Diet-to-Go Blog
  1. Beyond Pumpkin Pie: Healthy Pumpkin Recipe Round-Up

    ‘Tis the season for pumpkin everything, as we’re sure you’ve noticed. While most stores have pretty much skipped right through the Halloween and Thanskgiving displays in favor of twinkling lights for Christmas and Hanukkah, there is definitely no shortage of pumpkin products. While it may be tempting to blow hundreds of calories on certain spicy pumpkin coffee drinks, or splurge for pumpkin cheesecake flavored cookies, you can make several pumpkin treats in a lighter, less expensive fashion: by using pure, canned pumpkin.

    Why pump up pumpkin? This wonderful gourd is chock full of Vitamin A, fiber, magnesium, zinc, and iron. It clocks in at about 40 calories per half cup, and is dense on the health benefits, with a subtle, earthy taste. While pumpkin is typically the star of sweet desserts, here are 10 creative ways you can dish out this puree for a fantastically festive autumn treat.

    Looking for something savory rather than sweet? Try a spiced pumpkin biscuit. This light and flaky biscuit from Cooking Light comes in at 122 calories each, and makes 14 biscuits; perfect for the family and leftovers the next day (with some leftover turkey).
    Recipe Link

    Pumpkin butter sounds decadent, but is actually pretty harmless as long as you don’t eat it straight out of the jar with a spoon (we’re not judging). Try this recipe from which includes apple cider and fresh apple, and has no added sugar. Try it on toast, with apple slices, stirred into your oatmeal or yogurt, or spread on a light layer on pretzel thins.
    Recipe Link

    Enjoy the creamy taste of pumpkin with an extra punch of filling fiber from rolled oats in this yummy Pumpkin Oatmeal Shake from Gina at We added a little more cinnamon than the recipe recommends, and found it to be a perfect pre-workout meal. 
    Recipe Link

    What’s better than a stack of pancakes? A stack of pumpkin pancakes! This recipe from uses eggwhites, low-fat vanilla yogurt, pumpkin, and cake flour for light, fluffy flapjacks that are 90 calories per 2-pancake serving. Pump it up with a spoonful of your homemade Pumpkin Apple butter. 
    Recipe Link

    There’s nothing like a bowl of hearty chili on a crisp, Fall day, and this recipe from Whole Foods Market for Turkey Pumpkin Chili is gluten-free, dairy-free and high fiber. With a mild pumpkin flavor, it reduces calories per serving and also adds a wonderful thickness to the chili. Try it with fresh green onions and cilantro on top, and cut the sour cream to reduce fat.
    Recipe Link

    Want a quick and easy vegetarian meal that’s filling and delicious and takes less than 20 minutes to make? Try an easy pumpkin soup, from At 190 calories per serving, this soup is dairy free and uses vegetable broth, soy milk, and onion. Try making it with a tropical twist by subbing coconut milk for soy milk, though that would raise the calories and fat. 
    Recipe Link

    Add some festivity to your party platter by making this Savory Pumpkin Hummus, posted on Hummus is actually fairly simple to make – just blend the garbanzo beans with the other ingredients and season to taste, and you’ve got a dip suitable for a king. A pumpking, that is. (Cheesy – we couldn’t help it!)  Serve with whole wheat crackers, carrot sticks, cucumber slices, bell pepper strips, and cherry tomatoes.
    Recipe Link

    If you want a recipe that combines pumpkin with the health darling of the year, try this Pumpkin Chia Seed Pudding. You can either blend the chia seeds for a smoother taste, or keep them whole for a deliciously nutty texture kind of like Tapioca. This recipe from the screams fall, with chopped apples and walnuts. 
    Recipe Link

    It didn’t feel right to get near the end of this list without pasta. While traditional pumpkin pasta dishes are loaded with fat (but oh so delicious – have you ever tried a sage pumpkin ravioli? Yum!), this one keeps things calm by mixing pumpkin with tomato sauce, fat free milk, and tons of herbs. A heaping ½ cup serving is 110 calories and 3.5g fat. Give it a try, from
    Recipe Link

    I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream. Ah, but is it possible to have a delicious ice cream made without heavy whipping cream and egg yolks? It is, indeed! This recipe for Pumpkin Cheesecake Ice Cream sounds totally decadent, but it’s packed with protein and made with pumpkin, low-fat cottage cheese, low-fat Greek yogurt, and any low-fat milk of your choice. Pumpkin pie spices add the rich, complex taste we all know and love, and after a little bit of time in the freezer or ice cream maker, you have a 101 calorie snack. 
    Recipe Link

    What are some other ways to use pumpkin? Get creative! Stir it into your morning oatmeal or hot cereal. Throw in a tablespoon with quinoa, couscous or tempeh. Add a dollop to a homemade salad dressing with olive oil and vinegar, or create a sweet dip with Greek yogurt, pumpkin, and cinnamon. Spread it on a sandwich as a substitute for mayonnaise or mustard, or use pumpkin in place of oil or butter in your favorite backed good recipes.

    As you can see, the possibilities with pureed pumpkin are endless. Which of these recipes would you be most inclined to try? Do you have any favorite pumpkin treats we haven’t mentioned? Share them in the comments!

    Guest Author: Alyssa Curran
    Alyssa Curran does social media by day and tweets pictures of her cats and food by night. When she’s not hanging out on social media, she’s writing on the Double Chin Diary, buying nail polish, or perpetually trying to get in shape.

    Follow Alyssa @lyssacurran or @doublechindiary, or on Facebook here.

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