5 Healthy Pumpkin Dishes that Are Absolutely Delicious

Pumpkin is a food often considered as nothing more than an ingredient used in pumpkin pie and something to carve spooky faces into during the month of October. Pumpkins have so much more to offer. It’s time to give this food the credit it deserves. These orange beauties are actually one of the best things a person can eat for a plethora of different reasons. Pumpkins contain many vitamins and minerals that are vital in a healthy diet. They are high in vitamin A, folate, magnesium, dietary fiber, phosphorus, vitamin C and potassium. That’s a lot of goodness packed into one food; pumpkin also adds a unique and special flavor to many different dishes.

Vitamin A assists in bone growth and strengthens the immune system; it also contributes to reproductive health. Folate has been proven to aid in heart health, keep the brain functioning properly and even fighting off depression. Magnesium is a natural energy booster, aids in digestion and has even been shown to assist in preventing migraine headaches. Dietary fiber is great for keeping things regular, while phosphorus assists in keeping bones and teeth strong and healthy. Vitamin C is another immune system booster that is also great for lowering hypertension and the risk of stroke. Potassium enhances muscle strength, contributes to heart health and regulates metabolism.

Not only are pumpkins packed with good-for-you nutrients, they are low in saturated fat, sodium and cholesterol. Did we mention they taste absolutely divine when used in the right recipes? The following healthy pumpkin recipes are sure to please the tastebuds of everyone at the table. Pass the pumpkin!

Homemade pumpkin cream soup with garlic croutons. A rustic style. Selective focus

 

Pumpkin Soup With Parmesan Croutons

There aren’t many things more satisfying than a bowl of hot soup on a chilly day. When the weather outside is frightful, a piping hot pumpkin dish can be quite a delightful reprieve. This soup is hearty, creamy and as good for the body as it is for the soul.

Serve with seasonal fruit or warm whole grain bread for an extra satisfying meal everyone in the family is sure to savor. This soup is quick, easy and as healthy as can be. Make this soup for dinner tonight to fight off pesky fall colds and enjoy a meal for the books. Bon apetit!

Recipe

Soup

1 medium butternut squash, rind and seeds removed, cut into 3 centimeter chunks

1 tablespoon coconut oil

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1 large brown onion

3 cloves of garlic

400 ml can of coconut milk

3 centimeter piece of ginger, minced

1 ½  teaspoon ground or fresh turmeric

3 sage leaves

Parmesan Croutons

3 pieces day-old whole grain or gluten free bread, chopped into 1 centimeter cubes

¼ cup Parmesan cheese

2 tablespoons olive oil

sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper, to season

Preparation

Prep time is approximately 15 minutes. Cooking time is 40 minutes.

To make soup:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Place pumpkin chunks onto a baking tray and drizzle with coconut oil, salt and pepper. Roast for 40 minutes. In the last 20 minutes add the onion and garlic to the baking tray. Cook until pumpkin is soft and onions and garlic have caramelized.
  3. Add the roasted vegetables and the remaining ingredients of the soup into a large pot on low-medium heat. Using a stick blender, puree until smooth. If soup is too thick, add a dash of water or stock to thin and blend again. Taste and adjust salt and pepper if needed.
  4. Once soup has been heated through, serve among 4-6 bowls, topped with the Parmesan croutons (recipe below).

To make the Parmesan Croutons:

  1. Toss all ingredients for the croutons together in a bowl.
  1. Place on baking tray and bake in the oven for 10 minutes, flipping after 5 minutes, until crispy.

Recipe Source [1]

Vegetarian food: pumpkin curry on a plate close-up. Horizontal top view

Pumpkin Curry

There’s something about a good curry that’s just plain intoxicating in the best of ways. It could be the spices that come together in curry, performing a dance perfectly choreographed for eager taste buds. Maybe it’s the healthy vegetables often packed inside. It could also come from the satisfying delight of consuming a stellar meal that’s also doing good things for one’s health.

Whatever it is that makes curry so scrumptious, this popular dinner dish is made even better when pumpkin is added. The following recipe is one of those that will quickly become a favorite. It is quick, easy, filling and oh-so-good for you. Make it tonight for a meal that won’t disappoint.

Recipe

Ingredients

2 teaspoons turmeric powder

1 teaspoon cumin powder

½ teaspoon coriander powder

¼ teaspoon garam masala

⅛ teaspoon black pepper, ground

1 and ½ inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and grated (or ¼ teaspoon ground ginger)

1 and ½ teaspoon unrefined salt (divided)

2 pounds chicken thighs (cut into bite-sized pieces)

2 tablespoons coconut oil or ghee (divided)

½ medium onion, chopped

4 cups pumpkin (peeled, deseeded, and cubed into 1½ inch pieces)

2 carrots sliced

1 and ½ cups homemade broth

1 cup full fat coconut milk

2 cups packed greens, chopped (spinach, bok choy, tatsoi, and chard work best as they cook fast)

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

fresh cilantro for garnish

Preparation

Prep time is approximately 20 minutes. Cooking time is 18-20 minutes.

  1. Combine turmeric, coriander, cumin, garam masala, 1 teaspoon salt and grated ginger in a small bowl. Set aside.

  2. Sprinkle the remaining ½ teaspoon of salt over the chopped chicken pieces and toss to coat. Heat 1 tablespoon of coconut oil or ghee in a large pot over medium high heat and sauté chicken until no longer pink on the inside (about 10 minutes). Sprinkle on half of the spice mixture and cook another minute, until fragrant. Remove chicken from pot and set aside.

  3. In the same pot, heat the remaining tablespoon of coconut oil or ghee over medium heat. Sauté chopped onion until translucent. Add the remaining spices and cook another minute until spices are fragrant. Throw in pumpkin and carrots and toss to coat. Then pour in broth and coconut milk. Bring to boil, then turn down heat and allow to simmer until pumpkin is fork tender but not mushy: about 18-20 minutes.

  4. Add chopped greens and cooked chicken and cook another 2-3 minutes; until greens are wilted. Turn off heat and add lemon juice. Adjust for salt, pepper, and lemon to taste.

  1. Garnish with fresh cilantro and serve.

Recipe Source [2]

Pumpkin Protein Pancake

Pancakes have long been a breakfast staple. Not only are they satisfying and relatively easy to make, they are one of those foods that can be dressed up in so many different ways. It’s always an adventure to decide what to top pancakes with. These pancakes are great paired with nuts, fat free yogurt and honey, carob chips and are even scrumptious when eaten plain.

The following recipe contains plenty of pumpkin to make these pancakes the perfect choice for a fall or winter breakfast. These hotcakes are also full of protein, making them a great way to start a busy day. Protein has staying power and helps keep the body full longer, preventing the urge to grab an unhealthy snack mid-day or overdo it at lunch. This recipe is a complete meal that would even work for lunch or dinner. Another reason this recipe takes the cake? The spices in these babies will make any kitchen smell like a little slice of heaven. Enjoy!

Recipe

Ingredients

½ cup pumpkin puree

¼ teaspoon nutmeg

⅛ teaspoon cardamom

2 cups Gluten Free rolled oats

12 large egg whites

2 cups low fat cottage cheese

2 teaspoons cinnamon

Preparation

Prep time is approximately 10 minutes.

  1. Heat a skillet to medium high heat and spray with nonstick cooking spray.
  1. Add all ingredients to a food processor or blender and blend until mixed thoroughly.
  1. Scoop ¼ cup of the batter onto the skillet to form a pancake.
  1. Cook until small bubbles begin to appear; use a small spatula to flip. Cook another 2-3 minutes.
  1. Remove promptly from the skillet and place on a cooling rack while repeating the process for remaining batter.

Store in the refrigerator up to a week or freeze up to a month.

Recipe Source [3]

Seafood Pumpkin Spaghetti Squash Pasta

The fact has now been firmly established that pumpkin is good for the body as well as the soul. Two other foods that are packed with amazing flavors, along with a long list of vitamins and minerals are scallops and spaghetti squash. These three power-foods come together in the following recipe for a seafood pasta dream that will quite possibly become an instant favorite of all who partake.

Scallops are one of those wonderful proteins that are low in calories and fat. In fact, one three ounce serving of scallops is only 95 calories. They are also full of potassium and magnesium. Yes, they are super healthy, but it’s their dynamite flavor and unbelievable texture that make them one of the stars of this dish.

Spaghetti squash is high in fiber and contains plenty of the vitamins A and C. It also contains potassium and calcium. One using this superfood in place of traditional pasta may find it even more satisfying and satiating than it’s carby alternative. Savor this dish on a crisp fall or winter evening. This recipe is sure to warm anyone who consumes it from the inside out.

Recipe

Ingredients

For the Spaghetti Squash Pasta

1 medium size spaghetti squash

sea salt

1 tablespoon olive oil

baking pan

For the Asian pumpkin sauce

1 tablespoon ghee

1 teaspoon minced garlic (2 small cloves)

1 cup pumpkin puree

1/3 cup coconut cream

2 tablespoon gluten free miso paste

½  teaspoon chili powder or cayenne pepper

2-3 tablespoons of broth to thin out

ground black pepper to taste

herbs to garnish

For the scallops

8 medium scallops, thawed and cleaned.

1 tablespoon olive oil or ghee

Preparation

Prep time is 10 minutes. Cooking time is 40 minutes

Squash Noodles

1.Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

2. Cut spaghetti squash horizontally into small ringlets. Use a heavy chef’s knife to do so. (Ringlets should be around 1-2 inches in width)

3. Scoop out the seeds. Salt squash (generously) and wait 15 minutes. This brines the squash to remove excess water before roasting.

4. After 15 minutes, rinse off the salt. 5. Place squash rings on

5. Place squash rings on baking tray and drizzle with olive oil or avocado oil. Roast in oven for about 30-35 minutes or until skin is more tender.

6. Remove from oven. Set aside to cool.

Sauce

  1. Place garlic and oil in a saucepan on medium low until it starts to pop (around 2-3 minutes).
  1. Add in pumpkin, coconut cream, miso and spices. If too thick, add in a few tablespoons of broth to thin out.
  1. Mix and simmer for 10 minutes.
  1. Add fresh black pepper last. Taste and adjust. More seasoning, salt, etc. if desired.

While sauce is simmering, cook scallops.

Scallops

  1. Place 1 or 2 tablespoons olive oil or ghee in a frying pan on medium heat.
  1. Add cleaned scallops.
  1. Sear for 5-6 minutes on medium to medium high, flipping a few times. Scallops will brown and will no longer be opaque. If they start to crack, that means that are overcooked. It’s better to cook 5-7 minutes max then remove from heat. They continue to cook once removed from heat.

Place it all together

  1. Remove the peel from each spaghetti squash ringlet and pull out the strings from center. Place into a bowl. Strings should be attached in longer circle. Next separate the strands into pasta strands.
  1. Add 1 more tablespoon of olive oil to bowl and toss together. If pasta is cold, place in microwave safe dish and reheat for 45 seconds.
  2. 3Place spaghetti squash pasta into bowls.
  1. 4Spoon 1/3 cup or more pumpkin sauce on top, then add scallops.
  2. Garnish with basil or herbs of choice.

Recipe Source [4]

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

Noshing on cookies is one of those pastimes that brings people together. When the cookies contain pumpkin, the experience is bound to be even sweeter. Those making a concerted effort to avoid foods that aren’t exceptionally healthy in every way will be delighted to find the following recipe is a delectable one that can be enjoyed sans guilt. No need to sabotage a healthy diet in order to munch on some sensational treats that rival any other dessert recipe.

Not only are these cookies low in calories and free of ingredients that could be detrimental to one’s health, they contain a hearty helping of powerful pumpkin. Taking a bite of these cookies is great for your health. Dig in; have another. They’re for your own good.

Recipe

Ingredients

2 large eggs

½ cup pumpkin or squash pulp cooked and well drained (If mixing by hand, mashed)

½ teaspoon maple flavoring

1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

2 cups natural chicory root sweetener or 1 ½  cups raw honey

1 cup coconut butter (If mixing by hand, soften it first by placing the container in a lukewarm water bath)

1 cup almond meal or flour

3 tablespoons arrowroot flour

½ teaspoon unprocessed salt

1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice

1 ½ cups coarsely chopped nuts of choice (if desired)

1 cup frozen cacao organic dark chocolate baking chips, unsweetened. Leave chips in the freezer until you add them.

Preparation

Prep time is approximately 25 minutes. Baking time is 18 to 20 minutes.

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  1. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  1. In a food processor or mixing bowl, add the wet ingredients: eggs, pumpkin, maple, vanilla, sweetener. Mix well to liquefy completely. Add coconut butter and mix well again until smooth.
  2. To the ingredients in the food processor, add the dry ingredients: almond meal, arrowroot, salt, and pumpkin pie spice. Mix well. If the dough starts to fall apart, add a bit more arrowroot or almond meal until the dough is fairly cohesive. Pulse in the chopped nuts very briefly so they’re in large pieces.
  3. Place the dough in a bowl and chill to firm up for about 15 minutes, no longer, or it will be hard to stir in the chips. Remove from the refrigerator and stir in the frozen chips.
  4. Spoon 1-inch rounds on the cookie sheets. These cookies don’t spread, so spacing them quite close is fine. Grease palms with coconut oil and press balls of batter flat with hands. Try to place the chips on the insides of the cookies, so they don’t melt all over the tray.
  5. Bake 18 to 20 minutes, until just barely brown on the edges. Remove from the oven, let cool on the pan and enjoy!

Recipe Source [5]

If you want to know what foods will help you restore your natural vitality and get slim and stay slim, then check out the Best Foods That Rapidly Slim & Heal In 7 Days program.

 

References:

[1] Pumpkin Soup with Parmesan Croutons: https://iquitsugar.com/recipe/anti-inflammatory-pumpkin-soup/

[2] Pumpkin Curry: http://www.savorylotus.com/pumpkin-curry/

[3] Protein Pumpkin Pancakes: http://skinnyfitalicious.com/pumpkin-protein-pancakes/

[4] Seafood Pumpkin Spaghetti Squash Pasta :  http://www.cottercrunch.com/seafood-pumpkin-spaghetti-squash-pasta/

[5] Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies: http://janeshealthykitchen.com/paleo-pumpkin-chocolate-chip-cookies/

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