Healthy Pumpkin Recipes

Pumpkins are a very versatile vegetable, and one that's packed full of flavour. Pumpkin extract is linked with helping those with diabetes, and pumpkin seeds have loads of good proteins, zinc and magnesium, and may help to lower cholesterol.

Pumpkins are commonly used on thanksgiving, and can be bought in store pureed in a can. You can also make this puree at home yourself, by scooping out the flesh of a pumpkin, boiling it and then putting it in your blender.

Pumpkin Pancakes for a Healthy Breakfast

Pumpkin is the perfect fall ingredient, and you can add it to all sorts of recipes to add flavour and great nutritional benefits. Did you know that a serving of cooked pumpkin contains about 245% of your recommended daily allowance of Vitamin A?

Including more of this delicious vegetable whilst they are fully available is great for your health, and it's also an easy veg to grow yourself and store for use over the winter months.

Pumpkin Brownies
Pumpkin and chocolate may seem like an odd combination, but the sweetness of the pumpkin really compliments the bitterness of cocoa.

 - Melt 4oz dark or plain chocolate in a bowl over simmering water. Leave to one side to cool slightly.
 - In a large mixing bowl, combine 1 can (or 2 cups fresh homemade) pumpkin puree, 1 cup applesauce, 2/3 cup yogurt, 1Tbsp vanilla extract and 1 cup raw sugar. Stir in the melted chocolate.
 - In another bowl, sift together 1 1/2 cups buckwheat or spelt flour, 1/2 cup cocoa powder, 1 tsp baking powder, 2 Tbsp mixed spice and 1/2 tsp sea salt.
 - Whisk the dry ingredients into the wet, until completely smooth.
 - Spread the mix onto a greased baking dish, and smooth over the top.
 - Bake for about 1 hour at 350f/180c, until the sides of the brownie have come away from the side of the dish.
 - Cool for 15 minutes, then turn out, slice and eat!

Pumpkin Bread
For a delicious breakfast or snack recipe that is perfect for fall, try out this yummy pumpkin bread recipe.

 - Preheat the oven to 350f/180c.
 - Sift together 1 1/2 cups flour (a combination of buckwheat and quinoa flour tastes wonderful), 1/2 tsp sea salt, 1 tsp baking soda, 1/2 tsp nutmeg, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp ground ginger and a pinch of cloves.
 - In a blender, add 1 1/2 cups pumpkin puree, 1/4 cup coconut oil or butter, 3 Tbsp flaxseed meal,  1/3 cup warm water, 1/2 cup agave nectar, 2 Tbsp applesauce. Whizz until smooth.
 - Mix the liquid into the dry ingredients, and stir until just combined.
 - Pour into a greased loaf tin, and sprinkle a few walnuts on top, if you wish.
 - Bake for 45 minutes, or until a knife comes out clean.
 - Cool in tin for 15 minutes, then turn out and leave to cool completely before slicing with a serrated knife.

Curried Pumpkin and Coconut Soup
A delicious and warming soup, with plenty of good fats and chili heat to boost your immune system.

 - Heat a few tablespoons of coconut oil in a large saucepan on a low heat.
 - Stir in 1 diced onion and 1 minced garlic clove, and cook for 5 minutes until the onion is translucent.
 - Mix in 3 cups of vegetable stock, and 2 cups diced fresh pumpkin. Then stir in 1 tsp curry powder, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp ground coriander and 1/4 tsp dried chili flakes.
 - Cook at a gentle boil for about 10 minutes, then add a lid, reduce the temperature and simmer for 20 minutes more.
 - Whisk in 1/2 can (or one small tin) coconut milk, and cook for a further 5 minutes.
 - Place ingredients in a blender, or use a good stick blender to process until smooth.

Roasted Pumpkin Brown Rice Risotto
A simple brown rice risotto with roasted pumpkin is easy, creamy and packed full of flavour.

 - Cut half a pumpkin into large chunks, and place on a baking tray with 2 smashed garlic cloves, salt and pepper and a drizzle of olive oil. Bake at 250f/180c until tender. Remove from the oven, and let cool, then peel and chop up into small cubes.
 - Place 4 cups vegetable broth and 3 cups water in a saucepan over a medium heat, and bring to a simmer. Keep hot in this pan, whilst you continue the following instructions.
 - In a large saucepan, heat 2 Tbsp butter or coconut oil, and add 1 finely diced red onion. Cook until tender, or about 2 minutes.
 - Add 1 large handful of sliced mushrooms, and 2 finely diced garlic cloves. Stir all the time, and cook for 3 minutes.
 - Pour in 1/2 cup of white wine, and cook until the liquid has evaporated.
 - Rinse 1 1/4 cups uncooked short grain brown rice, and then add to the pan, cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly.
 - Stir in 1 cup of the hot broth, and cook until most of the liquid has absorbed. Continue adding 1/2 cupfuls of stock, until there is only a cupful left.
 - Add the pumpkin, and then continue to add the last 2 lots of 1/2 cups.
 - Add in salt, pepper, a little Parmesan cheese (or nutritional yeast), 2 Tbsp fresh basil and 1tsp dried oregano.

Check out our healthy pumpkin pie recipe on the thanksgiving recipes page, and decide what pumpkin recipe you'll add to your thanksgiving menu this year.

For more interesting pumpkin recipes, see:

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