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Falls favorite food is back in season! Once September hits, you can guarantee that pumpkin foods will be popping up everywhere. Not only is pumpkin delicious, but it also packs a nutritional punch. Pumpkin is high in carotenoids which is an antioxidant that helps promote healthy cell growth. Carotenoids can help reduce the risk of mouth, pharynx and lung cancer according to the American Institute for Cancer Research. ½ cup of pumpkin puree provides 50 calories, 4g of fiber and is naturally fat free. It is also a good source of iron.

Scared to step outside of your pumpkin pie comfort zone? Try some of these delicious healthy recipes!

Pumpkin Bundt Cake

Canola oil cooking spray

1 cup whole-wheat pastry flour

1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour

1½ tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. baking soda

2 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp. ground ginger

1/4tsp. ground cloves

1/4 tsp. freshly ground nutmeg

1/4 tsp. salt

1 large egg

1 large egg white

3/4 cup brown sugar, firmly packed

1 cup low-fat buttermilk

1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream

1 cup canned unsweetened pumpkin purée

Confectioners’ sugar, optional, for decoration

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat 8-cup bundt cake or tube pan liberally with canola oil cooking spray.

In large mixing bowl, combine two flours, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, nutmeg and salt. Make a well in center and set aside.

In another bowl, whisk egg and white to combine. Add sugar and whisk until dissolved. Add buttermilk, sour cream and pumpkin, whisking to combine all wet ingredients. Pour wet ingredients into center of bowl of dry ingredients and, using flexible spatula, mix until they are just combined and still slightly lumpy. Scoop batter into prepared baking pan. Bake cake in center of oven for 70-75 minutes, until surface is browned and straw inserted into center comes out clean and nearly dry. Do not worry about cracks on the surface.

Pumpkin Soup

4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth, divided

4 cups pumpkin purée (canned or fresh) (butternut squash may be substituted)

1 cup finely chopped onion

1 clove garlic

1 tsp. fresh thyme, chopped

Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

2 Tbsp. light whipping cream (optional)

1 tsp. fresh parsley, chopped

Nutmeg (optional)

In large pot over medium-high heat add 3 cups broth, pumpkin, onion, garlic, thyme, salt and pepper. Bring to boil. Reduce to low and simmer uncovered, about 30 minutes. Purée mixture until smooth, in small batches, using blender or food processor. Return to pot. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer uncovered for another 30 minutes. Add remaining broth as desired. (Optional, stir in cream.) Pour into bowls. Garnish with parsley (or sprinkle of nutmeg) and serve.

Makes 8 servings.

Per serving: 71 calories, 1 g total fat (<1 g saturated fat), 16 g carbohydrate, 3 g protein, 0 g

dietary fiber, 284 mg sodium.

Recipes from American Institute for Cancer Research


Lauren Henke RD, LDN

Outpatient Dietitian


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