Liz Weber is a registered dietitian at Mercy Health. Today’s “On the Menu” segment gives you new ideas for healthy recipes using pumpkin. Fall is upon us and with that come all the pumpkin cookies, cakes, pie and cheesecake. Some people may be wondering if pumpkin is even healthy at all? But not all pumpkin recipes have to derail your diet with excess calories.
Pumpkin has many health benefits to be happy about this fall. It’s packed with antioxidants, such as lutein and zeaxanthin, as well as beta-carotene, vitamin A, dietary fiber, and potassium. For 1 cup of 100% pure pumpkin, there is only ~80 calories, 7 grams of fiber, <1 gram of fat, and 2 grams of protein. These different nutrients help support the immune system, maintain clear eyesight, and help maintain a healthy weight. And don’t forget about the seeds! Pumpkin seeds are a great source of healthy fats, protein, fiber, zinc, and magnesium. Here are some great healthy recipes using pumpkin for you to try this fall or any time of the year.
Whole Wheat and Oat Pumpkin Pancakes
Prep time: 5 mins, Total time: 5 mins
- 3 eggs
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup applesauce
- 1/2 cup canned pumpkin
- 1 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 cup rolled oats
- 2 tbsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pumpkin spice
- In a large bowl whisk together the eggs, brown sugar, applesauce, buttermilk and pumpkin together until smooth. Add in vanilla, baking powder, salt, pumpkin spice, rolled oats and flour and whisk well.
- Pour about half a ladle onto a medium hot griddle and cook for 3 minutes, until the edges start to firm up. Flip the pancakes and finish cooking for 1-2 minutes on the other side.
- Serve hot with maple syrup, plain yogurt, or pecans.
Smoky Chipotle Pumpkin Hummus
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1/4 cup tahini
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 (15 ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 2 teaspoons olive oil, plus more, to top
- 2 chipotle chiles in adobo, plus adobo sauce, to taste
- 1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika, plus more to top
- Roasted, salted pumpkin seeds, to top
- Pulse the lemon juice, tahini, garlic, and salt together in a food processor or blender until it forms a paste. Add in the chickpeas, olive oil, and chipotle chiles and pulse until smooth. Add in the pumpkin puree, cumin, and smoked paprika and pulse until well combined.
- Transfer the hummus to a bowl and swirl the top using the back of the spoon. Drizzle over a little additional olive oil. Sprinkle with smoked paprika and top with roasted pumpkin seeds. Serve or refrigerate until ready to serve.
Thai Pumpkin Coconut Soup
- 2 tablespoons red curry paste
- 4 cups low sodium chicken or vegetable broth, about 32 ounces
- 2 15 ounce cans pumpkin puree
- 1¾ cup unsweetened coconut milk, or a 13.5 ounce can, reserving 1 tablespoon
- 1 large red chili pepper, sliced
- Cilantro for garnish if desired
- In a large saucepan over medium heat, cook the curry paste for about one minute or until paste becomes fragrant. Add the broth and the pumpkin and stir.
- Cook for about 3 minutes or until soup starts to bubble. Add the coconut milk and cook until hot, about 3 minutes.
- Ladle into bowls and garnish with a drizzle of the reserved coconut milk and sliced red chilis. Garnish with cilantro leaves if desired.
Pumpkin Ricotta Mousse
Yield: 8 servings
- 1 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
- 1 ¼ cup 100% pure pumpkin, pureed
- 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
- 2 Tbsp honey
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 ¼ cup light or fat-free cool whip
- Combine first 5 ingredients using a mixer or blender until smooth.
- Fold in the cool whip with a spatula until even consistency.
- Using small bowls or mason jars, spoon ¼ cup mousse into each and top with pecans, dark chocolate nibs, or pumpkin seeds for garnish.