Pumpkin isn’t just an ingredient for pies anymore. It is popping up in a variety of foods and recipes these days — from cereals to beverages. The bright orange winter vegetable is loaded with a pre-cursor to vitamin A called beta-carotene, found in most orange and yellow vegetables. Vitamin A is critical for vision, healthy skin and brain function. One cup of cooked pumpkin contains 49 calories, 3 grams of fiber, 20 percent of our daily vitamin C needs, 245 percent the daily recommended value of vitamin A as well as a number of other important vitamins and minerals. Here are some healthy, festive pumpkin recipes to add to your menu lineup this fall.
How to Make Homemade Pumpkin Puree
Canned pumpkin is usually available in grocery stores during the holiday season, but it may contain a significant amount of sugar or other spices. Making your own puree, without any unnecessary additives, is a great base for other pumpkin recipes.
- Take a small pumpkin (about 8 inches) and cut off the top stem.
- Cut the pumpkin in half and scoop out the seeds.
- Slice it into quarters.
- Roast at 350 degrees for about 75–90 minutes.
- Remove the pumpkin from the oven and allow it to cool.
- Peel the skin and puree the remaining flesh in a blender or food processor.
An 8-inch pumpkin will make about 2 cups of puree. Save the puree for up to a week in the refrigerator to add to other recipes.
Top 40 Pumpkin Recipes
Pumpkin Recipes: Drinks & Smoothies
Photo: Dr. Axe
Want all that holiday taste with less calories? Then try this yummy and soothing spiced smoothie. I even like adding ¼ cup of grass-fed yogurt to this recipe for a probiotic boost to my immune system.
This mouth-watering latte is perfect for the fall and winter seasons. It’s packed with nutrients and avoids offending ingredients found in some conventional pumpkin spice lattes. This recipe can be used with or without coffee and espresso and uses real pumpkin puree to provide a healthy dose of vitamin A, along with a host of other antioxidant-rich spices!
Combining a banana with pumpkin creates a delicious recipe that is both high in vitamin A and potassium. Remove the orange juice and use a whole, peeled orange instead for less sugar. You can also substitute the yogurt for coconut, raw or sheep’s milk yogurt.
This delicious drink will help warm you up on a cold day and is great for the whole family as it does not contain any coffee or alcohol. Be sure to use A2 raw dairy, instead of traditional dairy. You could also substitute the milk for coconut, almond, sheep or goat’s milk. You can use coconut whipped cream instead of regular whipped cream as a topping. Not sure where to get coconut whipped cream? Make it yourself with this make-your-own coconut whipped cream recipe!
This concoction is completely dairy-free but so rich, you would never had guessed it. For a sweetener, I recommend choosing maple syrup, honey or stevia!
Pumpkin Recipes: Breakfast
Oatmeal makes a great gut-friendly breakfast, but day after day, a generic oatmeal recipe can become quite bland. Spice up your morning routine with this pumpkin pie oatmeal recipe that incorporates pumpkin puree, ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg for a big burst of flavor.
These are a delicious, healthy alternative to traditional pancakes in that they use Paleo flour instead of regular white flour. Can’t find Paleo flour in the store? No worries. You can make your own flour blend right at home with this Paleo flour blend recipe.
Everyone loves a delicious marmalade to spread on grain-free pumpkin bread for a tasty morning treat. This one can keep for up to seven days in the fridge and contains less sugar than most store-bought varieties.
Photo: Beaming Baker
This is a delicious version of pumpkin bread that uses almond and coconut flour instead of white flour, making it grain-free. Top it with the delicious pumpkin marmalade above for an amazing breakfast treat.
If you’re in need of a healthy, easy and on-the-go breakfast, these pumpkin chocolate chip oatmeal breakfast cookies are a must-try. You can easily make them Sunday night to have for breakfasts throughout the busy workweek.
An easy make-ahead breakfast that combines the benefits of pumpkin with the omega-3 fatty acids and fiber found in chia seeds. Get creative with the toppings! You can use fresh apples, dried apricots, dates, nuts or even roasted pumpkin seeds.
This pumpkin butter is great on toast, oatmeal, pancakes, waffles or just eaten from the spoon. In total, the recipe takes 5–6 hours in the slow cooker, but it only requires 10 minutes of hands-on time. After that, you can just sit back, relax and enjoy the aroma that fills the entire kitchen.
Pumpkin Recipes: Healthy Entrees
Photo: Nutrition Stripped
What’s fall without incorporating pumpkin into your diet? This nutrient dense, dairy-free meal is packed with fiber and is a fun, innovative way to sweeten your zucchini pasta! You can also spruce up your pasta with pumpkin seeds or substitute the seeds with almonds, sunflower seeds, walnuts or cashews!
There is something about risotto that just seems to warm us up in the wintertime. This particular risotto combines pumpkin puree and pumpkin chunks for double the flavor. Just remember to substitute your cheese and cooking oil with my recommended foods from my healing foods shopping list!
This recipe uses red kuri pumpkin, a variety of pumpkin found in Asia. But, regular pumpkin can be substituted if you can’t find the red kuri pumpkin; you just may need to cook it a little bit longer until tender.
Pumpkin, sweet potatoes and brown rice make this recipe a great side dish at any holiday party. You can also substitute quinoa or another whole grain of your choice.
What a nutritional powerhouse! Where can you find kale and pumpkin in one delicious croquette? In this recipe! Also, these croquettes are not deep fried, like many can be, making them healthy and nutrient-dense.
Photo: Blissful Basil
These gluten-free, vegan pumpkin lentil falafels are a fun twist to a traditional falafel recipe. Classically, falafel is made out of ground chickpeas, fava beans or both. These healthy patties, pictured above, are made out of exactly what you’d expect from the title: pumpkin and lentils. Besides being a good meal option because they’re savory and delicious, this recipe is also for baked falafel instead of fried, making it guilt-free.
Need to warm up a bit with some comforting favorites? Try this curried pumpkin and pea recipe as either a side or main dish for any festive occasion. It would be a delicious side dish to a roasted chicken or a dry brine turkey.
Stuffed chicken is a great way to mix up boring chicken recipes. This one uses pumpkin and walnuts for a fall harvest feel. You can use almond flour instead of bread crumbs, if desired, or make your own from gluten-free bread.
Warm, savory, delicious bites of fall make up this roasted vegetable dish, perfect as a side or main course for your dinner. Add some eggs to make hash with the leftovers for breakfast the next morning! Use raw honey and substitute avocado oil or coconut oil instead of the olive oil to keep it healthy and scrumptious!
Photo: Nourish Everyday
It’s no secret I love to test out a wide variety of pizza crusts like zucchini pizza crust and cauliflower pizza crust. It’s time to add this Paleo pumpkin pizza crust to the list. Made with mashed pumpkin, almond flour and psyllium husk, it’s grain-free, dairy-free and can be made with a flax egg to be vegan too!
Pumpkin Recipes: Soups
Pumpkin is a great soup base for warming up those chilly fall days. For the pumpkin in the soups, if you are not making your own homemade pumpkin puree, be sure to get plain canned pumpkin, not the sweetened or spiced varieties.
Cashew butter and coconut milk are added to this soup for creaminess as well as a dose of healthy fats without using dairy. It also includes turmeric, a Middle Eastern spice known for its anti-inflammatory benefits.
This soup packs a flavorful punch for those cold winter nights. Reduce the amount of chili paste if you don’t want the soup to be overly spicy, or if you are making it for your kids.
In a hurry? This recipe takes less than 5 minutes of prep time, then 40 minutes for roasting the pumpkin. The roasted pumpkin and mushrooms provide a deep, savory flavor in this soup.
Make this recipe ahead in a slow cooker so you can have a delicious meal waiting for you when you come home. You can always substitute the ground turkey for grass-fed ground beef if you prefer a meatier chili.
Pumpkin puree gives this chicken pumpkin quinoa chowder its creamy consistency without requiring too much dairy. This is just the meal you’ll want to have sitting by the fireplace on a brisk fall or winter night. Soup is also an excellent lunch option to bring to the office if you have the right container. That means you can bring that same comfort to your workday.
Pumpkin Recipes: Desserts
Pumpkin desserts are not just limited to pies anymore; here are delicious and healthier versions of old favorites.
Everyone in my family loves pumpkin pie and cheesecake. Here is a recipe that combines two of our favorite holiday classics into one delicious dessert! My recipe incorporates goat cheese with almond meal crust for a creamy, crunchy treat that’s healthy!
These cookies are a delicious treat for any holiday party or celebration. They use honey as a primary sweetener along with dark chocolate chips
Satisfy your sweet tooth with this treat that infuses pumpkin puree, maple syrup, vanilla and a range of antioxidant-rich spices! Use a gluten-free pie crust (or create your own pie-crust) to enjoy this sweet treat without the guilt.
A vegan and gluten-free version of a holiday favorite that doesn’t even involve turning on the oven! Instead of the usual lard-filled crust, this pie uses dates, raw nuts and rolled oats for a delicious crust that provides healthy fats instead of less than healthy processed fats.
Photo: Dr. Axe
Who says ice cream is only for the hot summer months? This dairy-free ice cream satisfies your craving for pumpkin pie even though it’s made from butternut squash! If you’d like your pumpkin pie ice cream to pack more punch, substitute the butternut squash for pumpkin! You can’t go wrong with either choice.
Ever crave brownies, but wish they were just a little healthier? These include pumpkin and use rolled oats instead of flour.
Pumpkin Recipes: Seeds
Like a little spice? Flavor your pumpkin seeds by making them a little bit spicy by adding some cayenne pepper and Tabasco sauce.
Almost all brittle recipes depend on corn syrup. Corn syrup is not natural, and it is bad for you. So, I found this perfect recipe that does not use corn syrup. Just substitute coconut sugar or coconut syrup for regular sugar and really watch the temperature when you heat the sugar.
Coconut sugar only needs to be heated to 270 degrees when baking as opposed to 350 degrees for regular sugar. Dip some of your brittle in a little dark chocolate and sprinkle with a touch of sea salt for a new family treat that will bring all the kids running!
These roasted seeds contrast the sweetness of coconut oil and cinnamon with a little bit of sea salt. If you love sweet and salty flavors, this recipe is for you.
Mix your favorite spiced or roasted pumpkin seeds into this delicious snack mix that is great for parties, or just a mid-afternoon snack. Just substitute the sucanat sugar for coconut sugar. It’s packed with vitamins and minerals. Plus, it tastes so good!
Photo: A Clean Bake
When thinking about pumpkin seeds, most people think of autumn, but this cranberry pumpkin seed dark chocolate bark recipe transitions pumpkin seeds seamlessly into wintertime. The festive green of the pumpkin seeds and red of the cranberries makes this chocolate bark perfect for the holiday season.
Adding pumpkin seeds to your vegetable side dishes can add a surprise crunch to your recipes. This medley includes butternut squash and Brussels sprouts, along with cranberries for a hint of sweetness.
Pumpkins are no longer just for decoration or pies; they can be included in a variety of versatile dishes all year long. And remember: pumpkin in all its variations is as nutritious as it is delicious! Let my 40 favorite pumpkin recipes help you make the best out of this holiday favorite this year.
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