Nothing says Fall like the sights, smells and tastes of pumpkin! Many of the pumpkin treats and drinks we see in stores and restaurants are loaded with sugar, fat and other unhealthy ingredients. But pumpkin can be extremely healthy when used in easy and delicious recipes made at home using canned pumpkin (the can that comes with no added sugar or other ingredients).
Pumpkin is a type of winter squash that belongs to the Cucurbitaceae family and although it is technically a fruit as it contains seeds, it more closely resembles a vegetable (nutritionally speaking). The list of health benefits from pumpkin is long: It is rich in vitamins and minerals (to help with overall health and immune system functioning), it contains antioxidants (which may protect against chronic diseases and cancer), it is low calorie while still being nutrient dense (important for weight loss or management) and it contains potassium and fiber which can improve heart health!
If that didn’t convince you to try some pumpkin today, check out these delicious recipes!
- Healthy Homemade Pumpkin Pancakes. If you’re pressed for time, use a pancake mix that uses whole wheat flour and simply add canned pumpkin to the mix.
- Pumpkin Granola
- Pumpkin Spice Smoothie
- Pumpkin Chili
- Apple Pumpkin Curry Soup
- Pumpkin Ravioli
- Creamy Pumpkin Mashed Potatoes
- Pumpkin Hummus
- Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Pumpkin Mug Cake
We think these recipes are so good you won’t want to use them just in the fall! What was your favorite recipe? Post the delicious results to Facebook or Instagram and use #DenverYMCA to show us! And remember the Y nutrition team is here to help you on your wellness journey.