The Pumpkin Craze

October 6, 2022

When we think about October we think of PUMPKINS. The pumpkin craze is on, but it does not just have to be October as pumpkin is sold all year around. Pumpkin is sometime known as a superfood as it is so low in calories and packed with so much nutrition including Vitamin A and fiber. If buying canned pumpkin make sure that it is 100% pure canned pumpkin and not the canned pumpkin pie filling as that can look similar, but have added sugars and calories.



Ways To Add Pumpkin to Foods

There are so many ways to pack nutrition into everyday foods by adding pumpkin. If you are making pancakes either from a mix or from scratch, adding pumpkin can give pancakes a great flavor. Oatmeal is another breakfast option that taste great with some pumpkin and cinnamon. This can be make in the crockpot or a smaller portion in the microwave. How about a nice warm pumpkin soup for the fall? It can hit the spot especially with a dollop of plain Greek yogurt on top and a sprinkle of nutmeg.


Pumpkin Beverages

Many people enjoy the commercial beverages with pumpkin, but this is usually a seasoning or pumpkin flavored syrup added to a drink. Making a latte with canned pumpkin and pumpkin pie spice can be very tasty and more of a natural taste. Also, taking a vanilla protein powder mixed with milk and blending in some pumpkin and spices can be a good alternative to a traditional protein shake.


Pumpkin Seeds

When carving pumpkins this season, don’t forget to save the pumpkin seeds. Wash and dry them and then add a little oil with seasonings and bake. These make a great snack and they have the very healthy fats. These can be plain with a little salt, a spicy seed or even can be used with the spin of a little sugar and cinnamon to make a sweeter treat.


Baking with Pumpkin

Pumpkin can actually be used instead of oil at a fraction of calories and fat content. This works best in cakes, muffins, quick breads and some cookies. It is a one-for-one ratio so if I recipe calls for ½ cup of oil, a ½ cup of pumpkin should be used. The moisture of the pumpkin gives such a great texture to baked goods.


When some think of a fall pie, they think of pumpkin pie, but a healthier way would be to skip the crust of the pie as this can save around 120 calories per slice and go for a crustless version. Here is a recipe below that is so delicious especially with a little dollop of whipped cream and cinnamon. Here is the recipe below:



Crustless Pumpkin Pie



1 15 ounce can 100% pure pumpkin

1 13 ounce can fat free evaporated milk

1 egg

2 egg whites

½ cup reduced-fat biscuit mix

¾ cup Splenda

2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice

2 teaspoons vanilla

Vegetable spray

Non-fat whipped topping (for garnish)

Cinnamon or nutmeg (for garnish)



-Heat oven to 350 degrees

-Lightly spray pie pan with vegetable spray

-Place all ingredients in food processor or blender and mix for 1-2 minutes

-Pour into pie pan and bake for 50 minutes until center is puffed up



105 calories, 2 gm fat, 7gm protein, 15gm carbs, 2 gm fiber, 165mg sodium

The Author

Kim Kramer R.D., L.D.N., CDCES

I have been a dietitian for over 15 years and my passion is in outpatient wellness working with kids and adults to help change their eating habits. I knew from an early age that I wanted to be a dietitian, and I am enthusiastic about nutrition as it gives me joy to talk to others about healthy foods. I promote a healthy lifestyle and positive behavior changes. I have also been working in the field of diabetes for the last 7 years providing optimal diabetes management practices to those in need. In my spare time I enjoy spending time with my kids, cooking, playing the piano and working out.

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