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There’s nothing like the fall season. Crisp air, crunchy leaves, and pumpkin spice versions of all your favorite things. Pumpkin may be the most iconic vegetable of fall, but we rarely eat it that way. We get most of this seasonal treat in the sweet form of pie, lattes, and cupcakes.
Packed with nutrients, pumpkin has twice the recommended daily amount of Vitamin A, is a good source of Vitamin C, and has as much potassium as a small banana. Plus, there’s a reason we eat pumpkin in the fall. Those nutrients translate to healthy vision for when it gets dark earlier, a strong immune system to fight colds during changing weather and it helps to keep your blood pressure stable for holidays spent with family and in-laws.
It’s a tough time of year to avoid all sweets (looking at you, basket of Halloween candy). If you’re looking to strike a balance in your pumpkin intake this month, here are five recipes from Territory Foods that up the health value by ditching the sugar.
Pumpkin makes a versatile mash. We like combining pumpkin and sweet potato with garlic for a nutritious side that packs a punch. Pumpkin is also a good compliment to white potatoes or cauliflower. Try replacing half of the vegetable in your favorite mash recipe with pumpkin.
- 1 cup pumpkin puree, firmly packed
- 1 cup sweet potato, cooked and firmly packed
- 1 head garlic, roasted
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil, melted and cooled
- 1 pinch salt, season to taste
- 1 pinch black pepper, season to taste
- Place pumpkin puree and sweet potato in food processor, blender or medium-size bowl.
- Add roasted garlic, coconut oil, salt, and pepper to pumpkin and sweet potato.
- Process on medium speed or use hand masher until silky smooth and well combined.
Curry sauce is surprisingly simple to make. We love a dairy-free version with pumpkin puree, coconut milk, and plenty of spices—like cinnamon and curry powder. Simmered with shrimp, chicken or fresh veggies, it will warm (and nourish) the heart and soul.
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 bell pepper, chopped
- 1 can coconut milk
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- 1 cup water
- 1 tablespoon curry powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger (or 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger)
- 1 teaspoon salt, season to taste
- 1 head broccoli, chopped into florets (save the stems for juicing)
- 1 sweet potato, chopped into 1-inch chunks
- 3-4 tablespoons pure maple syrup (optional)
- Melt the coconut oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat, and saute the onion and pepper until tender, about 8 minutes.
- Add coconut milk, pumpkin puree, water, curry, cinnamon, ginger, and salt, and stir well to combine. Taste the sauce and adjust the seasonings as you see fit, keeping in mind that the additional vegetables you're about to add in will dilute the flavor slightly.
- Add chopped broccoli florets and sweet potato to the sauce. Stir well to coat.
- Bring the sauce to a simmer, then cover and allow the veggies to cook until fork-tender, about 15 to 20 minutes. Taste the sauce and adjust flavor, if necessary. If you'd like a slightly sweet curry, add maple syrup one tablespoon at a time until you reach desired sweetness.
- Serve piping hot over a bed of cooked quinoa, or cauliflower rice for a grain-free option.
- Leftovers can be stored in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to one week.
We love a hearty paleo-friendly flapjack made with almond flour, pumpkin puree, and coconut milk for sweetness. Sprinkle with cinnamon for an added antioxidant and pop of flavor.
- 8 large eggs
- 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
- 14 ounces coconut milk
- 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons pumpkin spice
- 3 cups almond flour
- 1 cup coconut flour
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- Cooking spray or butter
- Heat a large skillet to medium heat. Coat with cooking spray or butter.
- In a medium-size bowl, whisk eggs. Mix in pumpkin puree, coconut milk, and vanilla to eggs.
- Add all dry ingredients and stir until everything is combined.
- Spoon 1/2 cup of batter onto hot skillet into desired pancake size.
- Cook the first side of pancake(s) for about 3 minutes or until cooked enough to flip or small bubbles appear. Use a spatula to carefully flip the pancake(s). Let the other side cook for 2-3 minutes or until cooked all the way through.
- Serve warm with desired topping, like pure maple syrup.
Pumpkin seeds can be swapped out for other nuts in any pesto recipe. These seeds are high in protein, magnesium and a great source of healthy fats. Pulse in a food processor with the other ingredients and use them anywhere you like pesto. We love pumpkin seeds on salmon for more omega power or in a pesto egg scramble for breakfast!
Serving Size: 2 ½ cups
- 2 cups unsalted hulled (green) pumpkin seeds
- 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt, season to taste
- ¼ cup water
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, or to taste
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 cup fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
- Ground black pepper, season to taste
- Preheat oven to 375°F.
- Toss pumpkin seeds with 2 tablespoons of oil and salt then spread out in a single layer on a large baking sheet. Roast until seeds are puffed and fragrant, about 10 to 15 minutes. Set aside to cool.
- Combine seeds in a food processor or blender with water, lemon juice, garlic, cilantro and remaining oil. Pulse until mixture forms a coarse paste, then season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Cover and chill until ready to use.
These glorious muffins will satisfy your pumpkin spice cravings while doing your body a favor. They are free of gluten, dairy, and low in natural sugar. The cranberries add tartness while the seeds add a delightful crunch. Enjoy!
- 1 cup almond flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon cloves
- 1 pinch salt
- 3 eggs
- ¾ cup pumpkin, canned
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 1 cup unsweetened dried cranberries
- 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds, whole
- ¼ cup pumpkin seeds, chopped
- Preheat oven to 325°F. Place 12 paper (or silicone) muffin liners in muffin cups.
- Whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, spices and salt in a bowl.
- In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, blend eggs, pumpkin, vanilla, and maple syrup.
- Add cranberries and whole pumpkin seeds to wet mixture.
- Fold in dry mixture.
- Fill muffin cups ¾ full and top with chopped pumpkin seeds.
- Bake for 18 to 21 minutes or to an internal temperature of 204-207°F.
- Remove from oven and place on cooling racks.
Try working some of these ideas into your fall meals to stay seasonal without overdoing the sugar!