We’re about 4 days into October which means it’s FINALLY appropriate to eat all things pumpkin!
Growing up I never liked pumpkin. I hated the texture, thought it tasted disgusting and was always the one eating the apple pie instead of the pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving.
But boyyyy have things changed.
Now I simply can’t get enough pumpkin in my life. I’ve been putting Pumpkin Pie Spice in my coffee every morning, eating Pumpkin Yogurt for dessert, enjoying PaleOMG’s Pumpkin Pie Protein Smoothie for breakfast and can’t wait to go to Trader Joe’s this afternoon to buy more pumpkin products after drooling over A Cup of Kellen’s Favorite Fall Trader Joe’s Finds.
But pumpkin isn’t just a fun, festive, trendy thing to eat during the Fall. It’s also packed with healthy nutrients…let’s discuss…
Health Benefits of Pumpkin
There are SO MANY healthy benefits of consuming both pumpkins and the pumpkin seeds but here are just a few important ones:
- high in fiber- 1 cup of pumpkin is only about 50 calories and has 3g of fiber to help keep you fuller longer on fewer calories
- high in Vitamin C- 1 cup of pumpkin contains roughly 20% of our daily vitamin c needs which can help keep you healthy during the crazy Fall months
- high in Vitamin A- 1 cup of pumpkin has almost DOUBLE your daily recommended Vitamin A intake. Vitamin A helps keep your eyes, skin, teeth and bones healthy.
- Can help lower blood pressure- Pumpkin seeds, more specifically, pumpkin seed oil contains phytoestrogens which are beneficial for fighting off hypertension
- high in beta-carotene- Pumpkin and pumpkin seeds are rich in beta-carotene and other antioxidants that may help prevent cancer and are also beneficial for your skin and hair.
After reading those health benefits…bring on the pumpkin!!
Healthy Pumpkin Pie Dip
Last weekend I wanted to whip up a fun fall dip for Bryce and I to enjoy while watching football and I kept searching things like “healthy pumpkin dip” “healthy pumpkin snacks” “healthy pumpkin pie dip” and 898745943 recipes came up but guess what?! 99% of them were loaded with refined sugar, cake mixes, pudding mix and other crap.
How is that healthy?
I finally stumbled across a recipe on the amazing Chocolate Covered Katie’s blog for Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake Dip that wasn’t filled with junk. I immediately went to the store and bought all the ingredients to test out the dip 2 ways: one dip using cashew cream and the other using the Tofutti cream cheese.
Both turned out absolutely delicious and with a few modifications I think I’ve found a way to make the healthiest, most delicious Pumpkin Pie Dip!
This stuff is seriously addicting. Try dipping fresh fruit (strawberries, apples), graham crackers or my favorite, Trader Joe’s cinnamon sugar pita chips in it and get ready for a little taste of pumpkin heaven.
All your Healthy Pumpkin Pie Dip essentials. I found the Tofutti cream cheese at Sprouts but the rest of the ingredients can be purchased at Trader Joe’s!
- 1 can pumpkin (15oz)
- 1 container of cream-cheese style spread (Tofutti non-hydrogenated) OR *1 cup of cashew cream
- 1 tbsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 3 tbsp maple syrup (start with 3 then add additional until you get to your desired sweetness)
- pinch of salt
- Place all ingredients into a food processor and combine until smooth. Taste as you go to add additional spices/maple syrup until desired flavor is reached. You can also add a little water/almond milk to thin out the consistency if you want.
- Serve with fresh cut fruit (I love it with apples or strawberries), graham crackers or my favorite, Trader Joe's cinnamon sugar pita chips
- *To make cashew cream boil 3 cups of water then pour it over 1 cup of raw, unsalted cashews and let them soak for 1-2 hours before draining and rinsing. Place soaked cashews into a high speed blender or food processor with 1 cup of water and blend until smooth. Add additional water to thin out the consistency (if needed). For this recipe the cashew cream should resemble cream cheese.
Do you like pumpkin?
What’s your favorite way to eat pumpkin?
Have you ever made pumpkin pie dip before?