As soon as the leaves start to change color, the push for pumpkin-everything is on! But so many pumpkin-flavored foods and drinks are laden with sugar—and not much actual pumpkin. Here are three healthy recipes to help you harness the power of pumpkin, using canned pumpkin puree. Be careful not to confuse your cans: While pumpkin puree contains only pure pumpkin, pumpkin pie filling looks very similar, but has added sugar.
Wonton Wrapper Pumpkin Ravioli
Ravioli are ideal for stuffing with healthy pumpkin filling. However, if you don’t have time to hand-make your own pasta pillows, wonton wrappers are an easy substitute for the outside of ravioli.
½ cup canned pureed pumpkin
¼ teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon fresh sage (or ¼ teaspoon dried)
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup whole milk ricotta cheese
24 wonton wrappers
Add pumpkin, chili powder, sage, salt and ricotta cheese to a mixing bowl and stir to combine.
Bring a medium sized pot of water to a boil.
Spread out half of the wonton wrappers and spoon about 2 teaspoons of pumpkin mixture into the middle of each wrapper.
In a separate bowl, whisk the egg. Dab your finger into the egg and “paint” generously around the pumpkin on each wrapper to act as “glue” (or use a basting brush). Lay a second wrapper on top of each bottom wrapper. Seal the edges by pressing on them with a fork or pinching with your fingers and then trimming the edges with a knife (or pizza cutter)
When water is boiling, add ravioli a few at a time and boil for 2 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon.
Special thanks to Penn State Nutrition Student Eden Vallely for her contributions to this pumpkin ravioli recipe’s development.
Pumpkin-powered Overnight Oatmeal
Prepping overnight oats is a great way to save time and effort in the morning, and adding pumpkin helps boost the nutrition benefits of this morning staple.
¼ cup canned pumpkin puree
½ cup steel cut or rolled oats
1 cup milk or milk alternative
½ teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons walnuts
Add oatmeal to the bottom of a mason jar, coffee mug or cereal bowl.
Top with pumpkin, milk and cinnamon. Stir to combine.
Cover and store in the refrigerator overnight. Garnish with walnuts before eating.
Pumpkin Coconut Curry
Pumpkin packs a powerful flavor profile and a ton of nutrition in this easy-to-make and flavorful curry. Add fried or baked tofu or cooked chicken for additional protein and substitute or add any additional vegetables that you may have on hand.
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, diced
1 inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated (or ½ teaspoon ginger powder)
1 tablespoon curry powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 green bell pepper, thinly sliced
2 carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
1 15-oz can pumpkin puree
1 15-oz can chickpeas
1 cup reduced-sodium chicken or vegetable stock
1 13.5-oz can light coconut milk
1 cup prepared whole grain such as brown rice, quinoa, or barley
Cilantro for garnish
Heat oil in a large frying pan over medium heat until oil shimmers. Add onion and sauté until translucent, 3-4 minutes. Add garlic, ginger, curry powder and salt, and cook for an additional minute, taking care not to burn the garlic.
Add bell pepper and carrots and cook until slightly softened, about 5 minutes. Add pumpkin puree, chickpeas, stock and coconut milk. Stir to combine and bring to a boil. Turn heat down and simmer 15-20 minutes or until vegetables are tender and sauce thickens.
Serve pumpkin coconut curry sauce over prepared whole grain such as brown rice, quinoa or barley and garnish with cilantro.