11 Healthy Pumpkin Recipes

It's pumpkin mania! Skip the store-bought, fake-flavored junk, and try one of these healthy recipes this week.

Pumpkins, pumpkins, everywhere. Pumpkins image via Shutterstock

Pumpkins, pumpkins, everywhere. Pumpkins image via Shutterstock

October is the peak of pumpkin mania. Pumpkin flavored candy, pumpkin shaped chocolates, and salt-laden pumpkin seeds line the grocery store aisles. But, there is an alternative to all of that fake junk food. Pumpkin can be healthy, although you wouldn’t know it with all the pumpkin-spiced latte hype. Like squash, pumpkins can be used in a variety of ways from baked goods to soups to desserts. Buying canned pumpkin puree is an easy alternative to breaking down and roasting your own pumpkin. Plus, finding fresh pumpkins suitable for cooking can be difficult, so many of the below recipes rely on pure canned pumpkin. But, if you insist on fresh pumpkin, it’s an easy swap.

1. Pumpkin Turkey Chili
via Cooking on the Front Burner

Definitely switch the pumpkin pie filling for pumpkin puree. Instead of topping with sour cream, use Greek yogurt for a creamy finish.

2. Pumpkin Coconut Yogurt Waffles
via Girl Versus Dough

Fragrant waffles on Sunday morning is a great tradition. If you’re using yogurt with the fruit all ready mixed in, be sure to check the sugar levels of the container. It might be easier to use plain, low-fat Greek yogurt and then add a few teaspoons of coconut extract.

3. Roast Pumpkin Hummus
via Little Cake Pot

Here’s a simple pumpkin side dish that will sound impressive to your friends but doesn’t keep you in the kitchen for hours. Top with dry roasted pumpkin seeds for an extra pumpkin crunch.

4. Spiced Roasted Pumpkin
via Healthy Recipes Blog

A sugar pumpkin is the type of pumpkin normally used for cooking. When breaking down a full pumpkin, be sure to use a very sharp knife and be careful. It might help to hold the pumpkin with a dish towel covering your hand in case of any slips.

5. Whole Wheat Pumpkin Muffins
Healthy Recipes Blog

Quick and easy muffins with a healthy twist are great for any breakfast, whether you’re on the go or lounging with a cup of ginger tea. This is a muffin recipe that should not be overworked. The whole wheat flour used in this recipe is more susceptible to becoming tough if stirred too much.

6. Pumpkin Spice Breakfast Quinoa
via Once Upon a Cutting Board

Breakfast with pumpkin pie flavors is a delicious idea. Pumpkin and nutty flavors go well together, so try using almond milk. Also try adding dried cranberries for a sweet finish.

7. Spiked Pumpkin Soup
via Cooking Light

This recipe is good for a light appetizer or as a main course served with a salad topped with dried fruit. You can omit the bourbon if you want to, but it’s there to add depth of flavor in a short amount of time, so if you decide to use it, don’t worry, it won’t totally ruin your diet.

8. Pumpkin Date Energy Balls
via Honest Cooking

Keeping these bite-sized treats around for a workout snack is a great idea for before or after a long fall afternoon hike. After shaping the snacks, you can freeze any extra and thaw them as needed.

9. Pumpkin Masala
via Honest Cooking

Here’s a recipe that everyone will be asking for. Sweet pumpkin, fragrant ground spices, and chilies will set your taste buds on fire and you’ll only being going back for more. If spicy isn’t your game, but you’re interested in this recipe, try topping your dish with a little Greek yogurt to balance the spice.

10. Pumpkin Pie Granola
via Honest Cooking

Homemade granola is a great way to cut out the sugar that lurks in boxed cereals. This recipe uses brown sugar and maple syrup, but try starting out with half of the brown sugar and using agave syrup (or a mixture of agave and honey) instead of maple syrup.

11. Superfood Pumpkin Smoothie
via Little Leopard Book

This recipe includes a powered smoothie blend, but it’s optional. If you’re looking for an added hit of protein or nutrients, add your favorite powders to the mix and enjoy.