• By Deanna Segrave-Daly
  • In 2018
  • October 10, 2018

Ways to Enjoy Pumpkin Puree (Beyond the Pie!)

by Beth Stark, RDN, LDN

In recent years, pure, nutrient-dense pumpkin has been seemingly overshadowed by “pumpkin spice everything.” Not only are the myriad of pumpkin spice products on the market often artificially flavored and colored, most of them also don’t even include pumpkin in their ingredient list.

True pumpkin puree has a mild sweetness that’s surprisingly versatile, a touch of nuttiness and a deep, naturally-occurring orange hue. A half-cup serving of pumpkin puree also supplies vitamins A and C, potassium, magnesium and three grams of fiber.

This season, try using real pumpkin to up the nutritional ante of sweet and savory recipe ideas like these that can be enjoyed in the fall and all year-round.

Smoothies

A smoothie is an easy, healthful and portable way to sip up some pumpkin flavor. Simply blend fresh or canned pumpkin purée, frozen banana, your milk of choice, maple syrup and pumpkin pie spice (a mix of cinnamon, ginger, cloves, nutmeg and all-spice) until smooth. For a smoothie bowl, add ice before blending to thicken, then top with pecans, shredded coconut, pepitas (pumpkin seeds) and sliced banana.

Soups and Sauces

Tap into the savory side of pumpkin by stirring it into your favorite tomato-based soups and sauces. This trick gives your soup or sauce a smoother consistency, a mild pumpkin flavor and a boost of nutrients. Try it in this recipe for Pumpkin Chicken Chili.

Parfaits

Perfect for breakfast or lunch, parfaits are easy to make, contain a variety of textures and are especially tasty when infused with pumpkin. Whip up a parfait by combining

pumpkin purée, maple syrup and cinnamon and layering it with vanilla Greek yogurt and nutty granola. Top with fresh fruit and dig in!

Oatmeal

Add pumpkin power to overnight oats. Simply combine equal parts of old-fashioned oats, your milk of choice, 2 tablespoons of pumpkin puree, pumpkin pie spice and brown sugar in a glass jar or resealable container. Refrigerate overnight and top with chia seeds and pecans in the morning; eat chilled or warmed.

Muffins and Quick Breads

In baking, pumpkin can replace some of the oil or butter called for to reduce calories and fat, while adding flavor and kicking up the nutrients. Try this swap with a 1:1 ratio and then adjust as needed to achieve the desired texture. For a pumpkin-forward muffin that’s sure to become a family staple, try these light and fluffy Pumpkin Pecan Muffins.

 


Beth Stark, RDN, LDN is the Manager of Lifestyle Initiatives at Weis Markets, a family-owned and -operated supermarket chain with 206 stores in the mid-Atlantic region. Connect with her on Instagram and LinkedIn.