Pumpkin the Healthy Way

Pumpkins are loaded with vitamin A, fiber, potassium and other nutrients. No wonder jack-o'-lanterns smile! Of course, we often use pumpkin in ways that aren't so healthy. Pumpkin spice triple latte with extra whipped cream, anyone? Instead, check out these two recipes that pack a pumpkin punch without a bunch of unhealthy ingredients.

pumpkin pie


Heart Healthy Pumpkin Pie

Makes 9 servings

Ingredients

For the pie crust:

  • 1 cup quick-cooking oats
  • 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup ground almonds
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 Tbsp water

For the pie filling:

  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 4 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 2/3 cup fat-free evaporated milk

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 425° F.
  2. Make the pie crust: Mix oats, flour, almonds, sugar, and salt together in small mixing bowl.
  3. In a separate bowl/measuring cup, blend the oil and water together with a fork or small wire whisk, until emulsified (fully blended).
  4. Add the oil mixture to the dry ingredients, and mix well. If needed, add a small amount of water to hold the dough together.
  5. Work the dough into a disk shape, and roll on a lightly floured surface into a 12-inch circle.
  6. Press into a 9-inch pie pan and bake for 8–10 minutes, or until light brown.
  7. Turn down oven to 350° F.
  8. Make the filling: Mix sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt together in a bowl.
  9. Add eggs and vanilla, and mix to blend ingredients.
  10. Add pumpkin and milk, and stir to combine.
  11. Pour into prepared pie shell. Bake for 45 minutes or until a knife inserted near center comes out clean.

Nutrition Information

Serving size: 1 wedge (1/9th of pie)

Calories per serving: 177

Total fat 8g; saturated fat 1g; cholesterol 24mg; sodium 153mg

Source: National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute


Pumpkin and White Bean Soup

Makes 6 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 can white beans
  • 1 onion (small, finely chopped)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 can pumpkin (15 ounce)
  • 1 1/2 cups apple juice
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg, allspice, or ginger
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Directions

  1. Blend white beans, onion and water with a potato masher or blender till smooth.
  2. In a large pot, add the pumpkin, juice, cinnamon, nutmeg, black pepper, and salt. Stir.
  3. Add the blended bean mix to the pot.
  4. Cook over low heat for 15-20 minutes, until warmed through.

Nutrition Information

Serving size 1 cup (1/6 of recipe)

Calories per serving: 159

Total fat 1g; saturated fat 0g; cholesterol 0g; sodium 385 mg; total carbohydrates 32g; dietary fiber 7g; total sugars 9g; added sugars 0g; potassium 637mg.

Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture, courtesy of the Pennsylvania Nutrition Education Program