Something about this time of year just conjures up pumpkin cravings. Sure, there’s the traditional, obligatory pumpkin pie around Thanksgiving and the holidays. But it shouldn’t stop there. Fresh pumpkin purée can become the magic ingredient in many recipes, elevating a food from ho-hum to fantastic.
The ultra-nutritious gourd gives instant warmth and seasonal flavor to so many dishes- savory and sweet! From desserts to snacks, and from dinner to breakfast, this list of fun, healthy, and oh-so-yummy pumpkin recipes has you covered…the whole season long!
Pumpkins aren’t just for jack-o-lanterns and roasting seeds (though you should certainly roast the seeds too, see #4 and #7 below for our recommendations, or try these pumpkin seed recipes). The super easy 3-step pumpkin purée in recipe #18 will get you started, or unsweetened, canned pumpkin purée works too (not pumpkin pie filling). It’s best to use the small variety of pumpkins, called sugar pumpkins, because they produce a smoother texture, but even the huge jack-o-lantern types of pumpkins will work. And, if you can’t find a pumpkin, butternut squash and acorn squash prepared the same way for equally delicious results. Don’t forget to reserve the seeds for roasting for pumpkin or squash.
Pumpkins have a ton of health benefits. Just 1 cup of puréed pumpkin yields 200 percent of the recommended daily allowance of Vitamin A in the form of easily-absorbed and used carotenoids. Carotenoids are a form of beta-carotene, which is an antioxidant. Carotenoids are the reason the gourd is bright orange- the phytonutrient is found in nearly all orange vegetables such as sweet potatoes, butternut squash, and carrots. Vitamin A (in the form of cartenoids here) is great for your eyes. Recent research suggests that cartenoids are also great for skin health. Also, included in a one-cup serving is a whopping 3 grams of fiber. Studies show that diets rich in fiber help us feel full faster and for longer and can also assist in weight loss.
So what about the seeds? Pumpkin seeds are heart-healthy and contain phytosterols, that reduce “bad” cholesterol (aka LDL). The seeds are also mineral rich: Just 1/4 cup of pumpkin seeds contain 1/2 the daily recommended allowance of magnesium, also good for your heart! Specifically, magnesium supports the blood flow and pumping of the heart. They’re also an excellent source of zinc- great for your senses such as smell and taste, and good for the eyes, regulating blood sugar, for immune system support, and for aiding in prostate health in men. Pumpkin seeds may also be beneficial in alleviating some postmenopausal symptoms such as hot flashes and headaches.
They’re not just for the holidays. Here are 30 Delicious Pumpkin-Inspired Recipes to enjoy all year long:
1. Pumpkin Oat Balls
This is a great kid-friendly snack that you’re sure to love.
2. Pumpkin Spice Pancakes
Great way to get your pumpkin kick is with these yummy pancakes! The kids will love them, and you will too.
3. Pumpkin Pasta Surprise
What could be better than a yummy pasta dish? How about sneaking in some yummy pumpkin goodness! Your body will love the added nutrition and your taste buds will thank you for it also.
4. Perfect Pumpkin Crumble
This delicious dish is the perfect dessert or even a nice sweet snack.
5. Pumpkin Soup Shooters with Baked Chickpeas
With so many ways to serve these yummy little helpings of pumpkin goodness, you cant go wrong!
6. Gluten Free Soft Ginger Snap Recipe
These ginger snaps are so yummy, you will never know they are still healthy! They are packed with fiber and protein, along with being Gluten-Free.
7. Maple Cinnamon Pumpkin Seeds
If you are looking for a new way to dress up those pumpkin seeds, look no further. You can’t go wrong with this recipe that will turn those regular pumpkin seeds into a yummy snack you will want to make again.
8. Crispy Kale and Pumpkin Croquettes
If you are looking for a new and yummy side dish, this one is definitely worth checking out.
9. Pumpkin Cranberry Dessert Hummus
If you have never heard of using hummus as a dessert, give this tasty treat a try!
10. Pumpkin French Toast
Nothing is better than a delicious french toast meal to kick off the day. Even better is pumpkin french toast. This yummy morning treat will give you a kick of sweet, while still being forgiving on the waist!
For more delicious and nutritious recipes from Skinny Ms., check out our Skinny Ms. Recipe Collection of 101 Fan Favorites.
11. Paleo Pumpkin Spice Muffins
If you love muffins and pumpkin, but still want to watch what you eat, then this recipe is for you. You wont have to feel guilty or worry about packing on any pounds from this delicious healthy treat!
12. Pumpkin Cheesecake
If you love cheesecake, but always wished there was a healthier alternative without taking away from that taste you love, then this is a must try. This is a healthier version to a pumpkin cheesecake with a taste that will make it a family favorite.
13. Black Bean Pumpkin Soup
This is a must-try dish using ingredients you might not normally think to throw together. Pumpkin is turning into a household staple that can be used year-around and in so many ways.
14. Overnight Slow Cooker Pumpkin Pie Steel Cut Oats: No Sugar Added
What could be better than waking up to this delicious dish in the morning all ready-to-go! You will love the flavors and healthiness of this dish, and you’ll be amazed by how easy it is to put together.
15. Clean Eating Pumpkin Pie Baked Oatmeal
You will love this delicious breakfast dish that tastes like pumpkin pie, but is good for you at the same time.
16. Pumpkin Raisin Oatmeal Baked Apple
This delicious and healthy meal is perfect for the Fall or all year round.
17. Spiced Pumpkin Mousse
This is a great and healthy snack that will have everyone asking for more.
18. Fresh Pumpkin Puree
This is the perfect purée to enjoy now or freeze for later.
19. Homemade Pumpkin Frozen Yogurt
This dish is a great alternative for ice cream. Keep cravings at-bay, while still keeping it healthy.
20. Pumpkin Spice Bread Pudding
This easy-to-make slow cooker dish will be a hit and is great for entertaining or to have a yummy dessert.
You might also like our collection of Holiday Recipes.
21. Crockpot Pumpkin Custard
This delicious custard recipe will have your house smelling fantastic and your mouth watering. It’s great for a dessert or even a snack.
22. “Paleo-Fied” Pumpkin Pie Bars
These Pumpkin Pie Bars are so delicious and so easy to make. They are sure to satisfy any sweet craving while still being healthier for you.
23. Pumpkin Protein Bars
Try out this yummy pumpkin protein bar recipe. You won’t be disappointed! Add in some walnuts for an added crunch!
24. Chili-Lime Spiced Pumpkin Seeds
If you like your snacks to have a little kick, then you should try these spiced pumpkin seeds. The chili and lime give these seeds a wonderful flavor. These are sure to go fast, so make sure you make a few batches.
25. Skinny Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake
You can’t go wrong with a creamy and sweet, yet healthier cheesecake. Makes for a wonderful dessert to satisfy dessert cravings.
Have you tried any of these 74 Healthy Dessert Recipes?
26. Pumpkin and Sweet Potato Soup
This warming soup is perfect for those cool fall and winter nights.
27. Nutmeg-Infused Pumpkin Bread
Get a boost in energy with this moist and delicious slow cooker bread. Perfect for a quick breakfast or a healthy snack.
28. Pumpkin Apple Muffins
The blend of fall flavors in this healthier version of a favorite treat is satisfying and delicious!
29. Pumpkin Protein Cookies
Wouldn’t it be great if we could get a health dose of protein and enjoy a cookie, or two. Now, we can! These cookies are delicious, easy-to-make, and are an excellent source of protein.
30. Slow Cooker Cranberry & Pumpkin Granola
This easily-customized dish is perfect to have for breakfast or as a topping for other dishes.
Do you have a favorite Skinny Ms. recipe? We’d love to hear about it. Tell us what you think in the comments section below.