Pumpkin carving with friends, family, kids and grandkids is something we all look forward to each fall. It’s easy to forget that fresh pumpkin (and pumpkin seeds) are also a great way to add a healthy kick to your meals this season.
Pumpkin is packed with dietary fiber, which can help you feel fuller longer and lower cholesterol. One cup of pumpkin also contains twice the daily recommended intake of beta-carotene, which our bodies convert to vitamin A as needed. Beta-carotene is a carotenoid, which is what gives the pumpkin its orange color, and it is considered to be an antioxidant. Pumpkin seeds also contain a healthy amount of dietary fiber—as well as magnesium, zinc, and Vitamin E.
So instead of restricting your pumpkin fun to carving, buy a few extra sugar pumpkins and save your pumpkin seeds to make some healthy, seasonal treats for you and your loved ones.
Nutritious Fresh Pumpkin Recipes
Pumpkin puree is an easy-to-make food using the inside of a pumpkin (the walls, not the guts). This puree can then serve as the key ingredient in a number of tasty and nutritious pumpkin recipes.
- This easy Spicy Pumpkin Hummus recipe would be a great seasonal snack paired with fresh cut veggies!
- Try a pumpkin soup. Pumpkin works wonderfully with lots of healthy vegetables and spices for a hearty, fall soup. We suggest topping this recipe with greek yogurt and pumpkin seeds.
- Pumpkin Spice Oatmeal can give you a healthy serving of fiber and protein to start your day. If you’re working on cutting down carbohydrates, half the maple syrup and add some raw nuts.
Fresh Pumpkin Seed Recipes
Roasted pumpkin seeds make for a great, nutritious snack. Not to mention, you can salvage seeds from your carved pumpkins for this treat! Here are a few variations of pumpkin seed recipes to try out this year:
- Roasted Pumpkin Seeds. Toast up some seeds while carving pumpkins. This recipe has several ideas for ways to flavor your seeds with different spices.
- Pumpkin Seed Pesto only has six ingredients and is an extremely versatile recipe for adding flavor to your favorite dishes. Note: This recipe will work better with hulled pumpkin seeds, which you can buy in grocery stores.
- Pumpkin Seed Guacamole. Never say never. This recipe would make a fantastic topping on a fall soup or homemade tacos.
- Pumpkin Seed Power Bars are packed with nuts, seeds and dried berries for sweet, filling goodness that should satisfy your appetite for hours.
Happy carving! Have any other pumpkin recipes you’d like to share? Let us know in the comments below.