Ahh, fall… sweaters, leggings, boots…and PUMPKIN EVERYTHING, y’all!
Beyond the beautiful decor, autumn brings, this is a great time to embrace the health benefits of the harvest season with some healthy pumpkin recipes.
There is nothing basic about pumpkin, let’s squash that misconception right now.
Health highlights of pumpkin include:
- Rich in vitamins and minerals
- Low in fat
- Low in calories
- Contains fiber
- High antioxidant (may help reduce the risk of disease & cancer)
- High carotenoids (helps promote healthy skin)
These benefits are reason alone to enjoy delectable, healthy pumpkin recipes this season! Plus eating pumpkin offers a chance to add orange foods to your rainbow plate.
Tips for Healthy Pumpkin Cooking
If you’ve never cooked a pumpkin before, you may have some questions. I’m happy to share some quick tips to help you enjoy your pumpkin-cookin’ experience.
How the heck do I cook this thing?!
Tip #1 Let’s talk a little bit about roasting a pumpkin. It’s actually super simple!
- Cut the pumpkin in half lengthwise.
- Scoop out the seeds/strings (or “guts,” as we call it).
- Coat the pumpkin flesh with olive oil using a brush.
- Place the pieces insides-down on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper
- Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes (or until a fork can be pressed into the skin)
- Remove from oven, cool for 15 minutes
- Scoop out pumpkin flesh and throw in a blender to purée!
How in the gourd do I pick a pumpkin?!
Tip #2 When choosing a pumpkin to roast, I typically recommend a 2-3 pound sugar pumpkin (also called sweet pumpkins or pie pumpkins).
Is there a short-cut?
Tip #3 If you are short on time, you can totally use store-bought pumpkin puree. Be sure to pick up the “pure” pumpkin rather than the pumpkin pie filling that has added spices and sweeteners.
With these tips in mind, let’s get cookin’ with some healthy pumpkin recipes!
Pretty Pumpkin Soup [Gluten-free & Vegan-friendly]
Get the comfort of a fall flavor without the guilt! This gluten-free and vegan-friendly pumpkin soup will warm you up on even the most blustery of fall days. It’s a great healthy option for holiday entertainment and even freezes well for simple meal prep!
Pretty Pumpkin Soup
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 5 c pumpkin purée
- 1 large yellow onion chopped
- 4 large garlic cloves minced
- ½ tsp sea salt
- ½ tsp ground nutmeg
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- ⅛ tsp cloves
- 3 c vegetable broth
- 1/4 c coconut milk
- ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
- Optional: add 2 tbsp honey if you want a sweeter taste
- Optional: garnish with pepitas
- Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Once oil is simmering, add onion, garlic, and salt to the pot. Stir to combine, and stir occasionally, until onion is translucent, usually takes 6 to 8 minutes.
- Add pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and pepper. Add in the broth and bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for about 15 minutes.
- Remove the soup from heat and add the coconut milk (and honey, if desired). Use an immersion blender to blend the soup in the pot, or blend it in batches in your blender. Be careful, as it will be hot! Blend the mixture until smooth. Transfer the puréed soup to a bowl for serving.
Pleasant Pumpkin Oatmeal [Instant Pot / Pressure Cooker]
If you have an Instant Pot in your kitchen, you know how time-saving it is! No need to use up your cheat-meal on pancakes or muffins for breakfast when you can throw together this recipe for a speedy, protein-and-pumpkin-packed oatmeal breakfast!
Pleasant Pumpkin Oatmeal
- 3 ½ c water
- 1 c steel-cut oats
- 1 tbsp ground flax seed
- ½ tsp pumpkin spice
- ½ c pumpkin puree
- 2 scoops LadyBoss LEAN®
- Optional: garnish with 1 tablespoon walnuts and 1 tablespoon golden raisins
- Add water, oats, flaxseed, and pumpkin spice to the pressure cooker or Instant Pot and stir to combine.
- Securely lock the pressure cooker or Instant Pot lid and press the manual setting and set on HIGH for 5 minutes.
- Once the five minute cooking time is done, perform a quick release to release the cooker’s pressure.
- Stir in pumpkin and LadyBossLEAN ®.
Protein Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies
A healthy twist on a sweet, seasonal treat! Need healthy snacks to lose weight? Take a pass on the pumpkin bread, and try these cookies! They will give you the taste of pumpkin and chocolate with the added bonus of being packed with protein to keep you fuller longer (and so you don’t eat the whole batch for dessert!).
Protein Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies
- ½ c oat flour
- 1 c pumpkin puree
- 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
- ¼ tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 scoop LadyBossⓇ LEAN
- Pinch of salt
- ¼ c dark chocolate chips
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Combine all ingredients except chocolate chips in a large bowl and stir until smooth.
- Stir in chocolate chips.
- Drop by spoonful on a cookie sheet, flatten the top of the cookie with the back of the spoon.
- Bake for 8-10 minutes until cookies are firm on the outside.
Create healthier, better-for-you choices
This changing season often leads to overindulging on sweets and treats, especially with the added enticement of the fall holidays. These low-fat pumpkin recipes will help you enjoy this beautiful time of year guilt-free and help you stay on track with your healthy lifestyle goals!