Pumpkin is a super food!

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(KTVI)- Peter Peter Pumpkin Eater was apparently a pretty smart guy. He knew what he was doing when it came to pumpkin.

Mike Ullman and Executive Chef Christian Gullet from SSM Depaul Health Center, talk about pumpkin as a "super food!"

Chef Christian also prepares Pumpkin Risotto with seared scallops.

Many people don't think of pumpkin beyond pie or the seeds. But there is so much more to this gourd.

Pumpkin is loaded with antioxidants and disease-fighting vitamins, beta-carotene, a pro vitamin that is converted to vitamin A in the body. It's known for its immune-boosting powers, beta-carotene is essential for eye health and has also been linked to preventing coronary heart disease.

One ounce (about 140 seeds) is packed with protein, magnesium, potassium, and zinc. Studies suggest pumpkin seeds provide a number of health benefits; such as blocking the enlargement of the prostate gland, lowering the risk of bladder stones, and helping to prevent depression.

For additional information visit: ssmhealth.com/depaul

Recipe: Pumpkin Risotto with Seared Scallops
Serves 6
Ingredients:
pumpkin risotto:
1¼ cups pumpkin puree
2 tablespoons heavy cream
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
pinch ground clove
¼ cup hot vegetable broth
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, divided
4 to 5 cups low sodium chicken broth
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
2 cups Arborio rice
2 tablespoons mascarpone cheese, softened
¼ cup parmesan cheese, grated
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, minced
salt and pepper to taste
seared scallops:
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (plus more, if needed)
18 large scallops, cleaned
salt and pepper to taste
confetti candied pancetta:
½ teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
4 ounces pancetta, micro diced (really small)
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
Directions:
1. For the risotto: Stir together the first six ingredients for the risotto into a small pot and bring to a simmer.
2. Simmer for about 5 minutes. Remove mixture from the heat and pour into a blender with the broth, season with salt and pepper and blend.
3. With the motor running, add ¼ cup of butter into the blender, 1 tablespoon at a time. Blend until smooth, about 3 minutes.
4. Pour the mixture into a bowl and set aside until ready to use.
5. Pour the chicken broth into a medium pot and warm over low heat.
6. Place a large pan over medium heat and melt the remaining butter and olive oil.
7. Add the onion and garlic and sauté for about 3 minutes.
8. Add the rice and sauté for 3 to 5 minute or until each grain of rice is coated in oil and there is a white dot in the center of each grain.
9. Begin adding the warm broth to the rice, one ladle full at a time, stirring frequently.
10. Each time the liquid evaporates, add another ladle of broth and continue to stir.
11. Continue to add liquid and stir until the rice is al dente, 20-25 minutes.
12. Stir in the pumpkin puree until completely combined.
13. Stir in the mascarpone and parmesan until smooth. Fold in the thyme and season with salt and pepper.
14. For the scallops: Heat the oil in a heavy bottom skillet, over medium-high heat.
15. Season each scallop with salt and pepper.
16. Sear the scallops, in batches, for 3-4 minutes on each side.
17. For the candied confetti pancetta:: Heat the oil in a heavy bottom skillet, over medium high heat,
18. Add the pancetta to the pan and cook until the fat has rendered off and the pancetta has become crispy.
19. Drain all but 2 teaspoons of grease from the pan and return to the stove, over medium heat.
20. Sprinkle both sugars over the pancetta and stir until the sugar melts and had coated the pancetta.
21. Spread the candied confetti-pancetta onto a sheet pan lined with parchment and allow to cool and slightly harden.
22. To assemble: Fill six bowls with risotto and top each with three scallops; finish each bowl with a sprinkle of pancetta. Serve immediately.