Healthy Pumpkin Recipes

With Halloween around the corner and fall in full swing, you’ve probably been tempted by everything pumpkin. We love this famous winter squash not just for its ornamental promise, but also for its versatility in cooking. Whether you want a breakfast smoothie, healthy afternoon snack, savory dinner, or sweet treat, the mineral-rich pumpkin is a great addition to your grocery list. The veggie is full of cancer-fighting antioxidants, potassium, beta-carotene, and zinc. And it’s certain to inspire many culinary adventures. To get you started, we’ve shared three healthy pumpkin recipes. What are yours?

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Christopher Gavigan’s “Only 3” Pumpkin Seeds 

That’s three simple ingredients! Inspired by a Simple Comfort Food recipe, Christopher loves preparing this delish, nutty snack because they’re addictively good and good for you. So much so, that Pressed Juicery’s The Chalkboard Magazine named pumpkin seeds a superfood!

Healthy Pumpkin Recipes

Ingredients 

Directions

1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

2. Spread cleaned seeds onto a large roasting pan or baking sheet. Let them dry overnight or pat them dry with towels. Once dry, add them to a large bowl, toss with melted butter and salt, and mix until coated well.

3. Return seeds to the pan and spread them out evenly. Roast for 30 minutes, stirring them around 15 minutes. Remove from oven and eat!

Pumpkin Macaroni & Cheese

Fall wouldn’t be the same without comfort foods like macaroni and cheese, but the classic version—despite what we tell ourselves—isn’t always the best for you. It’s great, however, when we can update a family favorite and make it healthier by swapping out the heavy creams and cheeses for a savory pumpkin or butternut squash sauce to reduce calories, fat, and sodium.

Healthy Pumpkin Recipes

Ingredients

  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 small white onion, peeled and diced
  • 12 oz. cubed pumpkin, butternut squash, or any winter squash (as an alternative you can use a 15 oz. can of organic pumpkin purée)
  • 3/4 cup chicken broth
  • 3/4 cup milk of choice
  • 2-3 Tbsp fat free greek yogurt
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded cheese of choice (Fontina, Romano, Gruyere, or even a blend)
  • 2 cups Cavatappi, Penne, or Elbow Macaroni pasta
  • ½ cup Panko breadcrumbs
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp pepper

Directions

1. Heat oven to 375 degrees.

2. Cook pasta until its al dente.

3. While pasta is cooking, heat oil and onion over medium high, cooking about 2 minutes. Add squash, milk, and broth. Bring to a simmer, cover, and cook on low for approximately 10 minutes or until squash is soft. If using a can of organic purée, combine it with the milk and broth and just bring it to a simmer.

Honest Tip: You could easily add additional veggies to your sauce, such as broccoli, cauliflower, and zucchini.

4. Use an immersion blender or transfer to a stand-alone blender. Add yogurt, salt, and pepper. Blend pumpkin/squash mix until smooth. Stir in all but ¼ cup of cheese.

5. Drain pasta and return to pan. Pour pumpkin/squash mix over pasta and stir to coat.

6. Spread covered pasta in a medium-sized baking dish that has been lightly coated with olive oil or cooking spray. Sprinkle remaining cheese and breadcrumbs across top.

7. Cook for 30 minutes or until bubbly.

Pumpkin Muffins 

Ingredients

  • 1½ cups all-purpose, wheat, or gluten-free flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 cup organic pumpkin puree
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1¼ cups organic sugar
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp organic cinnamon
  • dark chocolate chips (optional)

Directions

1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

2. Line muffin tin (or save on paper waste by using reusable baking cups or coating your tin with cooking spray).

3. Whisk together pumpkin purée, oil, pumpkin pie spice, all but 1 Tbsp sugar, baking soda, salt, and eggs in a large bowl until smooth.

4. Whisk in flour and baking powder until just combined.

5. Add desired amount of chocolate chips, if using them.

6. Stir together cinnamon and 1 Tbsp sugar in another bowl. Divide batter equally among muffin tin, then sprinkle tops with cinnamon-sugar mixture.

7. Bake until puffed and golden brown, where wooden pick or skewer inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean—about 25 to 30 minutes. If you’re cooking directly in the tin without wrappers, we suggest taking the tray out of the oven at 25 minutes to avoid drying out the moist cake because they’ll continue to bake when cooling in the pan.

8. Cool in pan on a rack for 5 minutes, then transfer muffins from pan to rack and cool to warm or room temperature.

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