From lattes to muffins and of course pie, you've probably been seeing pumpkin flavored goodies in stores and cafes everywhere this autumn. But instead of purchasing these goodies, why not try your hand at making organic versions of them in your very own kitchen? Aside from being downright scrumptious, pumpkins are packed with nutrients like alpha and beta carotene, fiber, vitamins C and E, potassium, magnesium and pantothenic acid, so head on over to your local grocer or greenmarket and whip up some of our 6 sweet and savory pumpkin recipes today!
Pumpkin Breakfast Shake
The anti-oxidants in pumpkin will get you feeling refreshed, so why not start your day with a healthy pumpkin shake? For the sweet treat, combine 1 cup canned organic pumpkin, 1 cup coconut milk or regular milk, 1 frozen banana, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract and 2 teaspoons of local honey and blend. You can add vanilla protein powder as a supplement, but the pumpkin, coconut and banana will have you buzzing with energy all morning. Garnish with a thick orange slice to add boost of C!
Thick and Hearty Pumpkin Soup
This time of year calls for soups, and the pumpkin based variety are hearty and filling, while low in calories and easy to make. Simply sauté one onion in 1 tablespoon of margarine in a medium saucepan until clear. Then add 1 can of pumpkin puree, 1 1/3 cups vegetable broth, 3 cups soy milk (or dairy), ½ teaspoon of nutmeg and ½ teaspoon sugar. Cook over medium heat for just 15 minutes. This stick to your ribs creamy soup practically makes itself!
Perfect Pumpkin Pasta Sauce
The rich texture of pumpkin makes a great alternative to tomato sauce, served over whole wheat or gluten free pasta for a main dish. Start by sautéing 3 cloves of crushed garlic and one finely chopped onion in olive oil until clear. Add 2 cans pumpkin (or one pound cooked fresh pumpkin) and 1 cup of very strong vegetable stock and bring to a boil. After five minutes, add ½ cup heavy cream or nondairy milk and a dash of nutmeg and salt. Whisk until smooth, then pour over whole wheat pasta and garnish with grated cheese.
Pumpkin pie is a seasonal favorite, but a healthy crustless alternative – pumpkin pudding – is just as good. Not to mention super easy to make! Mix an 8 ounce container of low fat vanilla yogurt, 1 cup canned pumpkin, ¼ teaspoon nutmeg and ¼ teaspoon cinnamon and then chill and serve!
You can enjoy yummy pumpkin puree butter year round by making your own in a crock pot! You’ll need to fill the pot with 7 cans of pumpkin, 2 tablespoons of cinnamon, 1 teaspoon cloves, ½ teaspoon of allspice and 3 cups sugar. Slow cook it on low for around 8 hours to thicken it up. Chill and spread on everything! Or can it and give it as gifts, or a treat for your own family year round.
Sweet and Spicy Seeds
There are some things you just can’t sacrifice fresh pumpkin for – like roasted pumpkin seeds! A favorite Halloween variation from the traditional roasted salted seeds is going the sweet and spicy route. After digging out the guts of a medium pumpkin, separate and wash the seeds. Then mix 1 egg white, ¼ cup natural sugar, ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper and ½ teaspoon sea salt. Toss in the seeds and roast on a baking sheet at 375 degrees for 12 minutes.
Now that you’re armed with these savory and sweet pumpkin recipes, start introducing the vitamin-rich fruit into your family’s daily meals today!