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Mouth-friendly recipe: vegetarian pumpkin chili

Nothing beats comfort foods like a warm bowl of chili. This perfect-for-fall recipe is packed with pumpkin, which is a good source of two antioxidants — vitamins A and C — that help fight off infection and protect your smile. Toss in several other veggies that are great for your oral health to create this savory dish. 

• Red bell peppers are loaded with vitamin C, which is essential for healthy gums. 

• Carrots are rich in fiber and vitamin A for strong teeth and bones.

• Beans are high in antioxidants and vitamin B that boost immunity and combat inflammation. 

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 onion, diced

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup carrots, diced

1 red bell pepper, cored and chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 tablespoon chili powder

1 tablespoon cumin

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

1 teaspoon oregano

2 tablespoons tomato paste

1 can pumpkin puree (15 ounces)

1 can tomato sauce (8 ounces)

2 cans kidney beans, drained and rinsed (15 ounces each)

1 cup frozen corn kernels

1/2 cup vegetable broth

Directions:

1. In a large pot, warm olive oil over medium heat.

2. Put onion and salt into pot. Sauté until onion is softened.

3. Add carrots, red bell pepper and garlic. Continue sautéing for 2 minutes.

4. Combine chili powder, cumin, smoked paprika, oregano and tomato paste with other ingredients in pot. Stir until all veggies are coated and cook for 2 more minutes.

5. Add pumpkin puree, tomato sauce, kidney beans, corn and vegetable broth. Stir to combine.

6. Bring chili to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 10 to 20 minutes.

7. Taste and add more salt or spices if needed.

8. Try topping with avocado, cilantro, sour cream or even crushed red pepper. Enjoy!