Have you noticed? It’s pumpkin season! That bright orange color is not just good for decorating – it gives you a peek into their nutritional value, too. Beta-carotene gives pumpkins their appealing color and their nutritional punch. Low in calories, high in nutrients, pumpkin is easy to cook with and fun to mix into all sorts of recipes. Keep it basic by making pumpkin bread or maple pumpkin muffins. For an after-school snack, why not whip up old-fashioned soft pumpkins cookies or pumpkin peanut butter dip? Throw together a pumpkin seed popcorn snack mix or pumpkin parfaits if you’re in a hurry. These are just a few ideas to get you started.
This pumpkin bread from Eating Well stays moist from pureed pumpkin. But a healthy mix of all-purpose and whole-wheat flour keeps it nutritious. Pour the batter into two 9-by-5-inch loaf pans and bake. To make the loaf a little fancier, finish off by sprinkling generously with a half-and-half mix of cinnamon and sugar on top before baking.
Maple Pumpkin Muffins
No time for making bread? Bake up these maple pumpkin muffins from Taste of Home instead. The recipe is packed with cinnamon for an added note of spice. Maple syrup gives the muffins a light sweetness. Add a pecan half to each muffin and bake to perfection.
Old-Fashioned Soft Pumpkin Cookies
These easy old-fashioned soft pumpkin cookies from Very Best Baking have a light and airy texture. Once cooled, add a swirl of powdered sugar glaze. This recipe makes a big batch of 36 cookies.
Pumpkin Seed Popcorn Snack Mix
Besides puree, use another part of the pumpkin to make this pumpkin seed popcorn snack mix from Betty Crocker. In a saucepan, melt butter and stir in brown sugar, and light corn syrup along with chili powder, cumin, cinnamon and cayenne powder. Use the sauce to coat plain, popped popcorn and pumpkin seeds.
Pumpkin Peanut Butter Dip
You can whip up this pumpkin peanut butter dip from Fitness Magazine in minutes. The dip includes pureed pumpkin, low-fat Greek yogurt, peanut flour, a little sugar, cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice. Serve the dip with apple slices.
Here’s another no-cook recipe. These pumpkin parfaits from Pillsbury taste like pie in a cup. Stir together vanilla pudding with milk and then mix in pureed pumpkin. Next, combine whipped cream with softened cream cheese – alternate layers of cream cheese and a pumpkin mixture. Add an amaretti cookie to the top of each.