Pumpkins: you've probably picked them, carved them and decorated your home with them, but have you cooked one for dinner yet? It may be time to give it a try.
This autumn squash mixes well in more than just pumpkin pie and pumpkin bread. In pastas, stews, and even on pizzas, pumpkins are a versatile ingredient that can be added for just 30 calories in one cup.
And not only will you get some fall flavor by cooking with this squash, but you'll get many health benefits as well! Pumpkins are rich in Vitamin A, fiber and potassium. In just one cup, you'll get 200 percent of your daily Vitamin A intake, which promotes healthy vision, and a rich amount of antioxidants called carotenoids. Even the seeds have their own nutritional benefits; they contain magnesium, copper and zinc, among other nutrients.
In honor of Halloween approaching, we've picked out five delicious recipes that incorporate either raw or canned pumpkin. So get in the fall spirit, and give these healthy recipes a try, which are all less than 400 calories per serving.
Monday: Pumpkin ravioli
This guilt-free ravioli uses canned pumpkin, chicken broth, Parmesan cheese, and wonton wrappers for the perfect fall pasta meal. Enjoy at just 162 calories per serving!
Per serving: 162 calories, 5g fat, 6g protein, 2g fiber
Tuesday: Roasted pumpkin-apple soup
Warm up with this sweet soup, which uses two of fall's best offerings: pumpkins and apples! Also included in the recipe are hazelnuts, chicken broth, and sage.
Per serving: 180 calories, 9g fat, 25g carbohydrates, 3g protein, 6g fiber
Wednesday: Pepperoni pizza
This is not your typical pepperoni pizza: it uses whole-wheat pizza dough, low-fat turkey pepperoni, and even mixes pumpkin puree with the tomato sauce. These simple substitutions skim the fat and calories, and only take 35 minutes to make!
Per serving: 280 calories, 6g fat, 35g carbohydrates, 16g protein, 3g fiber
Thursday: Pork and pumpkin stew
This stew calls for a fresh 2-pound pumpkin, and blends with boneless pork shoulder, garlic, turnip greens, tomatoes, and more! Enjoy this filling protein-packed meal for less than 300 calories.
Per serving: 271 calories, 13g fat, 18g carbohydrates, 23g protein, 3g fiber
Friday: Skinny pumpkin pasta bake
Another flavorful, healthy pumpkin and pasta meal, this dish uses pumpkin puree, kale, and low-fat milk. This low-fat meal takes only 45 minutes to make.
Per serving: 378 calories, 6g fat, 60g carbohydrates, 15g protein