While nothing quite typifies the Halloween season as a carved Jack-O-Lantern on the porch, a pumpkin has many other uses - particularly when it comes to preparing healthy, tasty dishes.
Pumpkin can be categorized as a low-calorie "superfood." It's high in fiber, potassium, and beta carotene. And, of course, it has a lightly sweet, mild flavor that so many people love. Here are eight pumpkin recipes you can try this fall.
1. Pumpkin Muffins
These muffins have a sugary crunch on top and make for a perfect low-fat snack or breakfast. You can replace half the white flour with whole wheat flour, while also tossing in toasted, chopped pecans to add some heart-healthy fats.
2. Pumpkin Dip
Made with reduced-fat cream cheese, this easy-to-make dip will bring out the best in fall's flavor thanks to canned pumpkin, cinnamon and maple syrup. Serve it with apple slices for extra fiber and vitamins.
3. Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
Don't throw away the seeds after you carve your pumpkin. Five grams of protein are packed into an ounce of seeds, plus magnesium, potassium, and 20 percent of your daily zinc needs. Check out this recipe.
4. Pumpkin Chia Almond Nutter
This nut butter is full of warming spices and is a great addition to your morning oatmeal.
5. Whole-wheat bread with pumpkin seeds
Try a new twist with your whole-wheat bread with a recipe that includes pumpkin seeds, walnuts and sesame. The whole-wheat flour is low-cholesterol and low-fat, the walnuts are full of omega 3 fatty acids, while the pumpkin seeds are a great source of protein, zinc, and magnesium.
6. Pumpkin Waffles
Topped with maple-walnut syrup, these waffles are a perfect fall breakfast treat. They're enhanced with pumpkin, low-fat buttermilk, and brown sugar, and, thanks to the pumpkin, each waffle is loaded with vitamin A.
Plus, the walnuts add some heart healthy fats.
7. Pumpkin Pancakes
Tasty and festive, these delicious pancakes contain half of the calories of those made with buttermilk.
Pumpkin contains beta-carotene, which may reduce the risk for certain types of cancer while offering protection against heart disease.
8. Pumpkin Ravioli
Traditional ravioli includes meat and cheese that send calorie counts soaring. But by using pumpkin, this dish weighs in at less than 200 calories per serving.
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