Let's face it – the fall season is all about the pumpkins. This "lord of the gourds" is one of the most versatile foods around, offering both sweet and savory flavors as well as a smooth texture that works wonderfully in a staggering array of applications. And pumpkin is no slouch in the nutrition department, either – it's loaded with Vitamin C, fiber and potassium, and it acts as a natural appetite suppressant as well. If you're looking for creative ways to use pumpkin in your health-conscious dishes, below is a roundup of 8 healthy pumpkin recipes just in time for the fall season.
1. Pumpkin Spice Smoothie
Nowadays you can "smoothie-fy" practically anything, including the beloved pumpkin. What's so great about this particular concoction is that it features one of the most coveted fall flavors – pumpkin spice – in a nutrient-dense beverage that won't leave you feeling jittery. PopSugar offers the simple recipe for this wonderful fall-themed smoothie.
2. Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bran Muffins
This mouth-watering recipe combines the antioxidant power of pumpkin along with the fiber-rich goodness of bran muffins, topped
3. Pumpkin Butter Puff Pastry Ravioli
Who knew that just four simple ingredients (plus water) can transform into a bite-sized, low-calorie treat that perfectly complements a cup of coffee or tea? This easy-to-make dessert offers a rich, buttery taste (hence the name), along with a delicate balance of flavors that is simply hard to beat. Head over to Lemons for Lulu to get the recipe.
4. Ginger Chocolate Crunch Pumpkin Pie
This pumpkin pie is crustless (hey, we gotta sacrifice the calories somewhere), but you won't even miss it when you taste how the pumpkin interacts with the insanely scrumptious gingersnap-and-chocolate topping. You can get the easy instructions for this mouth-watering recipe over at Eating Well.
5. Gluten-Free Pumpkin Spice Waffles
Oat flour is an often-overlooked baking ingredient, but it's an excellent choice for making gluten-free concoctions such as these to-die-for pumpkin spice waffles. If you're a little concerned about working with oat flour, don't be – all you need are some old-fashioned oats and a regular blender, and you can whip up these wonderful waffles with ease. Get the recipe from Cookie and Kate's blog.
6. Pumpkin Hummus
This flavorful pumpkin hummus recipe makes an excellent fall-inspired dip for pita chips or crackers, and it even works well as a spread in soft pitas. It has a warm, "fall-ish" taste and is quite savory, but you can feel free to add a little extra "kick" with cayenne pepper and/or paprika if you wish.
7. Instant Pumpkin Ice Cream
Is it even possible for one recipe to contain so much goodness? Comprised of just five wholesome ingredients, this instant pumpkin ice cream recipe is loaded with potassium and powerful antioxidants. To top it all off, a one-cup serving of this cool concoction contains less than one gram of fat! Visit Against All Grain to get the lowdown on how to prepare this fall-themed frozen treat.
8. Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins
True indeed, the Starbucks version of this tasty treat is a caloric cluster bomb, but if you use this recipe, you can shave off at least 100 calories while reducing the amount of sugar,