One thing we all love about autumn are the delicious pumpkin-flavored snacks, treats, and drinks that surround us in abundance. Many of them are rich and not super healthy or can break our diets. So here are 10 low-calorie pumpkin recipes you can enjoy, without the guilt!
1. Pumpkin Butter
Pumpkin butter is one of the most decadent and festive ways to enjoy pumpkin flavors, and this recipe happens to only contain 39 calories per serving.
Combine 1 can oz. pumpkin puree,3/4 apple juice, 2 tsp. ground ginger, and 1/2 tsp. ground cloves, 1 1/2 cups white sugar, 2 tsp. ground cinnamon and 1 tsp. ground nutmeg into a large saucepan and stir well. Bring to a boil, reduce to simmer and let it cook for 30 minutes until thickened. Stir constantly.
Transfer mixture to glass jars or plastic food containers and chill in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
2. Pumpkin Cornbread
An autumnal twist on a classic bread recipe, and only 130 calories. Praise the pumpkin gods!
Heat oven to 400 degrees, and place inside a 9-inch cast iron skillet or a 2-quart baking dish. In a separate bowl whisk together 1 cup of pumpkin puree (use the whole can for a more moist bread), 1 cup low-fat milk (or soy or almond), 2 tbsp. olive oil, tbsp. honey and 2 eggs.
In another large bowl, add 1 1/2 cups cornmeal, sift in the 1/2 cup all-purpose flour, 1 tablespoon baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda and 3/4 teaspoon salt. Stir the dry ingredients into the wet mixture and mix together, be sure not to overwork it.
Remove the baking dish or pan from the oven, and add 1 tbsp. butter. When it has melted completely, brush the sides of the pan with a pastry brush; tip the excess melted butter into the batter, and quickly mix it in. Scrape the batter into the hot pan, and return it to the oven. Bake for 35-40 minutes until a tester comes out clean. Remove from the oven, and allow to cool in the pan for at least 20 minutes before serving.
3. Pumpkin Custard
It’s hard to believe this rich, creamy treat is only 185 calories (and vegan!) So delicious and so guilt-free!
Place 1/2 cup raw cashews, 1 tbsp. agar flakes, and 1 pinch sea salt in a food processor or Vitamix and process to a fine powder. Add the 1 1/4 cups boiling water into Vitamix and process on high speed.
Next add 1 1/2 cups roasted pumpkin, 1/4 cup honey or agave nectar to make it vegan, and 1 tbsp. vanilla extract and process until smooth. Then blend in 1-2 tsp. of ground cinnamon, 1/4 tsp. nutmeg, a pinch of cloves, and 1/4 tsp. lemon zest. Pour custard into ramekins (custard dishes) or mason jars and refrigerate for 30-6o minutes until set.
4. Pumpkin Muffins
For a tasty, and hearty breakfast that will have you feeling satisfied, wake up to enjoy these pumpkin muffins. Start your day off right with pumpkin flavor with only 258 calories!
For the ingredients, you’ll need 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, 1 tsp. baking powder, and 1 cup pureed pumpkin, 1/3 cup vegetable oil, 2 eggs, and 1 tbsp. pumpkin pie spice, 1 1/4 cups sugar, 1/2 tsp. baking soda, and 1/2 tsp. salt.
Start by preheating the oven to 350 degrees. Using large 6 cup muffin tins, spray the paper liners before putting them in each cup. Then in a medium-sized bowl sift together flour and baking powder, and set aside.
In a large bowl whisk together pumpkin, oil, eggs, spices, sugar, baking soda, and salt. Whisk until smooth. Next whisk in the flour mixture, but do not over combine.
In another bowl, a small one, mix together 1 tbsp. cinnamon and 1 tbsp. sugar as your topping.
Divide batter evenly into each muffin cup. Sprinkle tops with cinnamon and sugar mixture. Bake for 25-30 minutes. Insert a toothpick to test for doneness. Cool for 5 minutes before placing on wire rack. Serve with butter and enjoy!
5. Pumpkin Snickerdoodles
For a really sweet treat and dessert, you that you deserve these pumpkin snickerdoodles will hit the spot. Their warm cinnamon-y taste screams fall and are only 136 calories.
For this recipe you’ll need 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, 3 1/2 tsp cornstarch, 1 tsp cream of tartar, and 1 tsp baking soda, 1/2 tsp baking powder, 1/2 + 1/8 tsp salt, and 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon*, 1/2 tsp ground ginger, 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg*, and 1/4 tsp ground allspice, 1 cup granulated sugar,3/4 cup packed light brown sugar, and 1 cup unsalted butter, softened, 1 large egg yolk, 3/4 cup canned pumpkin puree, and 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract.
In a large bowl whisk together flour, cornstarch, cream of tartar, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and allspice for 20 seconds, set aside. For the electric mixer, in a bowl of cream together butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar just until combined. Occasionally scrape the sides of the bowl, as you’re mixing. Then Mix in egg yolk, followed by pumpkin and vanilla extract. With mixer set on low speed, slowly add in dry ingredients until combined.
Divide dough in half and place each half in a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and chill 45 minutes to 1 hour (dough should be slightly sticky so the cinnamon sugar will stick when rolling but they should be manageable to roll in the palms of your hands). For the last 10 minutes of refrigeration, preheat oven to 350 degrees.
6. Pumpkin Bisque Soup
A warm bowl of soup during the chilly weather is always comforting. While the standard is a butternut squash soup, pumpkin soup is super festive at 142 calories, and super easy to make.
Steam or boil the 2 cups of pumpkin or squash until tender. Then in a saucepan sauté 1 1/2 cups white onions over medium heat in 2 tbsp. olive oil until translucent.
Using a high-speed blender, or food-processor combine pumpkin, onions, 3 1/2 cups veggie stock, 5 cloves roasted garlic, and 1/4 cup sherry wine, 1 1/2 tbsp. maple syrup, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon cayenne, and 1/2 teaspoon sea salt. Blend until smooth.
With your soup mixture made, warm the soup in saucepan. Serve hot, garnished with pumpkin seeds and a drizzle of pumpkin seed oil, if desired.
7. Pumpkin Seeds
Utilizing a different part of the pumpkin than usual, home-made roasted pumpkin seeds are a wonderful, crunchy and flavorful snack. They contain their fair share of protein though and are at a modest 104 calories.
These are super simple and versatile. Be sure to set aside your pumpkin seeds from all the pumpkins you’ve used in your other recipes. Let them soak in water for a while (this helps separate the rest of the pumpkin guck). You can let them sit out to try on parchment paper overnight after you’ve rinsed and drained them.
On a foil-lined baking sheet spread out your seeds as evenly as possible. I like to toss in olive oil instead of butter and sprinkle them with salt, pepper, garlic, nutritional yeast, and Italian seasoning. Bake at 350 degrees (or less because they cook super fast and burn easily). While a lot of recipes suggest baking them for as long as 45 minutes I’ve found 5-1o to be sufficient because they tend to burn.
8. Pumpkin Dip
If you’re hosting an autumnal get-together or Halloween party try this pumpkin dip. It’s especially cute when served in a hallowed out mini pumpkin. Pairs nicely with ginger snaps or pretzels and is only 59 calories!
For the ingredients you’ll need 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened, 2 cups confectioners sugar, 1 can solid packed pumpkin, 1 tbsp. cinnamon, 1 tbsp. allspice (pumpkin pie spice), and 1 tsp. frozen orange juice concentrate.
In a medium bowl combine cream cheese and sugar until smooth (preferably with an electric mixer). Gradually mix in the pumpkin. Stir in cinnamon, spices and orange juice until smooth and well-blended. Chill until ready to serve.
9. Pumpkin Curry
For a flavorful, unique meal that is sure to send right into pumpkin-fall heaven is pumpkin curry. A healthy dish that is only 185 calories.
Start by heating 3 tbsp. vegetable oil in a pan and sauté 1 tsp. cumin seeds and 1/4 nigella seeds. When they start to pop add 1 finely chopped onion and sauté until lightly browned. Add 1 tbsp. finely chopped ginger, 1/2 tsp. turmeric, 1 tsp. chili powder and 1tsp. coriander powder.
Next, add 3 chopped tomatoes. Cook until they turn mushy. Then add the diced pumpkin from 1 small pumpkin that’s been slightly roasted and peeled beforehand, cover and cook for 8-1o minutes until the pumpkin is tender. Next, add tsp. masala, 2 green chilies sliced, 1 tbsp. lime juice, and 2 tbsp. coriander leaves, finely chopped. Mix well and serve over rice.
10. Low-Calorie Pumpkin Pie
The holy grail of all pumpkin recipes! Did you really think you’d read this article and get out of reading about pumpkin pie?? Well, mainly it’s because I ran out of pumpkin recipes and it was either this or pumpkin lasagna….but anyways this pumpkin pie is only 331 calories.
To make this even more low calorie, try making the pie without the crust and cut back on the sugar added.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Whisk together 1 can pumpkin puree, 3 egg yolks and a large egg in a large bowl until smooth. Add 1 can sweeten condensed milk, 1/2 tsp. ginger, 1 tsp. cinnamon, 1/2 tsp. salt, 1/4 tsp. nutmeg and 1/8 Chinese 5-spice powder.
If using a crust, place it into a 9-inch pie plate. Pour filling into shell, bake for 15 minutes. Then reduce the heat to 350 degrees and bake for another 30-40 minutes. Consider covering crust so it doesn’t overcook. A knife stuck into the pie should come out clean.
- If opting out of the crust option, mixing in 1/2 cup Bisquick into the filling forms a crust-like texture throughout the whole pie as it bakes.