3 Great Healthy Pumpkin Recipes for Fall Cooking

By Chef Mareya Ibrahim – November 5, 2022
Chef Mareya Ibrahim

The fall season brings about many changes, as well as many veggies, fruits and herbs that are delicious, healthy and simply bursting with good vibes! Pumpkin is one of the best fall vegetables to enjoy. It’s full of fiber, low in calories and full of antioxidants and helps to regulate blood sugar. What you cook with it, however, can make all the difference! Pumpkin today has taken on a whole new dimension and is no longer simply destined for sugary pies. Pumpkin is one of the most versatile vegetables in your store and, these days, there are so many ways to cook with it that you might never have thought possible.

I prefer a “clean” approach to cooking with pumpkin — recipes that avoid refined and processed foods and artificial ingredients, as well as being vegan and dairy- and gluten-free wherever possible. So why not indulge in these delicious treats that are good for your body?

Light-As-Air Pumpkin Pie Squares

Pumpkin Pie Bars.

Vegan Swap / Gluten-Free

Servings: 8 squares

The secret ingredient: tofu! You won’t even believe there’s no heavy diary in here, and you definitely won’t taste the tofu. The square cuts make them easy to transport and help with portion control.

Crust:

⅓ cup gluten-free rolled oats

8 low-fat gluten-free graham crackers

1 egg white (or vegan egg substitute)

Filling

18 ounces lite extra-firm organic tofu

2 cups canned or aseptic-packed pumpkin

1 cup nonfat vanilla coconut yogurt

⅔ cup Xylitol (or alternative natural sweetener)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. To make the crust: In a food processor, combine graham crackers and oats, and process to a fine crumb. Add egg whites until well incorporated. In a nonstick baking pan, press crumbs into the bottom, and bake for about 8 minutes, or until firm to the touch. Remove from the oven.
  3. To make the filling: Drain tofu, place in a food processor and process until smooth. Add remaining filling ingredients. Process until well blended. Pour into the crust, and bake for about an hour, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Remove from the oven, and chill until firm. Cut into 2 1/2-inch squares and top with whipped topping (we love Truwhip or coconut whipped cream), and add a dusting of cinnamon. 

Chai Pumpkin Pie Parfaits with Banana Coconut Whip

Pumpkin Parfaits

Vegan Swap / Gluten-Free / Raw / Clean

Servings: 2 to 4

These parfaits make themselves overnight and are perfect for the morning but pretty enough for a sweet afternoon or dessert treat, especially when they’re layered in a pretty parfait glass.

Parfait Filling:

1 cup pumpkin puree

¾ cup nonfat Greek yogurt (or coconut yogurt)

2 teaspoons chai seeds

2 teaspoons organic Stevia extract liquid

¼  teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

¼  teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Banana Whip:

½ cup canned coconut cream

½ frozen banana (or ½ fresh banana and ½ cup ice)

2 teaspoons organic Stevia extract (powder or liquid)

½  teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Topping:

2 tablespoons of your favorite low-sugar granola

Optional: unsweetened coconut flakes

Directions:

  1. In a bowl, mix together parfait ingredients; adjust spices as desired. Add chia seeds and mix in thoroughly. Layer into a Mason jar and chill overnight.
  2. In a blender, combine banana whip ingredients until light and fluffy. 
  3. In a parfait glass or champagne flute, layer the pumpkin mixture with the banana whip on top and finish with a tablespoon of low-sugar granola and optional coconut flakes.

Pumpkin & Ginger Snap Pancakes

Pumpkin pancakes with honey.

Vegan Swap / Gluten-Free 

Servings: 8 small pancakes

Holy snap, this makes waking up fun! The combination of pumpkin and ginger is a match made in heaven. You can make the cakes a little thinner with added water or thicker, depending on your taste. The addition of protein powder keeps them macro-balanced.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup unsweetened canned or aseptic-packed pumpkin

4 egg whites (or vegan egg substitute)

½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 cup unsweetened coconut or almond milk (add a little more if you like thinner pancakes)

¼ cup gluten-free gingersnap cookies, crushed coarsely

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

1 cup oat or coconut flour

2 scoops of your favorite low-sugar vanilla protein powder

Nonstick cooking spray

Directions:

  1. Preheat the griddle pan.
  2. In a bowl, whisk together all wet ingredients.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix together all dry ingredients.
  4. Add wet to dry and whisk together until well blended.
  5. Season the griddle with nonstick cooking spray. Ladle pancake batter onto a griddle and cook until the batter starts to bubble. Flip and cook for another minute. Repeat with the remaining batter.
  6. Top with low-sugar pumpkin butter or your favorite low-sugar syrup.

Enjoy!

About the Author

 

Chef mareya headshot.

Chef Mareya Ibrahim is a Fit Foodie, TV chef, nutrition coach and author of “Eat Like You Give a Fork: The Real Dish on Eating to Thrive.” She’s also a signature chef to the NY Times million-copy bestseller “The Daniel Plan: 40 Days to a Healthier Life” and was a featured chef on three seasons of the Emmy-nominated show, “Recipe Rehab.”

 
 

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