Pumpkins are so much more than colorful decorations–they offer big benefits for your health.
October 08, 2008
1 of 25Randy Mayor Cooking Light
Raw pumpkin has only 15 calories per 1/2 cup, and is full of iron, zinc, and fiber. It's high in vitamin C and beta carotene. Pumpkins are also high in lutein and zeaxanthin, substances that may help prevent the formation of cataracts and reduce the risk of macular degeneration. Canned pumpkin has a similar nutrient profile with slightly less fiber than fresh, but more bioavailable beta carotene due to heat used in the canning process. And don't forget the seeds: Pumpkin seeds are a good source of protein and fiber, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, copper, and manganese.
2 of 25Photo: Johnny Autry; Styling: Cindy Barr
Grilled Sweet Potato and Napa Cabbage Salad with Lime Vinaigrette
3 of 25Photo: Greg Dupree; Styling: Heather Chadduck Hillegas
Recipe Need help peeling and cutting your pumpkin? Most supermarket produce sections offer this service for a small fee.
4 of 25Randy Mayor; Leigh Ann Ross
Roasted Pumpkin and Sweet Potato Pilau
Roasted Pumpkin and Sweet Potato Pilau Recipe Pilau (or pilaf), typically consists of meats or vegetables added to a grain, and is an ideal way to add more fiber to your diet with whole grains like wild rice, brown rice, or bulgur. Serve with pork chops and green beans. This hearty side's squash, potato, and brown rice offer about 10 percent of your daily fiber needs.
5 of 25Photo: Lee Harrelson; Styling: Jan Gautro, Laura Zapalowski
Pumpkin Hummus Recipe This appetizer recipe offers a holiday-style twist on the traditional Middle Eastern spread. You can find pumpkinseeds--also called pepitas--in groceries and Mexican markets. Prepare this pumpkin hummus recipe up to a day ahead, and refrigerate.
This top-rated pumpkin bread offers great flavor without the extra fat and calories of traditional pumpkin bread recipes. A sprinkling of chopped pecans on top adds great seasonal flavor as well.
7 of 25Photo: Jan Smith
Pumpkin-Black Bean Soup
Pumpkin-Black Bean Soup Recipe This Caribbean-inspired soup combines pumpkin, black beans, tomatoes, and sherry. It's topped with a tangy shower of queso fresco. Use vegetable broth to make this a meatless meal.
Pumpkin Pie Cake Recipe If you like pumpkin pie, you'll love this cake's subtle spice flavors and velvety cream cheese frosting. The slightly sweet and mild pecans add a pleasant crunch to the smooth frosting.
12 of 25Beau Gustafson; Katie Stoddard
Pumpkin-Cranberry Muffins Recipe Canned pumpkin offers the same health benefits as fresh, but is a little more convenient. It contributes both color and moistness to these fruit-filled muffins.
13 of 25Photo: Greg Dupree; Styling: Heather Chadduck Hillegas
Pumpkin-Walnut Focaccia with Gruyère Recipe Hearty focaccia is enhanced by the addition of canned pumpkin, brown sugar, nutty Gruyere cheese and chopped walnuts. Use the slightly sweet bread for sandwiches or as an accompaniment for soup.
16 of 25Photo: Annabelle Breakey; Styling: Emma Star Jensen
Pumpkin Ravioli with Gorgonzola Sauce Recipe Use wonton wrappers to make the ravioli and fill them with a mixture of canned pumpkin, fresh Parmesan and sage. Spoon the creamy cheese sauce over the ravioli and top with toasted hazelnuts.
20 of 25Randy Mayor; Mary Catherine Muir
Pork Stew with Pumpkin
Pork Stew with Pumpkin Recipe Boneless pork loin and fresh pumpkin make perfect partners in this hearty stew. Simmering over low heat for an hour allows the flavors of the pork, pumpkin, tomato, onion, and sage to blend into a mellow richness.
21 of 25Becky Luigart-Stayner
Pumpkin Risotto Cakes
Pumpkin Risotto Cakes Recipe Start with a hearty and creamy risotto flavored with cubed fresh pumpkin, shallots, and cremini mushrooms. Chill the risotto overnight, shape into patties, and brown in a skillet. They're perfect for a light, meat-free supper.
22 of 25Photography: Karry Hosford
Pumpkin Pudding with Candied Pecans
Pumpkin Pudding with Candied Pecans Recipe This simple no-cook pudding is made with silken tofu, fat-free sweetened condensed milk, and canned pumpkin. The rich autumn-like flavor comes from the pumpkin plus cinnamon, nutmeg and maple syrup and the crunchy sugared pecans that are sprinkled on the top.
23 of 25Photo: Karry Hosford
Pumpkin Bread Pudding
Pumpkin Bread Pudding Recipe When you can't decide between pumpkin pie and bread pudding for your holiday dessert, have both in one dish. This rich bread pudding is made with challah bread and canned pumpkin and accented with pumpkin pie spice. Serve with a drizzle of maple syrup and a sprinkle of chopped pecans.
24 of 25Becky Luigart-Stayner
Pumpkin Cheesecake Recipe Perfect for holiday entertaining, this creamy pumpkin cheesecake with a vanilla wafer crust can be made up to three days ahead. Another bonus is that each slice has only 256 calories, less than half the calories of a traditional cheesecake.
25 of 25Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner; Styling: Cindy Barr, Jan Gautro, Leigh Ann Ross
Spiced Pumpkin Biscuits
Spiced Pumpkin Biscuits Recipe A light hand with the dough will help to ensure tender biscuits. This method of folding the dough creates irresistible flaky layers. To maximize the number of biscuits you get from the recipe, gather the dough scraps after cutting and gently pat or reroll to a 3/4-inch thickness.