It is that time of year again where the colors are changing, the leaves are falling, and pumpkin spice EVERYTHING emerges. From pumpkin spice lattes, to pumpkin spice bagels, and even pumpkin spice Oreos (yikes!), no matter where you shop this time of year you are bound to find one of your favorite foods turned into a pumpkin something or other. Unfortunately, while many people adore these seasonal treats, the healthy pumpkin name has been tainted with added sugars and artificial flavorings.
Pumpkin is actually extremely good for you. It aids in weight loss, keeps your eyesight sharp, helps to protect your skin, and can even boost your mood among many other health benefits. However, many of the pumpkin treats commonly found this time of year either have insane amounts of added sugar or use artificial pumpkin flavoring so you are not really getting the health benefits of pumpkin. This doesn’t have to be the case. You can have your cake and eat it too this fall with these 5 healthy pumpkin recipes.
1. Pumpkin Puree
Before diving into the recipes, here is a basic and natural pumpkin puree recipe that ensures you get all the benefits of pumpkin without all the added ‘junk’. This puree can potentially be used in numerous pumpkin recipes.
Cut a whole pumpkin in half from top to bottom. Remove the stem, seeds and pulp. Cover both halves in foil. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees F and bake for one hour. Carefully remove pumpkin halves from the oven and remove foil. Scrape the now tender pumpkin away from the shell. Puree in a blender and pour through a strainer to remove any remaining large pieces. Simple, easy and healthy!
2. Pumpkin Spice Latte
Your beloved PSL does not have to be unhealthy and leave you feeling guilty. This recipe is delicious, healthy, and sure to get you in the mood for fall.
- 1 1/2 cups vanilla almond milk
- 1/2 cup coffee
- 1 1/2 Tbs. pumpkin puree (see above)
- 1 tsp. agave syrup
- 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp. vanilla
- 1/2 tsp. cayenne (optional)
Place all ingredients into a small saucepan. Set stove to low heat and bring ingredients to a simmer stirring constantly. Carefully pour heated drink into your favorite mug and enjoy!
3. Pumpkin Almond Butter
This delicious spread can be used in a number of different ways with a number of different foods. It can be made with our without chia seeds. They simply add texture and nutritional benefits, but not flavor.
- 2 cups unsalted, roasted almonds
- 2/3 cup canned pumpkin
- 1 Tablespoon chia seeds (optional)
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- 1 teaspoon maple syrup
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- 10 drops liquid stevia
- Place almonds in a large food processor and process until they turn into almond butter, turning off the processor and scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. This will take between 12-15 minutes.
- Add remaining ingredients and process until smooth, another 5 minutes or so. If you want the butter to be even smoother, you can add a little oil. I didn’t think this was necessary.
- Place pumpkin almond butter into a storage container and store in the fridge for up to one week.
4. Pumpkin Carrot Soup
A seasonal favorite! This soup is nourishing, comforting and perfect to make for friends and family. Top with your choice of roasted pumpkin seeds, Greek yogurt or parsley!
- 2 Tbs. Coconut Oil
- 3/4 Cup Onion, diced
- 1 Cup Organic Pumpkin Puree
- 1 Clove of Garlic, crushed
- 1 Tbs. Paprika
- 1/4 Cup Chives, chopped
- 4 Cups of Broth
- 2 cups of Carrots, chopped
- Roasted Pumpkin Seeds, Yogurt and Parsley for Garnish
- Salt & Pepper to taste
Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onions and sauté for about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic, paprika and remaining ingredients. Simmer until carrots are tender, about 30 minutes. Allow mixture to cool slightly before pureeing in a food processor or high-speed blender. Serve immediately and garnish.
5. Pumpkin Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
Don’t be fooled by this tasty dessert. It is in fact still a healthy treat! But don’t tell your guests that 😉
- 1 cup spelt flour (all purpose flour will work too)
- 1/2 cup old fashioned oats
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- punch of ground nutmeg
- 3/4 cup pumpkin puree (see above)
- 1 cup sucanat or other raw, natural sugar
- 1/4 cup extra virgin coconut oil
- 1/2 Tablespoon ground flaxseed
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla
- 1/4 cup vegan chocolate chips or carob chips
Preheat oven to 350° F.
Stir together dry ingredients (flour, oats, cinnamon, baking soda, sea salt, nutmeg) in a mixing bowl.
Mix together wet ingredients (pumpkin, sugar, coconut oil, flaxseed and vanilla) in a separate mixing bowl.
Combine wet and dry ingredients.
Stir in ¼ cup chocolate chips. Mix well.
Drop rounded tablespoons onto a greased cookie sheet. Press cookie dough down into a cookie shape with a spoon or your fingers. Cookies won’t spread very much so you can space them about 1 inch apart.
Bake for 15-16 minutes.
Move cookies to a wire rack and cool completely before eating or transferring to a storage container for later consumption.
Happy fall! We hope you enjoy these 5 healthy pumpkin recipes!