Thanks to their newfound superfood status, pumpkins will be spending less time on the front porch and more time in recipes and on dinner menus this fall. Plus, they’re amazingly versatile – pureed, mashed or cubed, baked, chilled or sautéed, pumpkin’s mildly sweet taste can get even sweeter or be savory, depending on how you spice it.
Health Benefits of Pumpkin
A 1/2-cup serving of pumpkin gives you immune-boosting vitamins and nutrients, including alpha carotene and beta carotene, vitamin C, iron and vitamin A. A diet high in carotenoids can lower the risk of breast cancer. And beta cryptoxanthin, a carotenoid that’s particularly plentiful in pumpkin, may help protect against lung cancer. It also defends against joint-destroying rheumatoid arthritis. The carotenoid antioxidants (lutein and beta cryptoxanthin) in pumpkin also promote healthy vision and may reduce the risk of age-related cataracts and sight-stealing macular degeneration. Pumpkin is also a great source of potassium, which keeps your cells, nerves, and muscles running smoothly – healthy potassium levels help keep blood pressure in check and can lower the odds of stroke and heart disease.
Pumpkin is also a low-calorie filling snack: half a cup of Libby’s canned 100 percent pumpkin puree packs contains five grams of fiber (20 percent of the recommended daily intake) for only 40 calories. (In comparison, a slice of whole-wheat bread has two grams of fiber and 70 calories.)
Go for the gourd! Enjoy this clinically-curated and health-approved recipe featuring pumpkin chocolate chip muffins.
Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins
Serves 14 | Serving Size: 1 muffin |
Total Prep + Cook Time: 45 minutes Ingredients
2 Tbsp ground flaxseed
5 Tbsp water 2 ½ cups old fashioned oats (toasted and ground)
¾ cup old fashioned oats (toasted)
1 1 /8 cups pumpkin puree
1/3 cup honey or agave
¾ cup unsweetened almond milk
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp real maple syrup
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
3 ½ tsp pumpkin pie spice
½ cup dairy-free chocolate chips
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
2. Mix ground flaxseed and water in a large bowl. Let rest for 5 minutes.
3. Place oats on a baking sheet and toast until lightly browned, stirring once, about 4 to 6 minutes. Let cool to room temperature.
4. Place 2½ cups of oats in a food processor and pulse until a coarse flour-like texture.
5. Combine flaxseed mixture, pumpkin puree, honey, almond milk, lemon juice, maple syrup and vanilla. 6. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
7. Add ground and unground oats to wet ingredients and let sit for 10-20 minutes for oats to soften.
8. Add baking powder, baking soda, salt and pumpkin pie spice, and mix until just incorporated. Fold in chocolate chips.
9. Scoop batter into a muffin tin lined with 14 muffin wrappers, and fill about seven-eighths full.
10. Bake at 350 degrees F for 23-25 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
11. Let pan cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes, then remove muffins from tin using a dull knife to loosen the edges if needed.
154 calories, 4.5g fat, 2g sat fat, 0mg cholesterol, 149mg sodium, 27g carbohydrates, 3g fiber, 12g sugar, 3.5g protein, 45% DV vitamin A, 10% DV iron
cholesterol free, good source of fiber and iron, high in vitamin A
This recipe was adapted by Rachel Vincent, RD, LDN, from Bren Did, Minimalist Baker.