Recycle your Fall Decorations…Eat them!!

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It’s really sad that one of the most nutritious fall vegetables is often only used for decoration and often overlooked for a healthy addition to your menu!! Besides being great for decorating, and the only vegetable that is carved and lit up, this low-calorie squash is rich in potassium and loaded with beta-carotene (a powerful antioxidant), and its natural sweetness brings flavor to baked goods without any added guilt.

Pumpkin is an often-overlooked source of fiber, but with three grams per one-cup serving and only 49 calories, it can keep you feeling full for longer on fewer calories. This aids in weight loss as well because a fiber-rich diet seems to help people eat less, and thereby shed pounds.

And believe it or not, the canned pumpkin retains most of the fiber and nutrients therefore making it almost equally nutritious to the fresh pumpkin. One note to remember is that when making your own fresh pumpkin puree it can be thinner than canned, so you may need to strain.

Give these healthy pumpkin recipes a try. You may enjoy pumpkin a whole lot longer this season!

The Creamiest Ever Pumpkin Pie

Ingredients

  • 1 can (15oz) pumpkin or sweet potato puree
  • 1 (13.5oz) can full-fat coconut milk
  • ¼ cup rolled oats (20g)
  • 2 tbsp. ground flax
  • ⅓ cup coconut sugar or brown sugar
  • Pinch stevia, or 2 tbsp. extra brown sugar
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1 tbsp. pure vanilla extract

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Blend all ingredients together until smooth.
  2. Pour into a prepared pie crust (or make your own) in a 10-inch round pan.
  3. Bake 27 minutes (it will still be underdone after this time, which is okay!), let it cool, then refrigerate at least 5 hours uncovered for the pie to thicken and “set.”

Healthy Pumpkin Spice Latte

Ingredients

  • ½ cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 3 tablespoons pumpkin puree
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • ½ 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

Directions

  1. In a cup or saucepan, mix together almond milk and pumpkin. Cook on medium heat on the stovetop or microwave for 30-45 seconds.
  2. 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.
  3. Pour coffee into a large mug; add the foamy milk mixture on top. Sprinkle with cinnamon. Enjoy!

Yields 1 serving.

Basic Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

Ingredients

  • 2 cups pumpkin seeds
  • 2 teaspoons canola oil
  • Salt to taste
  • Optional seasonings to taste

Liven up this basic recipe by tossing the seeds with additional herbs and seasonings. Use about one tablespoon of seasoning for every two cups of roasted pumpkin seeds, but you can adjust to taste. For a twist, try adding these seasonings to the basic recipe:

  • Barbecue seasonings
  • Curry spices
  • Cinnamon, ginger, and sugar
  • Garlic powder and cayenne pepper
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Brown sugar, chili powder, and nutmeg

Tip: Remove pulp by rinsing the seeds through a strainer. Also, make sure the seeds are completely dry before roasting.

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. In a large bowl, toss pumpkin seeds with canola oil and salt. (At this stage, also add any additional seasonings to the mix.) Spread pumpkin seeds evenly onto a baking sheet in one layer.
  2. Bake for about 20 minutes, until the seeds are crisp, stirring every few minutes.
  3. Remove from the oven and, if desired, season more to taste.

Glazed Chocolate-Pumpkin Bundt Cake

Ingredients

Cake

  • 1 cup all-purpose, flour
  • ¾ cup whole-wheat pastry flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder, (not Dutch-process)
  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1½ teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup nonfat buttermilk
  • 1 15-ounce can unsweetened pumpkin puree
  • ¾ cup dark brown sugar, packed
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 1 large egg white, at room temperature
  • ¼ cup canola oil
  • ¼ cup light corn syrup
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Glaze and Garnish

  • ½ cup packed confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 tablespoon nonfat buttermilk
  • 2 tablespoons mini chocolate chips, or toasted chopped nuts

Directions

  1. To prepare cake: Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat a 12-cup Bundt pan with cooking spray.
  2. Whisk all-purpose flour, whole-wheat flour, granulated sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice and salt in a medium bowl.
  3. Blend 1 cup buttermilk, pumpkin puree and brown sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer on low speed. Beat in whole egg and egg white. Stir in oil, corn syrup and vanilla. Gradually add the dry ingredients, stirring until just combined. Transfer the batter to the prepared pan.
  4. Bake the cake until a wooden skewer inserted in the center comes out with only a few moist crumbs attached, 1 to 1¼ hours. Let cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Remove from the pan and let cool completely on the rack, about 2 hours.
  5. To glaze & garnish cake: Combine confectioners’ sugar and 1 tablespoon buttermilk in a small bowl, stirring until completely smooth. Place the cake on a serving plate and drizzle the glaze over the top; garnish with chocolate chips (or chopped nuts) while the glaze is still moist.

Serves 16. Each serving contains Calories 234, Fat 5 g, Cholesterol 13 mg, Carbohydrates 46 g, Protein 4 g, Fiber 3 g, Sodium 238 mg.

Roasted Pumpkin Apple Soup

Ingredients

  • 4 pounds pie pumpkin or butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 2-inch chunks
  • 4 large sweet-tart apples, unpeeled, cored and cut into eighths
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1¼ teaspoons salt, divided
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage
  • 6 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth or vegetable broth
  • ⅓ cup chopped pecans, toasted
  • 2 tablespoons hazelnut oil

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 450°F.
  2. Toss pumpkin (or squash), apples, olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt and pepper in a large bowl. Spread evenly on a large rimmed baking sheet. Roast, stirring once, for 30 minutes. Stir in sage and continue roasting until very tender and starting to brown, 15 to 20 minutes more.
  3. Transfer about one-third of the pumpkin (or squash) and apples to a blender along with 2 cups broth. Puree until smooth. Transfer to a Dutch oven and repeat for two more batches. Season with the remaining ¼ teaspoon salt and heat through over medium-low heat, stirring constantly to prevent splattering, for about 6 minutes.
  4. To toast chopped nuts, small nuts and seeds, place in a small dry skillet and cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until fragrant and lightly browned, 2 to 4 minutes.
  5. Serve each portion with chopped toasted nuts.

Serves 12. Each serving contains Calories 180, Fat 9 g, Cholesterol 0 mg, Carbohydrates 25 g, Protein 3 g, Fiber 6 g, Sodium 525 mg.

Frozen Pumpkin Mousse Pie

Ingredients

Crust

  • 30 small gingersnap cookies, (about 7½ ounces)
  • 2 tablespoons raisins
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil

Filling

  • 1 cup canned pumpkin puree
  • ⅓ cup packed brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 2 pints (4 cups) frozen low-fat vanilla ice cream, softened

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat a 9-inch deep-dish pie pan with cooking spray.
  2. To prepare crust: Combine gingersnaps and raisins in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Add oil and pulse until blended. Press evenly into the bottom and up the sides of the prepared pan.
  3. Bake the crust until set, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  4. To prepare filling: Combine pumpkin, sugar, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg in a large bowl and mix well. Add ice cream and stir until blended. Spoon the mixture into the cooled pie crust.
  5. Freeze until firm, at least 2 hours. Let the pie soften slightly in the refrigerator for 20 to 30 minutes before serving.

Serves 10. Each serving contains Calories 230, Fat 5 g, Cholesterol 4 mg, Carbohydrates 42 g, Protein 4 g, Fiber 2 g, Sodium 179 mg.