Pumpkins are a quintessential autumn food (at least for those of us here in North America!). Not only are pumpkins abundant at this time of year, but they also offer us a beautiful array of nutrients.
Like other root vegetables, pumpkins are a good source of antioxidants and contain anti-inflammatory properties. Plus, their seeds offer us protein and the immune-boosting, male reproductive superstar zinc, so don’t toss away those seeds!
Most of us are familiar with pumpkin pie or pumpkin soup recipes, but pumpkin can also be incorporated into a wide variety of dishes. Here are some of our favourite, fun and healthy ways to incorporate pumpkin into your diet.
So whip up a batch of homemade pumpkin puree (this old skool vid of ACN director Meghan Telpner will show you how), and start using it!
No-Bake Energy Balls
No-bake energy balls are the perfect on-the-go snack, especially when they’re packed with protein, healthy fats and fibre. Add some flavour and nutrient complexity with some pumpkin puree, anywhere from a few tablespoons to the most pumpkin goodness you can handle!
Recipe to Try: Pumpkin Pie Energy Balls by Ashleigh Grange
Tired of plain hummus? Enhance the flavour with pumpkin puree along with the usual hummus suspects like garlic, lemon and tahini. You can even make your pumpkin hummus spicy by adding cayenne, your favourite hot sauce, or hot smoked paprika.
Recipe to Try: Creamy Pumpkin Hummus by Real Food Whole Life
Everyone loves a sweet pumpkin pie smoothie, for sure, but you can also amp up your regular green smoothie by adding pumpkin puree. It’s handy to freeze some puree in ice cube trays, as frozen pumpkin cubes add dairy-free creaminess.
Recipe to Try: Paleo Pumpkin Pie Smoothie by Honestly Nourished
Dairy-Free Rice Pudding
If you’ve got some leftover brown rice and leftover pumpkin puree, combine them together in a creamy and luscious dessert. Even better? Add in some homemade nut milk.
Recipe to Try: Pumpkin Spice Rice Pudding by Straight from the Jar
There is a certain not-to-be-named coffee chain that releases its pumpkin-flavoured drink every year and everyone goes bonkers for it. Why not make your own healthy version, and skip the dairy and excess sugar?
Recipe to Try: Healthy Pumpkin Spice Latte by Jaclyn Desforges
Take your pumpkin full-on savory by adding pumpkin puree to your favourite chili recipe. Whether your chili is vegetarian or not, pumpkin puree will provide a boost of texture and delicious flavour!
Recipe to Try: Chili Pumpkin Recipe by A Fresh Legacy
What are your favourite ways to use pumpkin? Please share in the comments!