October (well really Fall in general) marks the season of the Pumpkin. Yes, pumpkins of course signify Halloween, but the reason why we at BODYBAR love Pumpkins is because they are delicious, healthy and remind us of Fall and the holidays.
So let’s start with the health benefits of Pumpkin.
1. Pumpkins are an antioxidant and an anti inflammatory food! This means it helps with joint health, organ health, stress relief and soft tissue injuries.
2. Pumpkins are high in Vitamin A content.
3. Pumpkins also contain high levels of Vitamin C which helps the immune system and encourages collagen production for the skin to maintain its beautiful glow and elasticity (we love this one!)
4. Pumpkin is a great source of fiber.
5. Pumpkin has carotids which helps prevent premature aging and cardiovascular disease (it also is what makes them orange).
6. Pumpkin seeds are high in protein and plant based fatty acids
7. The pulp and the seeds are rich in magnesium required for bone and tooth health.
8. Pumpkin contains lots of potassium and zinc.
So with all of this nutrient dense goodness packed inside these delicious fruits (yes Pumpkin is technically a fruit) there is absolutely no reason to not enjoy Pumpkin during the Fall, or even all year round!
We’ve rounded up our 5 favorite healthy Pumpkin Recipes:
1. Vegan Pumpkin Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
These vegan pumpkin oatmeal chocolate chip cookies are perfect for fall and are only 90 calories per cookie.
1 cup spelt flour (all purpose flour will work too)
½ cup old fashioned oats
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon sea salt
pinch of ground nutmeg
¾ cup pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
1 cup sucanat or other raw, natural sugar
¼ cup extra virgin coconut oil
½ Tablespoon ground flaxseed
1 teaspoon pure vanilla
¼ cup vegan chocolate chips or carob chips
Preheat oven to 350° F.
Stir together dry ingredients (flour, oats, cinnamon, baking soda, sea salt, nutmeg) in a mixing bowl.
Mix together wet ingredients (pumpkin, sugar, coconut oil, flaxseed and vanilla) in a separate mixing bowl.
Combine wet and dry ingredients.
Stir in ¼ cup chocolate chips. Mix well.
Drop rounded tablespoons onto a greased cookie sheet. Press cookie dough down into a cookie shape with a spoon or your fingers. Cookies won’t spread very much so you can space them about 1 inch apart.
Bake for 15-16 minutes.
Move cookies to a wire rack and cool completely before eating or transferring to a storage container for later consumption.
Serving size: 1 Cookie Calories: 90 Fat: 3 Carbohydrates: 15 Sugar: 2 Protein: 1
2.Pumpkin Spice Trail Mix
You’ll love this pumpkin spice trail mix, whether it’s sprinkled atop yogurt, served with milk, or eaten on its own during a Fall hike. Full of fiber, protein, and antioxidants, it’s exactly what you need to power through the day.
¼ cup sucanat or whole cane sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon, Ground
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 cup unsalted whole almonds
1 cup rolled oats
1 cup unsalted pecan halves
1 cup roasted salted pepitas (shelled pumpkin seeds)
1 cup walnut halves
¼ cup pumpkin puree
2 Tablespoons all natural apple juice
⅔ cup dried cranberries
⅔ cup raisins
Preheat oven to 250°F. Mix sucanat, cinnamon, paprika and pumpkin pie spice in small bowl. Set aside.
Place almonds, oats, pecans, pepitas and walnuts in large bowl. Mix together pumpkin puree and apple juice; pour over nut mixture and toss until nuts are evenly coated. Sprinkle with spice mixture, tossing to coat well. Spread evenly on two baking pans.
Bake 30-35 minutes, stirring halfway through cook time. Cool completely. Stir in cranberries and raisins. Store in airtight container.
3. Paleo Pumpkin Pie Muffins
These Paleo pumpkin pie muffins are not only gluten- and dairy-free, but they’re also light, fluffy, and delicious.
1/2 cup coconut flour
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
2 teaspoons organic vanilla
1/4 cup raw honey, melted
3 tablespoons walnuts, chopped
- Preheat the oven to 400°F. Sift the coconut flour, pumpkin pie spice, and baking powder together.
- In a separate bowl, mix all remaining ingredients, except for the walnuts, until well blended. Add the sifted flour mixture to the pumpkin puree mixture, and mix well until smooth.
- Divide the batter between muffin pans, and sprinkle with walnuts.
- Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, or until done.
- Calories per serving 138
4. Healthy Homemade Pumpkin Spice Latte
Nothing signifies the start of Fall quite like a pumpkin spice latte, but skip the sugary Starbucks latte for this healthy homemade version instead.
1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
3 tablespoons pumpkin puree
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2-3 drops of liquid stevia (or sweetener of choice)
8 ounces brewed coffee (or 1-2 shots of espresso)
Sprinkle of cinnamon
- In a cup or saucepan, mix together almond milk and pumpkin. Cook on medium heat on the stovetop or microwave for 30-45 seconds.
- Remove from heat, stir in vanilla, spices, and sweetener, place in a cup and use a frother to foam the milk. You can also use a blender — just process for 30 seconds or until foamy.
- Pour coffee into a large mug; add the foamy milk mixture on top. Sprinkle with cinnamon. Enjoy!
3/4 cup pumpkin puree
1 cup low-fat ricotta
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon fresh pepper
1 teaspoon egg white
1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup tomato sauce of your choice
Fresh sage, finely chopped
- Preheat oven to 350ºF. Lightly spray a rimmed baking sheet with cooking oil.
- Mix pumpkin puree, ricotta, salt, pepper, and nutmeg together in a large bowl.
- Dollop one heaping tablespoon of the pumpkin-ricotta mixture in the center of half (26) the wonton wrappers.
- Brush a little egg white around the filling all the way to the edges of each wonton wrapper.
- Place one of the remaining wonton wrappers on top of each of the wrappers with filling, and use your fingers to press down around the filling.
- Trim the edges with a knife or pizza cutter to your desired size, then press a fork down around the edges to seal your “pasta”.
- Lightly brush each ravioli with a tiny bit of extra-virgin olive oil and spread out the ravioli on your baking sheet.
- Bake in the oven for 7-9 minutes depending on the texture you prefer. Less baking time will leave you with more pasta-like ravioli, and an extra minute in the two in the oven will leave you with a pleasant wonton crunch around the edges.
- Move cooked ravioli to a paper towel for a few moments. Top them off with a drop of tomato sauce and sprinkle with sage. Enjoy while hot!
Makes 28 raviolis.
Nutritional information per serving (4 raviolis): calories 204, protein 10 g.