7 Healthy Pumpkin Recipes You Need To Make This Autumn/Fall

7 Healthy Pumpkin Recipes You Need To Make This Autumn/Fall

Photo by Jasmine Coro on Unsplash

 

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 Crunchy Cauliflower & Popped Lentils

 

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.

 

Pumpkin Pancakes

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.

 

7 Pumpkin Recipes You Need To Make This Fall

 

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.

 

7 Pumpkin Recipes You Need To Make This Fall

 

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

 

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.

 

7 Pumpkin Recipes You Need To Make This Fall

 

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.

 

7 Pumpkin Recipes You Need To Make This Fall

 

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!

Enjoy!

Inspired Desserts E-Book

Whole Food Sweeteners Edition

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Pumpkin & Kumara Soup with Spiced Cauliflower & Popped Lentils (Vegan/Gluten Free)

Pumpkin & Kumara Soup with Spiced Cauliflower & Popped Lentils (Vegan/Gluten Free)

Roast Pumpkin & Kumara Soup

 

How To Create A Really Thick, Creamy Soup

I created this Roast Pumpkin & Kumara Soup one evening after being inspired by a deliciously thick soup I’d had at a local cafe. The soup was so thick you could literally stand a spoon up in it, which got me thinking about how I could replicate it.

To create a really thick soup the obvious choice are vegetables such a pumpkin or squash (even though they’re technically a fruit) and kumara aka sweet potato.

Lately I’ve been enjoying these vegetables baked whole in the oven. I like this method of cooking because it doesn’t require any oil and all the vegetables nutrients are retained (not lost in cooking water). Best of all, they caramelise ever so slightly and develop a beautiful, rich flavour.

Using this cooking method seemed like the perfect way to create a really thick soup. Once the vegetables are baked simply blend them with a little liquid and some seasonings, and the soup is ready to eat!

 

Why Soup Is So Fantastic

Soup really is an allrounder meal that can be enjoyed any time of the year, but is especially delicious on a cold day as it warms you from the inside out!

Although soup is usually served for lunch or dinner, there’s no reason why you can’t enjoy this soup at breakfast too, as you would Vietnamese pho or Japanese miso.

Soup is really easy to make (at least all my recipes are ;)) and you almost always end up with leftovers/rollovers, which means lunch and dinner is sorted for days. And while soups are very filling and nourishing, they’re also light enough that your digestion will love you for it.

 

Roast Pumpkin & Kumara Soup

 

My Favourite Soup Recipes

Some of my all time favourite soup recipes on here to date are: Creamy Spinach & Root Vegetable Soup which gets its creaminess from the vegetables without the addition of any coconut cream or plant milk. I love that this recipe can be adapted to any vegetables you have in your pantry or fridge or whatever’s in season.

Another favourite is this adapted Pho Ga recipe because it was inspired by our travels in Vietnam. I’d just completed my Sugar Cleanse Program when I created this recipe so I substituted the traditional rice noodles for zoodles. Now that I eat a plant based/vegan diet I would also use vegetable stock instead of chicken and sub out the chicken pieces for tofu, tempeh or toasted cashews for a soy free version.

One of the most popular soup recipes on here to date, also happens to be the first soup recipe I ever posted. This Carrot, Pumpkin & Turmeric Soup with Spicy Black Bean Topping has a real ginger kick to it and the black bean topping creates a delicious contrast in texture as well as a plant based protein element. The topping idea was inspired by the amazing Green Kitchen Stories who create some of the most amazing vegetarian soups around.

 

Full Of Anti-Inflammatory Spices

Which brings me to this recipe for this Roasted Pumpkin & Kumara Soup. This beautifully thick and creamy soup recipe is full of amazing spices such as turmeric, ginger, cinnamon and garlic. These flavourings mean this soup has very warming qualities, not to mention a heap of anti-inflammatory, calming and restorative properties.

Because it’s uber thick it feels very filling while you’re eating it, yet it’s still very light on the digestion because it’s simply blended vegetables.

 

Roast Pumpkin & Kumara Soup

 

Spiced Cauliflower & Popped Lentil Toppings

I’ve been loving roasted cauliflower florets with a spicy almond and chickpea flour coating which gives them a delicious crunch on the outside that yields to a soft, sweet cauliflower inside.

When thinking about what to top this super thick soup with, these little flavour morsels immediately popped into my head.

I also wanted to make sure there was a good plant based protein element in this soup so my other favourite topping is oven popped lentils! These couldn’t be easier to make. Simply drain a can of lentils, toss with spices and then bake in the oven until crunchy and just starting to “pop”. If you prefer to cook your lentils from scratch then even better!

Both these toppings are completely oil, sugar, gluten and grain free, and really pack a flavour punch!

 

Adaptable To Any Vegetables In Season Or Your Pantry

Like most of my soup recipes, this one is no exception and is another very adaptable recipe where you can swap in or out any vegetables of your choice according to what’s in season or in your pantry. Some other great root vegetable options are parsnip, carrot, beetroot (although your soup will turn red!) and potato.

This roasted pumpkin & kumara soup recipe is completely plant based/vegan, gluten/grain, dairy and sugar free, and also just happens to be another 10 Day Sugar Cleanse approved recipe.

 

Roast Pumpkin & Kumara Soup

 

I hope you love this nourishing Pumpkin & Kumara Soup recipe as much as I do, and if you make it be sure to leave me a comment down below and tell me what you think.

Enjoy!

 

Pumpkin & Kumara Soup with Spiced Cauliflower & Popped Lentils (Vegan/Gluten Free)

Serves: 4
Prep time: 20 minutes Cook time: 45 minutes

1 small pumpkin or squash
1 extra large kumara (sweet potato)
2 cloves garlic
5 cm piece fresh ginger (or 1 tsp powder)
5 cm piece fresh turmeric (or 1 tsp powder)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
pinch nutmeg
pink Himalayan salt & black pepper
400 ml can coconut milk

Crunchy Cauliflower
1/2 head cauliflower
1/4 cup ground almonds
1/4 cup chickpea flour
2 tsp spicy curry powder
1/4 cup water

Popped Lentils
400 ml can lentils (or 200g freshly cooked lentils)
2 tsp spice mix (I’m loving Jen’s Goan Xacuti curry powder from Farro, but you could equally use any savoury spice mix of your choice)

To Serve
Fresh parsley, roughly chopped

 

Preheat the oven to 180ºC fan bake. Cut the pumpkin or squash in half, and place the cut side down on a baking tray. Place the kumara on the same tray and spike a couple of holes over the top with a sharp knife. Place the tray of vegetables into the centre of the oven and bake for 1 hour, or until you can easily pierce through the vegetables with a small knife. 

While the root vegetables are baking, prep the toppings.

If using canned lentils, drain, then wash to remove any unwanted debris and drain well. If cooking your own lentils, soak for 2 to 3 hours then wash well. Add to a pot of boiling water and simmer 20-25 minutes, or as per the instructions on the packet. Drain well.

Toss the lentils in the spice mix and sprinkle over a lined baking tray. Bake at 180ºC fan bake for approximately 10 to 15 minutes or until the lentils start to crisp up and pop.

Wash the cauliflower and chop into small florets. Mix the cauliflower seasoning together in a bowl to form a thick paste. Toss the cauliflower florets in the paste until full coated and place on a lined baking tray. Bake at 180ºC fan bake for approximately 20 minutes, or until the cauliflower turns a light golden brown.

When the root vegetables are cool enough to handle, peel the skin off the kumara and place in a large high speed blender jug. Peel the skin off the pumpkin, scoop out the seeds and place in the blender jug. Peel and crush the garlic and add to the blender along with the rest of the spices and coconut milk. Blend on high until you have a smooth, thick soup.

At this point if the soup is a little cold and you’re serving it straight away, simply pour it into a pan and heat until you reach the desired temperature. Alternatively, transfer the soup to a sealed container and store in the fridge until required. To reheat simply place in a pot and bring to a simmer.

Serve the soup in bowls topped with a handful of crunchy cauliflower, a sprinkle of popped lentils and some freshly chopped parsley.

Store any leftover soup, cauliflower and lentils in separate sealed containers in the fridge for up to 5 days. The soup will also freeze well for up to 1 month.

 

Roast Pumpkin & Kumara Soup

Inspired Desserts E-Book

Whole Food Sweeteners Edition

F R E E   D O W N L O A D