Spoiler: On its own, (and by that we mean not supplemented with spoonfuls of sugar), pumpkin is full of health benefits, thanks to its supercharged nutritional profile including potassium, beta-carotene, Phyto-estrogens, and more. (And that's before we even get to the over-the-top benefits of their seeds.)
Therefore, when incorporated into our diets in ways other than pies, breads, and pastries, pumpkin can be a supplementary gift to our health. So why not make a day of it? In honor of pumpkin season, we rounded up six tantalizingly healthy recipes to satisfy each and every one of your snack, meal, and dessert fixes this holiday season. (We even threw a coffee concoction in there, as with an increase in holiday cheer comes an uptick in our love of caffeine.) Straight from a handful of our favorite food bloggers, keep reading for six healthy pumpkin recipes to try morning, noon, and night.
We don't have to tell you that breakfast is the most important meal of the day (so we won't lecture you), but time and time again, we hear from the best nutrition experts in the business that a balanced, protein-packed smoothie is an amazing way to start the day. And since pumpkin is filled with so many glow-inducing benefits (like beta-carotene), why not throw some into your morning blender routine as well? As long as your puree is the plain, unsweetened variety, you're doing your body a serious service.
For a caffeine Fix:
Sure, if PSLs are one of your favorite things in life (and one of the soul things that gets you through the chilly drops in temperature), go ahead and indulge. However, due to the sky-high sugar content and few other less-than-satisfactory ingredients, it might be best to keep it as a treat. And luckily, this delicious vegan and gluten-free version from Root + Revel is here to satisfy your craving sans the extra chemicals and sugar. In fact, featuring pumpkin puree, coconut oil, vanilla, and just a hint of maple syrup, you may like it better than the traditional drink anyways.
For a snack:
While it's tempting to satisfy our 10 a.m. snacking itch with that leftover Halloween candy (yes, still), your body and mind will thank you if you reach for something a bit more substantial instead. For instance, this healthy pumpkin recipe comes in the form of No Bake Pumpkin and Coconut Bars (sounds delectable, right?) from Spoon Fork Bacon. They're easy to make and boast healthy ingredients like pumpkin, pumpkin seeds, rolled oats, coconut flakes, and almonds for plenty of staying power (without the sugar crash).
Once the temperatures drop, there's nothing we crave more than a warm, comforting bowl of soup. And naturally, a helpful dose of pumpkin puree lends complementary notes of creaminess, taste, and nutrition. Plus, thanks to this healthy pumpkin soup recipe from Playful Cooking, you'll also be getting a delicious serving of protein (from quinoa) and healthy essential fatty acids (from the coconut milk).
Not only is fall the season of pumpkin, but it's also the season of potlucks and get-togethers, aplenty. Thus, any mouthwatering dish that also promises to feed the hungry mouths of our friends and family in one fell swoop is music to our ears. This One-Pot Pumpkin Curry from Minimalist Baker does the trick and is filled with the warm, healthy, and cozy likes of curry, fresh ginger, garlic, turmeric, coconut milk, and roasted cashews. Layered on top of a warm bed of brown rice, this is one healthy pumpkin recipe you'll have on repeat all season long.
It's natural to think of sweet, sugar-laden pumpkin concoctions come fall. After all, we're used to imbibing in all our favorite desserts and treats like pumpkin pie, pumpkin bread, pumpkin cheesecake… (we could go on.) However, there are also so many amazing recipes that feature the all-star ingredient in transformed dessert recipes. For instance, this delectable pumpkin fudge recipe from Food Faith Fitness is vegan, Paleo, and sugar-free, and it's filled with glow-enhancing components like raw pepitas, creamy almond butter, dates, pumpkin puree, and flaked sea salt.
Trust us—it's so good.
Next up: The best protein bars for women, according to nutritionists.