Healthiest Pumpkin Recipes

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Last week I told you why pumpkin mania is a boon to your health (find out the health benefits of pumpkin). Now we get to get down in the kitchen with America’s favorite squash. While it’s plenty easy to find pumpkin recipes that are doused in butter, sugar and cream, I wanted to highlight the health aspects of pumpkin with some of Cooking Channel’s healthiest pumpkin recipes. Here they are in no particular order:

  • This Creamy Baked Pumpkin Risotto tastes rich and decadent, but is a lean 269 calories per serving.
  • Ellie Krieger’s Pumpkin Flan is a lighter alternative to pumpkin pie, but it's just as creamy and delicious.
  • This Pumpkin Soup (pictured) gets heat from a Scotch bonnet pepper and flavor from chicken thighs, broth and a whole pumpkin.
  • Hungry Girl’s Surprise, It's Pumpkin! Enchiladas are a 30-minute diet delight filled with creamy pumpkin seasoned with onions and taco seasoning.
  • There's no butter in this sweet, spiced Pumpkin Butter, which you can use to top toast.
  • While not the absolute healthiest pumpkin muffins around, these Pumpkin Streusel Muffins get some fiber from whole-wheat flour and butter is kept to just 1 tablespoon per serving.
  • Harvest Beef Chili with Pumpkin and Beans: Rich in iron from the beef and beans and fiber from the beans and pumpkin, this chili is a nutrition powerhouse.
  • Roasted Pumpkin and Red Onion with Honey Dressing: Treat pumpkin like the vegetable it is with this easy, flavorful side.
  • Michael Symon's Sweet Pumpkin Strudel serves 12, so it keeps calories in check.
  • Pumpkin Gyoza: Asian dumplings get a makeover with this pumpkin version. Simple ingredients let the pumpkin really shine.
  • Hungry Girl’s Yum Yum Brownie Muffins have just 2 ingredients: a box of cake mix and a can of pumpkin puree. While I can't exactly call cake mix healthy, the addition of pumpkin (in place of extra oil) helps keep the calorie count of these muffins to a low 181.
  • Nigella’s Thai Yellow Pumpkin and Seafood Curry pairs the squash with Thai flavors and seafood for an unexpected take on pumpkin.
  • Baby Spinach, Avocado and Pumpkin Seed Salad: This simple salad gets a nice crunch from the addition of iron-rich pumpkin seeds. (And no collection of healthy pumpkin recipes would be complete without pumpkin seeds, right

Kerri-Ann is a registered dietitian and nutrition coach who writes on food and health trends. Find more of her work at kerriannjennings.com or follow her on Twitter @kerriannrd or Facebook.

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