Depression and pain are intimately intertwined. People with chronic pain have three times the average risk of developing psychiatric symptoms – usually mood or anxiety disorders.

Potassium also helps regulate serotonin, the neurotransmitter that is primarily targeted by antidepressants. Potassium acts as a facilitator in the brain’s ability to utilize serotonin. Potassium’s positive electrical charge is necessary to spark neurotransmitters like serotonin to make us feel better. Even a slight decrease in potassium levels can trigger significant feelings of anxiety. “When levels of serotonin are high, you’re in a better mood, sleep better, and have a higher pain tolerance,” says Elizabeth Somer, MA, RD, author of numerous nutrition books, including her latest, Eat Your Way to Happiness.

Glazed Pumpkin Cookies

Cookie:

2 ½ Cups               Flour

1 tsp                      Baking Powder

1 tsp                      Baking soda

2 tsp                      Ground cinnamon

½ tsp                     Ground nutmeg

½ tsp                     Ground cloves

½ tsp                     Salt

½ Cup                    Softened margarine

1 ½ Cups               Sugar

1 Cup                    Pumpkin puree

1 each                   Egg

1 tsp                      Vanilla extract

Glaze:

2 Cups                   Icing Sugar

3 Tbsp.                  Milk

1 Tbsp.                  Melted margarine

1 tsp                      Vanilla extract

  1. Preheat oven to 350*F. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves & salt; set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, cream together the softened margarine and sugar. Add pumpkin, egg and vanilla. Beat until creamy. Mix in the dry ingredients. Drop on cookie sheet by tablespoonful’s; flatten slightly with a fork.
  3. Bake for 15-20 minutes. Cool cookies, then drizzle with glaze.

Glaze:

  1. Combine icing sugar, milk, melted margarine and vanilla. Add milk as needed to achieve right consistency. Spoon over cookies to cover entire top.

Food for Thought presented by Brian Prockert