The risotto is satisfying on its own, but can be paired with meat as well. For a autumn inspired meal pair with cranberry baked chicken or turkey or pork chops with apples! Using butter (a high saturated fat) in small amounts gives foods a wonderfully creamy flavor, you just don’t want to go overboard!
Total time: 1 hour, 15 mins
Makes 8 servings
¼ cup olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
1 Tbsp chopped garlic
2 cups Arborio rice
6 cups low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth
2 cups pureed pumpkin*
½ cup grated parmesan
1 Tbsp unsalted butter
Salt, pepper, to taste
* I used pie pumpkins that we grew in our garden that I baked and pureed, but plain (unsweetened) canned pumpkin would do the trick as well!
Nutrition Facts: 1 serving (3/4 cup)
280 calories, 7 g fat (2.5 g saturated), 46 g carbohydrate, 4 g fiber, 8 g protein, 140 mg sodium
Instead of reaching for a pre-sweetened coffee beverage, consider a brewed pumpkin flavored hot coffee and use a small amount of milk/creamer and your preferred sweetener.
This pumpkin pie smoothie recipe is a healthy option for a meal replacement or post-workout treat. Best of all, you can drink it and know that you are making a healthy and filling choice for a healthy diet. I use a sugar-free protein powder, but ¾ cup of Greek yogurt would do the trick as well!
Pumpkin Pie Smoothie
½ cup canned pumpkin (not the pumpkin pie filling) or cooked pureed pumpkin
1 scoop sugar-free vanilla protein powder
1/8 tsp cinnamon
1 cup ice cubes
½ cup water, skim milk, or dairy alternative (almond, soy, coconut milk)
Place all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth.
1 smoothie (made with water/sugar- free protein powder)
200 calories, 2 g fat, 26 g carbohydrates, 24 g protein
Pumpkins are chock full of fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. They are wonderful to incorporate into soups, breads, or stews. Pumpkin soup is a classic dish, and depending on how it is made it can be a healthy, or a not-so-healthy soup. I avoid using cream and butter in my cooking and will instead go with evaporated milk or canned coconut milk, depending on the flavors I want to use. Pumpkin soup can be traditional, with flavors of cinnamon, cloves, and ginger, but my favorite is a spicy curry soup. I let it simmer longer than I usually do and the result was a thicker and more intensely flavored soup, which I loved.
Cooking Fresh Pumpkins
Cooking pumpkin is easy! You want to make sure you have a pumpkin variety that is good for cooking. Popular varieties include pie pumpkins, or sugar pumpkins and they tend to be on the smaller side (4-8 pounds).
For a smoother texture (which I recommend) puree in a food processor with a small amount of water.
Don't toss the seeds! They can be baked and are a good source of healthy fats, protein, and fiber! Add to salads, baked goods, or as a snack. To bake the pumpkin seeds: Rinse well and pat with paper towel. Place in a bowl and toss with 1 Tbsp olive oil and salt and pepper and evenly distribute on a baking sheet.Bake at 350 degrees for ~20 minutes or until crispy
Curry Pumpkin Soup
Makes 6 servings
1 Tbsp canola oil
1 tsp chopped garlic
½ tsp minced ginger
½ cup onion, diced
~2 cups fresh pumpkin or 1- 14oz canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
1 can of coconut milk
3 cups low sodium chicken or vegetable broth
1-2 Tbsp curry powder
½ tsp turmeric
¼ tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
Nutrition Facts: 1 cup
180 calories, 16 g fat (13 g saturated), 7 g carbohydrates, 1 g fiber, 3 g protein, 130 mg sodium