Our society is obsessed with the flavor of an orange, ribbed, and often homely looking squash. And thanks in large part to a certain spiced latte, pumpkin flavoring has been used in everything from M&M’s to chili and hummus.
A flavor that’s become so ubiquitous can be downright annoying, but it’s not the pumpkins’ fault. The fact is, the ugly squash is a bona fide super food, high in fiber, potassium, and vitamins C and E. The pumpkin is also full of carotenoid, an antioxidant shown to reduce the risk of cancer. So, when done right, a pumpkin treat can be a relatively healthy diet extravagance.
We’ve compiled some delectable recipes by five celebrity chefs to give you a little pumpkin-spiration. When you decide to whip up a pumpkin dessert, remember that pumpkin pie filling and pumpkin filling are two totally different things. And you must never discard the seeds within, as they are full of healthy fats, zinc, fiber, iron, and manganese and make a pretty killer snack on their own.
Martha Stewart, the unofficial queen of Halloween craftiness, came up with this super easy recipe. You need less butter and brown sugar than you might think, plus honey, and pumpkin seeds. This recipe has all the decadence and crunch of old school peanut brittle, but the pumpkin seeds give it a nice seasonal, healthy kick.
British Chef Jamie Oliver came up with this savory and healthy pumpkin soup. This dish pairs traditional pumpkin spices like cinnamon and coriander with pepper, sage, and onion for a remarkable layering of flavors. The soup is creamy without the use of actual cream, and the sour cream garnish is merely a suggestion, not a requirement.
Candice Kumai’s spiced pumpkin butter is the perfect spread on fruity scones, simple toast, or that Thanksgiving dinner roll, and it’s only “slightly naughty.” The butter has four ingredients: pumpkin puree, real maple syrup, nutmeg, and ginger. Simply whisk, simmer, jar, and spread!
Cheryl Forberg, RD is the dietitian at The Biggest Loser, as well as a James Beard award-winning chef. When she cooks, we eat! She came up with this hearty and healthy recipe for polenta that can be served straight out of the oven. At 127 calories per serving, and chock full of omega-3s, this dish is pumpkin heaven.
This is what you’ll drink the day after Thanksgiving right before you go on your morning jog…to the sales. This is celebrity chef and fitness guru Harley Pasternak’s recipe and it tastes just like pumpkin pie—only you won’t feel drowsy afterward. It’s a simple blend job, just throw in the pumpkin puree, Greek yogurt, a banana, agave nectar, your favorite fall spices, a little vanilla extract, ice, and voila! Straight shot to super food town.
Images via sophistimom.com, thevivant.com, foodily.com, people.com, shutterstock.com, cherylforberg.com