Fall means cozy sweaters, colorful leaves falling from the trees, warm apple cider, and pumpkin EVERYTHANG. Besides being easily adaptable in many recipes, pumpkin also packs quite a few health benefits:
- High in carotenoids which the body converts into Vitamin A. These are known to help keep your eyesight sharp and may even prevent wrinkles!
- High in fiber (about 3 grams of fiber per cup of pumpkin puree), which helps keep you fuller for longer and thus a great food for weight loss.
- According to the National Cancer Institute, pumpkins boast the antioxidant beta-carotene, which may play a role in cancer prevention.
- One cup of cooked pumpkin contains more than 11 milligrams, or nearly 20 percent of the 60 milligrams the IOM recommends women need daily.
Below are 5 delicious, easy recipes that incorporate pumpkin. Make sure to buy pumpkin puree and NOT pumpkin pie mix. The ladder contains other ingredients like sugar, and you want to stick to the plain ol’ pumpkin. Happy fall cooking!
Vegan Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies by Baker By Nature
- 1/2 cup coconut oil, solid (be sure it’s not melted at all)
- 3/4 cups dark brown sugar, packed
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons unsulphured molasses
- 2 tablespoons unsweetened coconut milk (almond or soy milk will also work)
- 1/3 cup pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie mix!)
- 2 and 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (be sure not to pack your flour)
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
- 1 and 1/2 cups chocolate chips (use vegan chocolate chips if vegan), divided
- Flaky sea salt, optional
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees (F). Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a large bowl using a handheld electric mixer, beat the coconut oil, both sugars, and vanilla on medium-speed until smooth; about 2 minutes. Add in the molasses, coconut milk and pumpkin puree and beat on low speed until well combined. Turn mixer off.
- In a separate bowl combine the flour, baking soda, salt, and pumpkin pie spice; whisk well to combine.
- Add the dry ingredients into the wet mixture and, with the mixer on low speed, beat until ingredients are combined. The batter will be very thick! Fold in 1 and 1/4 cups of the chocolate chips.
- Scoop three tablespoon sized mounds of dough onto the prepared cookie sheet, leaving a few inches between each cookie. Bake for 9 to 10 minutes, or until the edges are golden and the centers are soft but set. Press remaining chocolate chips on top of warm cookies, and sprinkle with sea salt, if using. Cool cookies on the baking sheet for 30 minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack.
Slow Cooker Black Bean Pumpkin Chili by Kitchen Treaty
- 3 (15-ounce) cans black beans, drained
- 2 (14.5-ounce) cans plain diced tomatoes
- 1 cup pureed pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)
- 2 cups diced yellow onion (about 1 medium onion)
- 1 medium yellow bell pepper, diced
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
- Assorted toppings of your choice like avocado, cherry tomatoes, chopped scallions or onion, cilantro, hot sauce (if you want to add some heat), vegan cheese and/or vegan sour cream.
- Add all ingredients to a 4-quart or larger slow cooker. Stir.
- Cook on low for 8 – 10 hours.
- Serve with assorted toppings.
Pumpkin Breakfast Bake
- 2 cups old fashioned oats
- 1 tbsp ground flax seed
- 1 ½ tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp cinnamon
- 1 cup non-dairy milk
- ⅔ cups pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie mix)
- 6 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 tbsp oil, melted (I used avocado oil)
- ½ tsp pure vanilla extract
- ½ cup frozen blueberries
- 1 banana, sliced
- ¼ cup toasted pecan halves
- 1-2 tbsp brown sugar
1. Preheat oven to 350F.
2. In a 9” x 9” baking dish, combine oats, ground flax seed, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon.Mix well.
3. In a medium bowl, combine milk, pumpkin, oil, vanilla, and maple syrup.
Mix well and slowly pour over dry ingredients, stirring any areas that aren’t well covered.
4. Top with frozen blueberries, sliced banana and pecan halves.
5. Sprinkle top with brown sugar.
6. Bake for 30 minutes.
Pumpkin Mac and Cheese by That Clean Life
- 2 cups brown rice macaroni (dry)
- 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
- 1tbsp arrowroot powder
- 1tsp garlic powder
- 1/3 cup nutritional yeast
- 1 1/2tsp dijon mustard
- 1 cup pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie mix)
- 1tbsp maple syrup
- sea salt and black pepper to taste
1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook brown rice macaroni as per the directions on the package. When finished cooking, strain and run under cold water immediately to prevent from overcooking.
2. Meanwhile, heat milk in a saucepan over medium heat. Once the milk is steaming, whisk in the arrowroot until all clumps are gone.
3. Add the remaining ingredients and whisk until thoroughly combined. Turn down to low heat and cook until the sauce has thickened, about 5-6 minutes.
4. Pour the pumpkin sauce over the macaroni and mix well. Divide into bowls and enjoy!
Pumpkin Black Bean Burgers by Wholefully
- 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 teaspoon chili powder
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 small onion, halved
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 cup old fashioned, rolled oats
- 1–14 ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed, divided (about 2 cups cooked black beans)
- Buns and toppings
- Preheat oven to 325°. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a food processor, pulse together the pumpkin puree, olive oil, chili powder, garlic cloves, onion, cumin, salt, oats, and half of the black beans until mostly smooth. You might have to scrape the sides a few times to get it really blended together.
- Add in the remaining black beans, and pulse until just slightly chopped.
- Form the mixture into four large patties. The mixture will be soft, so wet hands with help to keep it from sticking while you form the patties.
- Place the patties on the prepared baking sheet and bake in preheated oven for 40-45 minutes, or until the top of the patties look golden brown and are beginning to crack.
- Serve on buns topped with your favorite burger toppings.