Today I’m sharing 7 of my favourite, healthy pumpkin recipes with you to keep you inspired this pumpkin season!
Pumpkins are traditionally harvested in Autumn through to early winter. In the U.S. and Canada this coincides with Halloween and Thanksgiving which means pumpkin season is often associated with jack-o-lanterns, pumpkin pie, and all things pumpkin spice!
Here in NZ we have a number of different varieties of pumpkin, many of which are available all year round. But we do tend to eat pumpkins mainly in the colder months which means lots of warming soups, vegetable bakes and pumpkin pie lattes.
Despite finding pumpkins in the vegetable section of the supermarket, these winter squash are in fact classified as a fruit because they contain seeds in their centre. But unlike most common fruits, pumpkins are nowhere near as sweet because they contain barely any fructose at all.
Pumpkins are considered a fibre-rich carbohyrdate made up mostly of water, as such they only contain a minimal amount of protein and fat.
Their nutritional value mainly comes from their high vitamin A content in the form of beta-carotene, a carotenoid that gives them their orange colour. Beta-carotene converts to vitamin A in the body and helps maintain healthy skin and eyes. Beta-carotene is also an important disease preventing antioxidant that aids in the repair of oxidative stress. Pumpkins are also abundant in vitamins C and E, potassium, riboflavin, copper, and manganese.
So without further ado, here are my top 7 pumpkin recipes that you need to make this pumpkin season:
Pumpkin & Kumara Soup with Spiced Cauliflower & Popped Lentils
Starting off this pumpkin recipe round up is this beautifully thick and creamy Pumpkin & Kumara Soup. This soup is full of amazing spices such as turmeric, ginger, cinnamon and garlic, which mean it’s deliciously warming while also providing some powerful anti-inflammatory, calming and restorative qualities.
The secret to the amazing texture of this soup is all in the cooking. By using roasted pumpkin and kumara (sweet potato) you create the perfect base for a super smooth, thick soup. It also means it’s very filling while still very light on the digestion because it’s made simply of blended vegetables.
Oven roasted, crunchy, spiced cauliflower and popped lentil toppings provide a delicious contrast in texture, as well as an element of plant protein to this vegan, grain, and sugar free recipe, which also happens to be 10 Day Sugar Cleanse approved.
Caramelised Pumpkin Pancakes
If you’re a pumpkin pie lover then you’ll adore these Pumpkin Pancakes! They have such a lovely soft texture with a sweet caramelised, pumpkin pie flavour. Best of all, you’d never guess they’re sweetened solely with pumpkin!
The secret to their natural caramel flavour is cooking them in coconut oil which gives the pumpkin a caramel-like quality. Add a little ginger and cinnamon to the mix and you have some seriously addictive pumpkin pie pancakes that will fast become a favourite.
I like using butternut squash for this recipe because it has a lovely light flavour and can be much easier to cut than some of the larger varieties of pumpkin. But there really isn’t much difference between a squash and a pumpkin so these pancakes can easily be made with either.
When I created these pumpkin pancakes I wanted a Sugar Cleanse approved recipe, so these pancakes are dairy, grain and sugar free. They’re also perfect for anyone who doesn’t like bananas or can’t eat other kinds of fruit sweetened pancakes.
Roast Pumpkin & Lentil Spinach Salad with a Lemon Chilli Dressing
This was one of the first recipes I created after going completely plant based. Changing my diet inspired me to get more creative in the kitchen, particularly at dinner time, and this Pumpkin and Lentil Salad was the first of my creations that got the thumbs up from my not-so-plant based husband!
This salad combines sweet caramelized pumpkin with nutty brown lentils and a zesty chilli dressing. Best of all, it’s unbelievably easy to whip up! The hardest part is cutting open the pumpkin, from there all you need to do is roast the pumpkin, make the dressing and toss it all together.
You can serve this pumpkin and lentil salad warm or chilled, and it makes the most delicious leftovers. I love prepping a batch at the start of the week so we have lunch/dinner sorted for a couple days, because it’s so great being able to reach into the fridge and find something delicious all ready to eat.
Pumpkin Pie Granola
Pumpkin season definitely can’t go past without a jar full of this wholesome Pumpkin Pie Granola on the breakfast table! A delicious combination of oats, cashews and pecans, combined with pumpkin pie spices, pure maple syrup and golden roasted pumpkin.
Because pumpkin is the main sweetener in this granola it’s a lot lower in sugars than regular granolas, and is naturally packed full of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and fibre. If you can’t tolerate oats simply swap them for another grain or pseudo grain such as quinoa flakes or buckwheat groats.
Serve this crunchy granola with a dash of milk and dollop of your favourite yogurt, sprinkle it over smoothie bowls or ice cream, or simply eat it by the handful like a trail mix.
Pumpkin & Red Lentil Coconut Curry
This Pumpkin & Red Lentil Coconut Curry is still one of my go-to, made from scratch weeknight meals. You can whip it up in under 30 minutes and it makes fabulous leftovers for lunch the next day.
It’s completely plant based, gluten/grain, dairy & sugar free, and also just happens to be one of the recipes from the Plant Based Menu in the 10 Day Sugar Cleanse program.
Even though this curry only takes 30 minutes to make, it doesn’t call for any curry paste or store bought sauces. Instead it’s simply a clever combination of fresh vegetables, herbs and spices, and the red lentils make it deliciously thick and creamy while providing a source of plant based protein.
You can adapt this curry to be as spicy or mild as you like with the amount of fresh chillies you add, and likewise, feel free to adapt the vegetables to whatever you have in season or to hand.
Pumpkin Pie Spice Peanut Butter Fudge
A pumpkin recipe roundup wouldn’t be complete without a velvety smooth, no bake fudge recipe!
This moreish Pumpkin Pie Spice Peanut Butter Fudge is packed full of warming pumpkin pie spices with subtle hints of peanut butter, and you’d never guess it’s sweetened solely with pumpkin and rice syrup.
It might just be the easiest fudge you’ll ever make, once you’ve made (or bought) the pumpkin puree, it’s simply a case of combining the remaining ingredients in a blender, pouring it into a tin and then into the fridge to set.
This low sugar fudge recipe is vegan and gluten free, making it the perfect Autumn/Fall treat.
Pumpkin Pie Custard Squares
When the creamy custard filling of a pumpkin pie meets a blondie, this is the result!
A silky smooth custard slice with just a hint of pumpkin spice, it’s hard to believe these treats are sweetened only with pumpkin puree with no additional sweeteners. They’re also gluten and grain free, and vegan.
Find the recipe for these sugar free pumpkin pie custard squares in my Inspired Desserts e-book – Whole Food Sweeteners Edition, which you can download for FREE here.
That sums up my round up of the 7 best healthy pumpkin recipes you need to make this Autumn or Fall. I hope you enjoy them and be sure to leave me a comment below and tell me which of these 7 low sugar pumpkin recipes you’ll be making first!