Whether it’s fresh from the garden or found in a can, pumpkin can be a great resource for preparing yourself a healthy breakfast. The nutrient-rich squash can keep your taste buds and waistline happy year-round so it deserves our recognition beyond Halloween jack-o-lanterns and Thanksgiving pie.
Here are a few healthy pumpkin recipes for breakfast to get your thoughts flowing. Happy cooking!
Easy Pumpkin Muffins
You will want one cup of pumpkin puree, half a cup of applesauce, two eggs, one fourth a cup of almond milk, a third a cup of honey, a pinch of salt, a teaspoon of baking soda, a teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice and two cups of whole wheat flour.
Mix all the ingredients in a big bowl. If you want to get technical, you can add in all the wet ingredients in your mixing bowl and then in a separate container you can mix together all your dry ingredients before combining the wet and dry mixtures, but this recipe is incredibly flexible. Spray your muffin pan with a fat-free canola oil and bake the goods for around twenty minutes with your oven set to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
If you don’t like almond milk, use cow’s milk or some plain Greek yogurt. If you don’t like using honey in recipes, use a half a cup of sugar or a fourth a cup of Truvia Baking Blend. If you’re gluten intolerant, use a rice flour blend. If the texture is a little too gummy for your taste, add in a tablespoon of olive oil. If you don’t have any pumpkin spice on hand, add in equal parts of cinnamon and nutmeg. Throw in some grated orange zest if you’re feeling adventurous or play around with the grains, adding in less flour and including a handful of oats.
Light Pumpkin Soup
To create the base of the soup, start with two cups of pumpkin puree, three cups of chicken broth and a half of a cup of unsweetened almond milk. Depending on your preferences, you may want to include a tablespoon of onion powder and half a teaspoon of garlic powder along with a pinch of salt and black pepper. If you like additional spices like cumin, curry powder or chili powder, you can certainly toss in a teaspoon or two of any combination that suits your tastes. You can alternatively opt for including fresh chopped-up herbs like thyme, sage and parsley.
Put all of your ingredients, besides the almond milk, into a saucepan on medium heat. Periodically stir the soup and let the ingredients simmer for around twenty minutes. Pour in the almond milk and stir. Cook for an additional minute or two until all the soup in its entirety is warm. Feel free to use a potato masher or blender to smooth out any inconsistencies.
If you don’t do chicken broth, vegetable broth will work just fine in this recipe. If you want a richer consistency, add in a tablespoon or two of olive oil. If you have a high-tech blender like the Vitamix with a soup function at the ready, pour all of your ingredients in the blender and let the soup setting naturally heat the dish while it blends your soup into a perfectly smooth texture.
Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
You’ll need pumpkin seeds, but any additional spices or seasonings are up to you. Per cup of seeds, you can use a tablespoon of olive oil and half a teaspoon of cinnamon for a dessert-like snack or you can opt for a teaspoon each of ginger and chili powder for a more savory option.
Instead of throwing away your pumpkin seeds when you have a fresh squash on your hands, rinse the seeds off with water and discard any pumpkin flesh or strings that may be lingering. Dry the seeds off with a paper towel or a clean kitchen towel and spread the seeds out on a baking pan that has been sprayed with a fat-free canola oil. Heat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and roast the pumpkin seeds for twenty to thirty minutes, stirring the seeds a few times throughout the baking process. If you want to add seasonings to your seeds, pull the seeds out from the oven with roughly five or ten minutes to go. Stir the seeds and your oil and spices in a large mixing bowl, being careful to disperse the oil and spices evenly. Spread the coated seeds back onto your baking pan and cook for the remainder of the time.
If you’re working with hulled pumpkin seeds that you bought prepackaged, they probably won’t need to bake for so long. Keep your eye on the oven and pull them out early as needed. You can also look on the package to see if there are any fun recipes to try out.
Delicious Pumpkin Smoothie
According to your tastes, you’ll want half a cup of pumpkin puree, one banana, one cup of unsweetened almond milk, a half of a teaspoon of cinnamon, a half of a teaspoon of vanilla extract and some ice cubes.
You can throw in all of your ingredients at once into the blender or you can pulse the ice, banana and puree before adding in the milk and flavorings. Keep blending until the drink is as smooth as you like, adding in more ice or more water if you want to adjust the thickness.
If you want to make a protein smoothie, add in a scoop of vanilla protein powder. If you want to add a half of a teaspoon of maple syrup or honey, I’m not going to stop you. You can also toss in a dash of ground ginger, nutmeg and/or cloves according to your tastes. If you want to increase the nutritional value of your pumpkin smoothie, you can certainly add in a carrot or a half cup of applesauce as well. If you’re really looking to win brownie points with health advocates, throw in a handful of spinach or romaine leaves, too. Yummy.