20 Ways to Sneak Pumpkin into Any Meal
From pesto to pizza, you can squeeze this fall superfood into any delicious dish
Sure, you can carve a pumpkin. But did you know you could also enjoy it in a bowl of oats, on a pizza, or in a fancy cocktail? We've rounded up 20 easy ways to enjoy this superfruit that comes with as much versatility as it does protein, fiber, and everyone's favorite fall flavor.
Waffles: Le'go my Eggo and give me the pumpkin! For a crispier (and healthier) morning meal, one cup of pumpkin puree will spice up any ordinary waffle.
Oatmeal: Pumpkin pie for breakfast? We went there. For a creamy bowl of oats, simply add some pumpkin puree. Topped with graham crackers, pecans, and a touch of maple syrup, and it's basically (almost) pumpkin pie.
Yogurt: It may be hard to find pumpkin flavored yogurt in the dairy section, but luckily it's easy to make at home. Simply combine ½ cup of plain, low-fat Greek yogurt with about ¼ cup canned pumpkin, and add any desired sweeteners and toppings of choice (we're fans of cinnamon and pecans!).
Muffins: Blueberry muffins are so two weeks ago. Pumpkin puree perks up any ordinary breakfast treat. Swap in whole-wheat flour and sprinkle some pumpkin seeds on top for a healthy start to the day!
Snacks, Sides, and Spreads
Mashed potatoes: Potatoes mashed with pumpkin, stirred with spinach, and mixed with almond milk? Yes, please. This out-of-the-box mashed potato recipe is as unique as it is nutritious and damn delicious.
(Recipe pictured at right, provided by Oh She Glows)
Hummus: For a slightly sweeter dip that's still filled with tahini and chickpeas, just add pumpkin puree. With a touch of cinnamon and nutmeg, this spin on the classic Middle Eastern spread will knock your (fall-themed) socks off.
Pickles: No cucumbers are necessary for this savory, autumn treat! Pickle thick slices of pumpkin instead for a salty, tangy side to any sandwich.
Pesto: There's no need for basil in this pesto recipe. (Trust us!) With pumpkin puree, pecans, garlic, and some parm cheese, you'll end up with a sweet and savory spread that goes great on pasta, crackers, or straight up with a spoon.
Lunch and Dinner
Raviolis: This is a true autumn meal. Wrapping up creamy pumpkin and cheese filling with a pasta shell results in a sweet, comforting dish that makes sure nobody goes home hungry. Go extra healthy and swap the pasta for wonton wrappers.
Pizza: No pepperoni needed for this killer pie. Making a sweet, tangy pizza sauce with pumpkin is the perfect base for our favorite Italian meal. (Bonus points for impressing dinner guests!)
Quesadillas: For a filling Mexican treat, put some chopped, sauteed pumpkin (along with some jalapeños and cheese for good measure) between the tortillas. No sour cream necessary!
Chili: To add some extra spice to a comforting bowl of chili, just add pumpkin. It will add a sweet, nutty flavor to the bowl to satisfy any autumn taste bud.
Cheesecakes: It's no Cheesecake Factory, but you will save some calories and still get that pumpkin fix. This pumpkin puree-based dessert is sure to be a crowd pleaser.
Sherbet: If you were to take the filling of a pumpkin pie and freeze it, it'd taste just like this pumpkin sherbet. Creamy (without the fat!) and perfectly spiced, we can eat this straight from the tub.
Custard: For a cool and creamy autumn treat, pumpkin custard is the answer. Go the no-bake route to save some time, and mix the pumpkin with Greek yogurt for good measure.
Cookies: Move over snicker doodle, tis' the season for pumpkin oatmeal cranberry chocolate chip cookies. (We're stoked, too.) Make em for your friends, family, co-workers, neighbors, or simply yourself.
Hard cider: Cider drinks, don't sweat it! Now you can have a share of the pumpkin brew fun, too. Try your hand at making it yourself or give one of the newer bottled versions a go.
Hot chocolate: Canned pumpkin and pumpkin pie spice is all you need to take hot chocolate up a notch. So give pumpkin spice hot chocolate a whirl to warm up your hands and heart.
Beer: Beer lovers, unite! With autumn comes the arrival of pumpkin ales on every store aisle, and for good reason. To go DIY, brew your own pumpkin beer for a non-stop stash.
Protein shakes: Perfect for breakfast, lunch, or a post-workout snack, whip up a pumpkin pie smoothiethat's packed with protein (thanks to protein powder!) for staying power.
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