Tis the season for all things pumpkin! This year goes beyond a sugar-infused pumpkin spice latte and soak in the actual health benefits that *real* pumpkin has to offer. We rounded up a couple of healthy pumpkin baked goods you can share with your friends—or keep to yourself guilt free!
By Sara Schlueter
In all the flurry of getting our hands on our first PSL of the season, let’s not forget that pumpkin is a highly nutritious squash. (Yes, your favorite coffee drink is flavored after a vegetable. Let that sink in.) Pumpkin (both canned and fresh) packs a serious health punch. Pumpkin is loaded with antioxidants, which help fight off cancer cells in the body. Pumpkin is also very high in beta-carotene (found in carrots), which your body uses to protect the skin, and because of the high antioxidants in pumpkin, they also serve to boost your skin’s defense against UV rays. Due to the high fiber count, vitamin C, and potassium, this fall superstar is also excellent for heart health.
Next time you are at the grocery store this fall, pick up a couple of cans of pumpkin, and in no time, you can whip up these yummy and healthy pumpkin goodies! And score yourself some major health points to boot.
TIP: Libby’s 100% Pure Pumpkin cans are generally rated as one of the best in taste and quality. You can find them at almost any grocery store.
Pumpkin Oat Cookies
These simple cookies are customizable and make for a delicious and nutritious mid-day snack.
- 2 ½ cups oats (rolled or quick oats)
- 1 cup pure pumpkin puree
- 2-3 tbsp maple syrup or agave
- 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice or cinnamon (optional but recommended)
- ½ cup chocolate chips (could also sub in raisins, m&m’s, chopped nuts or pumpkin seeds)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Mix all ingredients in a bowl to form a thick dough. Begin with 2 tbsp of the maple or agave and add more if needed.
- Form 12 cookie shapes. You may need to flatten these down. They will not spread out in the oven.
- Place cookies on parchment lined baking pan. Bake for 10 minutes, let cool and enjoy!
Credit: Running on Real Food
Enjoy a fall breakfast on a chilly morning. No flour or sugar, just full of gut healthy fiber!
- 2 ¼ cups quick oats or gluten free oats
- 1 ¼ cups unsweetened vanilla almond milk, coconut milk or milk of your choice
- 1 large ripe banana
- ½ cup pumpkin
- ¼ cup pure maple syrup
- 1 large egg
- ¼ tsp sea salt
- 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 ½ tsp baking powder
- Coconut oil or butter for cooking
- Place all ingredients in the blender and blend on high until mixed together oats have broken down. About 1-2 minutes.
- Heat a griddle or pan over medium-high heat and melt 1-2 teaspoons of coconut oil or butter. Once the pan is hot, scoop ¼ cup of batter onto the pan. Cook 2-3 minutes on each side. Serve with nut butter, sliced bananas, chopped nuts or maple syrup.
Credit: What Molly Made
Maple Pumpkin Bread
Grab a slice morning, noon or night. What is better than one popular fall ingredient? Two.
- 1 ½ cups flour (whole wheat, white or gluten-free)
- 1 tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp baking powder
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp ground nutmeg
- 1 tsp orange zest
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- 1/3 cup coconut oil (melted and cooled)
- ¼ cup orange juice
- ½ cup maple syrup
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Chopped pecans or walnuts
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray an 8×4 loaf pan with cooking spray.
- Mix the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and orange zest together in a bowl. Set aside.
- In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs, pumpkin puree, coconut oil, orange juice, maple syrup and vanilla together.
- Mix the wet ingredients into the dry and mix together until combined.
- Pour the batter into your loaf pan and top with chopped pecans or walnuts.
- Bake for 45-55 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
- Let cool for 30 minutes before serving.
Credit: Choosing Chia
Libby’s 100% pure canned pumpkin is among the best for taste, quality and is easy to find.
A fancy dessert with the option to make gluten and diary free. Bring a pan to your next fall gathering and really impress your friends.
- 1 ¼ cup of oat flour (gluten free, or use regular flour)
- ¾ cup of pumpkin puree
- 2/3 cup of coconut sugar
- ¾ tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 ½ tsp pumpkin pie spice
- 1 egg
- ½ cup butter, melted (vegan or regular butter)
- ½ cup (divided) chocolate chips/chunks (dark or sea salt)
- Pinch of salt
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix dry ingredients. Then add in wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir together. Fold in ¼ cup of chocolate chips.
- Line an 8×8 pan with parchment paper.
- Pour batter into pan and the remaining chocolate chips over the top. Bake for 22 minutes. Use toothpick to check that batter doesn’t stick, then it is done.
- Let cool for 10 minutes, then lift edges of parchment paper from pan and cut into bars. You should be able to slice 9 large bars, or 12 smaller bars.
Credit: A Simple Palate