Pumpkin season is officially in full swing. (Finally!) And while pumpkin recipes can go down the wrong food path pretty quickly (think sugary lattes and pies), there are also plenty of ways to eat this winter squash in a super nutritious way.
We’re talking gluten-free pumpkin burritos to caramelized onion and pumpkin pizza and vegan pumpkin balls that double as breakfast or cocktail party fare.
And the nutrition you’re getting from this gourd includes vitamin A and antioxidant carotenoids, which are good for vision and cancer prevention, says Jocelyn Weiss, a holistic health coach with a PhD in Epidemiology and the blogger behind An Unprocessed Life.
“Pumpkin is also a rich source of fiber, potassium, and vitamin C,” she adds, “so it’s also helpful in keeping you satiated, recover after a hard workout, and keeping your immune system strong.”
Here are eight delish, healthy recipes from food bloggers we love that will make you want to carve into your favorite fall staple. —Molly Gallagher
(Photo: My Darling Lemon Thyme)
Eleanor Ozich’s blog, the Petite Kitchen, focuses on recipes that are free of grains, sugar, additives, and preservatives, like this yummy one-pot pumpkin bake. The recipe calls for zucchini, carrots, Parmesan, and mozzarella, but you can easily sub in dairy-free cheese or “whatever vegetables you have on hand,” says Ozich on her blog.
Visit Petite Kitchen for the full recipe.
(Photo: Petite Kitchen)
Jocelyn Weiss, PhD, and the author of An Unprocessed Life, loves this pumpkin-pie-inspired smoothie (hey, we said no actual pie) for its awesome nutritional and health benefits (take that pumpkin spiced latte). “The half cup of pumpkin included in this recipe contains all of your daily recommended vitamin A and a rich source of carotenoids, which help protect your vision,” says Weiss.
Visit An Unprocessed Life for the full recipe.
(Photo: An Unprocessed Life)
Typical pumpkin bars are filled with butter, sugar…and more butter. But these are made with oats and protein-packed almond butter…meaning you could just as easily pack them for a nutrient-packed breakfast as you could munch on them for dessert, says Jordan Younger of The Balanced Blonde (who also just came out with an app loaded with delicious recipes and a feature that lets you make a shopping list from the recipes). “I make these for my family every holiday season and they swoon over them,” she says.
Visit The Balanced Blonde for the full recipe.
(Photo: The Balanced Blonde)
Among the fall plant-based and sugar-free recipes featured on Dearna Bond’s blog To Her Core is this show-stopper pumpkin pizza. In addition to roasted pumpkin, it’s topped with spinach, carmelized onion, and homemade tomato sauce (um, yum). “It’s the perfect tasty comfort food leading into cooler months,” she says. “Roasting the pumpkin and caramelizing the onion takes a little extra time but adds such a great depth of flavor to the pizza that it’s totally worth it.”
Visit To Her Core for the full recipe.
(Photo: To Her Core)
If quinoa salad is your go-to packable lunch, then a) can I meet you for lunch? And b) this seasonal recipe is perfect for you. Emma Galloway, of My Darling Lemon Thyme, makes her fall quinoa salad with roasted pumpkin, fresh mint, and coriander leaves, which add lots of delicious flavor—and wow-factor color on the plate.
Visit My Darling Lemon Thyme for the full recipe.
(Photo: My Darling Lemon Thyme)
“These work wonderfully as a pre-yoga snack or quick grab-and-go breakfast in the morning,” says Cassandra Bodzak, the creator of Go Sweet and Skinny. The flax and cashews provide healthy sources of fat from their omega-3 essential fatty acids and oleic acid (a healthy fat also found in olive oil). They pack well and look pretty on a holiday tray.
Visit Go Sweet and Skinny for the full recipe.
(Photo: Go Sweet and Skinny)
“I love a good wrap, but sometimes a collard leaf just does not cut it—or the gluten-laden kinds,” says Elenore Bendel Zahn, on her blog, Earth Sprout. So instead, she created a gluten-free wrap made with buckwheat flour and brown rice flour, for her vegetarian pumpkin burrito, which gets its delish, savory flavor from turmeric to cinnamon and cardamom.
Visit Earth Sprout for the full recipe.
(Photo: Earth Sprout)
This story just wouldn’t be complete without a pumpkin bread. (Don’t you agree?) And Danielle Walker’s beats out the ones you might be seeing in your local cafe this time of year. “This gluten-free pumpkin bread tastes and feels like the real thing and it’s also free of grains, nuts, dairy, and coconut,” she explains on her site, Against All Grain. (Maybe you send this recipe to the person on Thanksgiving dessert duty this year?)
Visit Against All Grain for the full recipe.
(Photo: Against All Grain)