One of my favorite pantry staples is pumpkin puree, which can be used to boost flavor and bring major nutrition to your meals and snacks. While healthy pumpkin puree recipes are common in the fall, I think they deserve a space on your meal plan year-round. Let me explain.
Here are just some of the nutritional standout nutrients in a cup of pumpkin puree:
7 grams of fiber (you need about 25-38 grams/day)
> 10% of your daily potassium requirement
>13% of your daily magnesium requirement (for more on this super mineral, check out my recent blog post about magnesium)
> 75% of your daily vitamin K needs
>10% of your daily vitamin C targets
> 100% of your daily vitamin A requirements (thanks to the beta carotene)
These nutrients are linked with wide-ranging benefits, including more radiant skin, a healthier immune system, better blood pressure, a healthier heart and cardiovascular system, and improvements in bone strength. If you want to stay more vibrant and younger looking, stock up on pumpkin puree!
If eating foods that enable you to feel more vibrant and healthy isn’t enough to sway you, maybe you’d be interested to know that these nutrients can also impact how youthful you look. Studies suggest the nutrients in in pumpkin puree:
reduce dry skin
promote skin elasticity
boost your body’s natural sun protection
promote a more attractive skin tone
increase skin hydration
Taken together with your skin and sun protection regimen, you can achieve healthier, more radiant, and younger looking skin by incorporating wholesome foods and ingredients (like pumpkin puree) and limiting skin wreckers (like added sugars and refined grains).
Here’s what happens below the surface. Antioxidants protect your cells from the type of damage that leaves them unstable and susceptible to the aging process (as well as certain diseases). Damage can come from external toxins, like the sun or environmental pollution, or it can come from internal factors, including normal byproducts of metabolism or exercise. You may see antioxidants—like vitamin A, vitamin E, and vitamin C—in beauty serums, but it’s also hugely beneficial to get these nutrients from whole foods, where they can nourish your cells, skin, and overall body from the inside.
One caution: While it may be safe to apply antioxidants topically, when you’re consuming them, it’s better to get them from whole food sources rather than from supplements. Taken in excess, certain antioxidants, including beta-carotene, can become pro-oxidants, meaning they induce the oxidative stress that promotes cell damage, thereby raising the risk of disease.
However, in food, beta-carotene (the pre-cursor to vitamin A) from pumpkin puree (and other sources) can help boost your skin’s natural sun protection and defend it from sun-induced damage. Eating healthy pumpkin puree recipes that are rich in this nutrient has another benefit: It boosts your skin’s glow-factor similar to what you’d get from a tan. Though I’m focusing on healthy pumpkin puree recipes, you can also enjoy beta carotene in butternut squash, carrots, and other orange-hued foods (such as mango), to boost your skin’s glow and your overall health.
Sure, you can get these benefits from other sources, but pumpkin puree is one of the most convenient ways to get these perks because you can store a can in your pantry and add it to a number of meals, snacks, and desserts. Here are some easy, healthy recipe ideas to that use pumpkin puree:
Add it to smoothies
Stir in oatmeal (hot and overnight, chilled oats)
Use it in chia puddings and other puddings
Use it as the base of a soup or just stir some into soups and chilis
Add a spoonful to Greek yogurt
Make a healthier pumpkin spice latte
Stir it into mac & cheese
Use it in place of or in addition to tomato paste
Add it to baked goods
Use it to make energy bites
I’ve created a booklet with 6 healthy pumpkin puree recipes so you can see for yourself how delicious eating well tastes and how awesome it helps you look and feel! You can grab your copy here. And be sure to try one of my latest obsessions—my recipe for healthy pumpkin puree protein pancakes! With 31 grams of protein and 6 grams of fiber, this hearty meal will keep you full and happy for hours! And with meaningful amounts of nutrients, like vitamin A (from beta carotene), vitamin C, magnesium, iron, and calcium, this recipe shows you just how delicious and satisfying healthy eating can be! Grab your booklet for more healthy pumpkin puree recipes.
HEALTHY PUMPKIN PUREE PROTEIN PANCAKES
½ c pureed pumpkin
2 Tbsp powdered peanut butter (such as PB Fit)
¼ c vanilla protein powder (such as Naked Nutrition)
¼ tsp baking soda
DIRECTIONS: Whisk the egg and separately, mix the dry ingredients. Add the dry ingredients to the egg and combine thoroughly. Heat a nonstick skillet coated with coconut oil or avocado oil cooking spray over medium heat. Spoon a small amount of batter onto the skillet and heat until the edges are cooked. Flip carefully and heat, cooking each pancake through. (You might have to flip them a few times.) Remove from heat and plate when cooked through.
TOPPINGS: My favorite toppings are tahini or almond butter and some warmed berries (from frozen). You could also top with banana slices, chopped, toasted pecans and/or walnuts, unsweetened toasted coconut, mini chocolate chips, and pure maple syrup, if desired.
I hope you enjoy this recipe! It’s a delicious way to linger over a weekend breakfast and a great healthy recipe featuring pumpkin puree. If you’re struggling to figure out how to nourish your body so you can eat and live better, please schedule a complimentary call. I’d love to get to know you and see if I can help!
Want to Geek out on the science with me? Check the references below.