10 Ways to Eat Pumpkin (That Aren't Pie)

By , Bryn Mooth
Whipped cream-laden Thanksgiving pie notwithstanding, pumpkin has a healthy nutritional profile, with more than 200% of our RDA of Vitamin A, plus about one-third of our daily Vitamin C and nearly one-quarter of our fiber requirements. And it has just 40 calories per serving. (Without that whipped cream, of course.)
 
Canned pumpkin is widely available in grocery stores during the fall/winter holiday season. (Note: Be sure to grab plain pumpkin puree, not pumpkin pie mix in a can, which includes sweeteners, spices and other ingredients to make a pie.) One can of pumpkin contains about 1 3/4 cup. Some canned pumpkin can have a slightly bitter taste, so it’s best suited for sweet recipes. For pumpkin-based dips or sauces, try making your own pumpkin puree; it’s super easy.
 
Homemade Pumpkin Puree
Choose a small (8 to 12 inches across) pumpkin. Cut off the top, halve, scoop out seeds (see below), cut into quarters or sixths, and roast at 350 degrees for 75 to 90 minutes. Cool, peel and then puree the flesh in a food processor or blender. An 8-inch diameter pumpkin = 2 cups puree. (Pureed butternut squash is a fine substitute for pureed fresh pumpkin.)
 
Toasted Pumpkin Seeds
Tease the seeds out of the pumpkin innards with your fingers and rinse them in a colander. Boil the seeds in a pot of well-salted water 1o minutes; drain, spread on baking sheet, toss with 1 tsp. olive oil and bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes or until the seeds are toasty brown.
 
Pumpkin Pie Smoothie
In a blender, combine 1/2 cup ice, 1/2 cup vanilla nonfat yogurt, 1 tsp. honey, 1/4 tsp. pumpkin pie spice and 1/4 cup pumpkin puree (add half a banana if you’d like). Puree until icy and smooth. Tastes like pie. (101 calories, 0 g fat)
 
Pumpkin Pasta Sauce
In a large nonstick skillet, sauté several cloves of garlic and half an onion, diced. Add 1 1/2 to 2 cups pumpkin puree and stir to combine; add vegetable stock if needed to thin the sauce a bit. Add minced fresh sage or rosemary and serve over whole-wheat penne pasta.

Chef Meg’s Pumpkin Dip
This recipe rides the line between sweet and savory; it’s as delicious on a whole-grain bagel for breakfast, or with carrot sticks for a beta carotene-packed afternoon snack.

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Spread
Add 1/2 cup canned pumpkin, 2 Tbsp. sugar (or sugar substitute to taste) and 1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice to 8 ounces of low-fat cream cheese.
 
Easy Pumpkin Ice Cream
Simply add 1 cup canned or fresh pumpkin puree and 1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice to your favorite vanilla ice cream recipe; freeze according to your ice cream maker’s instructions.
 
Pumpkin Bruschetta Appetizers
Rub toasted bread rounds with a whole garlic clove to season; top with 2 tsp. pumpkin puree and 1/2 tsp. bleu cheese; broil for about 1  minute to melt the cheese. Top with toasted pumpkin seeds and coarse sea salt.

Carrot-Pumpkin Bars
This mashup between carrot cake and pumpkin bread is fairly low in fat and has a sweet frosting of light cream cheese and skim milk.
Low-Fat Whole-Grain Pumpkin Pancakes
Perfect for cooler months, this hearty breakfast recipe includes whole-wheat flour, lots of spice, canned pumpkin and skim milk. Whip up a batch of these pancakes for the weekend after Thanksgiving.
 
Do you prefer to eat pumpkin in savory or sweet recipes?
 
Bryn Mooth is extending her 20-year career in publishing as an independent journalist and copywriter. She shares seasonal recipes, kitchen techniques, healthy eating tips and food wisdom on her blog writes4food.com.





 

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Comments

DJ4HEALTH 2/7/2018
Thanks, like pumpkin very much Report
JSTETSER 8/30/2017
I'm going to try the pumpkin smoothie Report
4LMHJCR
I enjoy pumpkin pie, but I never have enjoyed the crust so now, I just make my dad's recipe but put it into small ramekins and bake it that way instead. Sort of like a pumpkin custard or pudding Report
I seldom think beyond pie. Report
Pumpkin is such a healthy and low calorie fruit. I am always looking for more pumpkin recipes Report
Wanted to let @MAMACRYSTAL in Australia know that in the US, a "can" of canned pumpkin is generally 14-16 oz, which would be roughly equivalent to 2 cups, or 396-453 grams of fresh cooked pumpkin - I don't have access to her page to send a note directly to her. Report
JANETFAYE
I would like to try Carrot Pumpkin Bars. Report
Always looking for great pumpkin ideas this was great! Report
MAMACRYSTAL
Here in Australia I have never seen canned pumpkins ever in my 74 years, however we fortunately get good pumpkins all year round. Wish some of the recipes on this site gave the equivalent to canned pumpkin in fresh pumpkin Report
Using fresh pumpkin puree for soups is a GREAT way to use it up. I was surprised there were no soup recipes in this article. Do a internet search for Mexican Pumpkin soup (I've made it veg. by using potatoes instead of chorizo)--it's very good! Also a pumpkin-red lentil soup is great too!

And there's always pumpkin bread! :) Report
MHAIGHT7
Wow all of these dishes look great! I'm very influenced to try out the carrot pumpkin bars and the pumpkin pancakes! I recently wrote a blog about how to prepare for Thanksgiving: melissahaightsexperience.blogspot.c
om/2013/11/helpful-tips-for-thanksg
iving.html check it out and leave a comment! Thanks! Report
If you make your own pumpkin puree, be sure to get pie pumpkins. Big difference in quality of flesh. Report
Going to have to try that pumpkin pie smoothie! Report
PIGGYWAY
hello doing great Report
Here is a recipe I have found in the Spark library it is crazy easy, and came out REALLY good... Even my husband LOVED them!!
"NO OIL, NO EGG CARROT PUMPKIN CAKE"
I love baking/cooking with Pumpkin, so healthy... Report
Try mixing pumpkin, cinnamon and natural crunchy peanut butter together for a French Toast spread, whole wheat crepe filling, topping on overnight oatmeal or a yogurt parfait or a dip for apples. Report
OOOOhhh! I'm all over that smoothie, too! Can't wait to try it! :-) Report
I will try the smoothie Report
VEGMAMA2
I make a very similar pumpkin pie smoothie, I just use silken tofu in place of yogurt and maple syrup instead of honey. It makes a great vegan breakfast! Report
oooo sounds good.... all of them! Report
XOXJUICYLIPS
I am definitely trying these recipes!!!! Report
859320
THEY all sound very good Report
CLG2012
I am losing weight for the first time. Report
My wife and I tried the pumpkin pie smoothie and neither of us liked it! Sorry! Report
I love pumpkin, I'll mix it with cottage cheese and pumpkin pie.spice for lunch (an idea from Chalene in her turbo jam dvds), I made pumpkin pancakes for my DD's first bday last week, she loved them and I froze mini ones for future breakfasts.
Note to Editor; the 10th recipe is missing, the pumpkin bruschetta picture is not there and it goes straight to a pumpkin soup picture without a soup recipe. Report
I love pumpkin and have been making my own puree for years. I've tried most of these recipes and give them a 5 star. Now I will have to try the dip. :) Report
The pumpkin-cream cheese spread is like what I have been doing for a few years as a pumpkin cheesecake, but I used the entire can of pumpkin. I want to make it lighter (though it will end up with more calories, unfortunately) so have cream to whip and add in. I had started doing it to take some of the carbs out of a pumpkin dessert. Report
Next week will be the first time that I've used pumpkin - my son was given some canned pumpkin by a friend because he'd never had pumpkin pie.
So I now have the other ingredients, ready for next Thursday.

For preference, though, I'd be happier with a savoury recipe or several. Report
Pumpkin ice cream is wonderful !! A couple of years ago, a local ice cream shop had pumpkin/walnut ice cream. it was amazing !

Where's the pumpkin soup ? One year, my brother made a fabulous pumpkin soup. I've also had pumpkin corn soup that was really tasty too.
Report
SEBASTIANALADY
Some of these look great. I love the idea of pumpkin cream cheese spread (especialy with sugar substitute). Report
I love Pumpkin any way you serve it - but I hadn't thought about pumpkin smoothie - thanks for the idea! and for the many other suggestions people made here. Suddenly I have lots more options. Report
We have always used pumpkin as a vegetable, microwaved and mashed with pepper and a little butter it's wonderful. Mix it with mashed potato for a very yummy mash combo. Grated in spaghetti sauce it's like zucchini, very versatile Report
Brillient!! Thanks so much for these great recipes. I hope you don't mind I plan to add you as a friend. Love this!!!! Report
I started loving pumpkin last year and I like trying to ways to eat it. That smoothie recipe sounds like one I would like to try next week. Thanks for all the different ideas. When I learned how healthy it was encouraged me to try different ways to cook it. Now I have even more ways to try. Report
I've never really eaten it aside from pies and pumpkin seeds. My mother in law used to make some sort of German pumpkin turnover thing it was OK but it really wasn't for me. Although the pancakes sound great! Report
I cut it up into cubes and cook it like any other squash. Serve it with a little butter, sometimes with a sprinkle of cinnamon. When mother wants something a little sweeter, I add a tablespoon of brown sugar. Mmmm mm! Report
Guess I'll get that decoraive pumpkin in from my yard and try a few of these recipes, all of them sound tempting. Report
These recipes all sound yummy...especially the sweet ones!
All are healthy too and I like that!
Looking forward to trying some of these out. Report
Yum!

I make pumpkin pie smoothies too. I just use pumpkin, half a FROZEN banana, and pumpkin pie spice. It tastes like pie! No ice or dairy needed because the frozen banana makes it cold and creamy. :-D

Apple pie smoothies are good too! Report
I do love pumpkin. Thanks for the smart recipes to try. Report
Great ideas Report
LACT8RN
Everybody should be eating their pumpkins! They are loaded with nutrients and low calorie, and easily flavored with spices and sweeteners! And also the cooked pumpkin freezes very well in pint freezer bags--easy to pull out and use all through the winter. My new personal favorite is savory pumpkin pasta sauce, use lots of garlic! Report
 
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