Health Benefits of Pumpkin + Recipes
The fall is here! Everything is changing, including the weather and the colors of the trees. Pumpkins are also now in season. You can find them in pumpkin farms or the grocery store. They are used for decorating, art, baking, and cooking. Pumpkins are now everywhere. Although using them for decoration is fun, pumpkins are even more beneficial when eaten. Here are some health benefits of pumpkin along with a few healthy recipes.
Pumpkins are full of vitamin A. Most people ages 14-years-old and up need between 700 and 900 micrograms of vitamin A daily. The vitamins and nutrients found in this squash help decrease the risk of eye-sight loss. Check out our article, What Vitamin A Does for the Body, to learn more.
Vitamins and nutrients in pumpkins like vitamin C, fiber, and potassium also lower blood pressure. Not only that, but they help fight against bad cholesterol. This makes pumpkins a great food choice for a healthier heart.
Pumpkins also contain beta-carotene. This nutrient is known to help protect the skin from UV rays, which can cause skin cancer.
Better Immune System
The vitamins A, C, and E in pumpkins also help with the body’s immune system. Having a healthy immune system is important for fighting off sickness.
Raw pumpkin is not an ideal treat. Here are some healthy pumpkin recipes to help you take advantage of the benefits that pumpkins offer.
Creamy Pumpkin Soup
What doesn’t say fall like creamy pumpkin soup? This soup is not only simple but delicious! Head over to Kate’s blog for the full recipe.
- 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- One 4-pound sugar pie pumpkin
- 1 large yellow onion, chopped
- 4 large or 6 medium garlic cloves, pressed or minced
- ½ teaspoon of sea salt
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ⅛ teaspoon cloves
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg Dash of cayenne pepper
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 4 cups (32 ounces) vegetable broth
- ½ cup full-fat coconut milk or heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup or honey
- ¼ cup pepitas
Pumpkin Smoothie Bowl
Want something a little cooler than soup? This smoothie bowl was best described as pumpkin pie in smoothie form. Head over to Erin’s blog, The Almond Eater, for instructions on how to make this healthy smoothie. Do not forget to also take a picture if your smoothie bowl turns out looking beautiful.
- 1/2 cup raw cashews
- 3/4 cup canned pumpkin
- 1/2 cup milk of choice
- 5 ice cubes
- 2-3 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- Toppings: apple walnuts, chia seeds, cinnamon, etc.
Paleo Pumpkin Bars
Want a tasty pumpkin dessert without sacrificing your health? Try these Paleo Pumpkin Bars made by What Molly Made. They are also a healthy version of pumpkin pie!
- 2 cups almond flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon baking powder
- 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
- ¼ cup almond butter
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- ¼ cup of coconut sugar
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- 2 tablespoons almond milk Maple Frosting:
- 1/2 cup grass-fed butter ghee, or coconut oil, softened
- 1/3 cup maple syrup
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 1/4 tablespoons coconut flour
- 2 1/2 tablespoons coconut milk
- 1 tablespoon coconut sugar
Baked Pumpkin Fries
Want a healthy and also delicious snack or side dish? These baked pumpkin fries are so simple to make and a great fall treat. Head over to Oh, The Things We’ll Make for the recipe.
- 1/2 pumpkin or butternut squash
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil or other oil of your choice
- freshly ground black pepper