America’s favorite gourd

 Photo by Corey Blaz

Photo by Corey Blaz

 
 

‘Tis the season for all things orange and spiced. Try these health-conscious recipes utilizing the star of the season: pumpkin. Pumpkin is a great source of fiber, beta-carotene and potassium. Your eyes, bones and skin will thank you for eating more of this delicious gourd.

America’s favorite gourd deserves life beyond pumpkin pie: try it juiced, in a smoothie, or as a tasty spread for your morning toast! Read on for the recipes.

Here are 3 novel ways to appreciate pumpkin this fall: The Pumpkin Elixir, Pumpkin Toast, and The Guilt-Free Pumpkin Smoothie.

 

Pumpkin Elixir

Serves 2-4

Ingredients

½ pie pumpkin (small pumpkin: 4-8 lbs)

5 apples

2 pears

4 large juicing carrots

2 lemons

4-inch ginger root

 

Directions

1.     Assemble your juicer.

2.     Soak produce in a bath of water and apple cider vinegar for 10 minutes. Rinse.

3.     Cut pumpkin in half from the stem down. Remove seeds.* Cut into 4 inch chunks or a size that will fit through the mouth of your juicer.

4.     Core apples and pears.

5.     Cut lemons in half.

6.     Pass your produce through the juicer in the following order: pumpkin, carrot, apple, pear, lemon and ginger. You may need to adjust your juicer settings when juicing pumpkin.

This recipe yields approximately 4 cups of juice.

* Pumpkin seeds and the other half of the pumpkin from this recipe are delicious roasted and served on a kale salad.  Try it with pomegranate seeds and your favorite vinaigrette.

 

Pumpkin toast

Move over avocado toast, pumpkin toast is in the house. Add fall flair to your morning routine with this delicious pumpkin toast recipe. This filling is also delightful mixed into oatmeal. 

Serves: 6 slices of pumpkin toast but also ¾ cup spread to use however you’d like!

Ingredients

½ can pumpkin puree

3 tsp coconut oil

3 tbsp almond butter

1 ½ tbsp honey or 4 dates

2 tsp cinnamon

½ tsp Himalayan salt

 

Topping

Walnuts

Sliced apple

Honey*

 

Directions: Combine almond butter and coconut oil in a microwave-safe dish and microwave for 15 seconds to melt oil. Stir to combine. Add in remaining ingredients. Spread the mixture over your favorite whole-grain toast. Enjoy pumpkin toast with sliced apples, walnuts and a drizzle of honey.

 

*Note: For a whole-food sweetener, use dates instead of honey. Simple soak dates in water for 1 hour, drain and pulse in a food processor with the other pumpkin toast ingredients to combine.

 

Guilt-free pumpkin pie smoothie

Canned puréed pumpkin shines in this easy smoothie recipe that any pumpkin-pie lover should try. You’ll love the flavor without the guilt from the inevitable Thanksgiving gorge.

Serves 2

Ingredients

1 ½ cup almond milk

½ can pureed pumpkin

2 frozen bananas

4 dates

2 tsp cinnamon

 

Directions

Blend ingredients until smooth.

Note: Frozen bananas are excellent for smoothies because they are sweeter and keep the smoothie cold! Simply peel and freeze spotted bananas for your next smoothie.

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