I love pureed pumpkin. It is such a tasty way to sneak in a vegetable and it just screams fall. It’s also loaded with vitamin A, fiber, magnesium, potassium, zinc, iron, and antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin which contribute to eye health. At just 40 calories for 1/2 cup, pumpkin is a very nutrient-dense food.
Here are a few ways I like to use it:
- Pumpkin Yogurt: Mix plain non-fat greek yogurt with pumpkin (I usually do equal amounts or slightly more yogurt) and season with vanilla and cinnamon. This can be used as a dip or as a base for breakfast with the addition of fruit, oats, cereal, and/or flaxseed.
- Smoothies: Add a spoonful (or more if you’re daring!) to your regular smoothies. I recommend pumpkin, almond milk, banana, milled flaxseed, cinnamon, vanilla and a scoop of almond butter. Blend together and enjoy a nice refreshing drink!
- Oatmeal: Prepare a regular bowl of oatmeal (with almond milk, vanilla, and milled flaxseed), then add pumpkin and cinnamon as well. Top with fruit – (pears and apples being my favorite) – and walnuts.
- Sandwiches: Try spreading pumpkin and almond butter on bread to make a sandwich. Amazing! Don’t knock it until you try it.
- Soups: Take any favorite soup or chili recipe and add 1/2 – 1 cup pumpkin. It will give a mild pumpkin flavor while increasing the nutritional profile and volume (and decreasing calories per serving!).
- Baked goods: Try using pumpkin in place of butter or oil in recipes. I do this with waffles, pancakes, muffins, and cakes. It is a great way to cut calories while making a nice seasonal treat.