Friday, September 23, 2011

Pumpkin Favorites

In the Fall,  this hungry woman's fancy turns to.... Pumpkins!

I love everything about pumpkins... the feel of the outside skin, the goey soft inner flesh and seeds, the aroma and texture of the cooked flesh, the taste, the shape, and especially the color.  And I love that all of this is so good for me!

Pumpkins and other winter squashes are chock full of vitamins, antioxidants, fibre and minerals.  Not only is pumpkin loaded with vitamin A and antioxidant carotenoids, particularly alpha and beta-carotenes, it’s a good source of vitamins C, K, and E, and lots of minerals, including magnesium, potassium, and iron. Half a cup of cooked pumpkin has 3.5 grams of fiber.

I live in a part of the country where pumpkins grow profusely, and during the late Summer and early Fall  the local fields are orange with beautiful, plump pumpkins.

I am always on the lookout for new ways to use pumpkins and other winter squashes.  They can usually be interchanged in recipes without any fail.  Especially where you are subbing pumpkins for other orange squashes such as ambercup or red kurri.

One of my very favorite dishes to make for special dinners during the Fall is home made chili, served in baked sugar pumpkins.  You just cut a lid in the top of the pumpkin and then scoop the seeds out of the centre. Bake the pumpkins for about an hour, fill them up with hot chili and serve on a plate.

You will have a lovely edible bowl and your family and guests will be knocked out by the visual delight and wonderful flavor that the pumpkin bowl brings to the meal.  And the best part is, that as you eat the chili, you eat the cooked pumpkin along with it!

You can also serve soup in the baked pumpkins, or you can use raw pumpkins for dips and fruit salads.

I like to make a special coffee drink in the Fall and Winter, with canned pumpkin puree.  It is very similar to one you can find at your favorite coffee house, but without the fat and calories!

Pumpkin Spice Latte
Makes 2 servings 
  • 2 cups fat free milk
  • 4 Tbs pumpkin puree, fresh or canned
  • 2 packets Splenda
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 cup of strong brewed coffee 
  1. In a saucepan combine milk and pumpkin and cook on medium heat, stirring, until steaming.
  2. Remove from heat, stir in Splenda, vanilla and spice, and whiz with immersion blender till foamy, about 15 seconds.
  3. Pour into two mugs.
  4. Pour 1/4 cup of the hot coffee over each.
Per serving.
Weight Watchers P+ = 2.
Calories 90; Protein 10g; Carbohydrate 14g; Fat 0g; Fibre 1g.

If you don't have pumpkin pie spice, use dashes of cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, ginger and allspice

Heating the pumpkin and millk on the stove.

Dust the foam with a bit of cinnamon or nutmeg before serving.

Here are some of the recipes I have previously featured that have pumpkin in them.

I have two other recipes I want to share with you ... these are both old Weight Watchers favorites and have been making the rounds amongst members every Fall for the past many many years.  I have update the nutritional information for them both, to reflect the current Weight Watchers Points Plus Program values.

But if you are not a Weight Watcher, don't let that deter you... these are both great recipes in their own right and you and your family and friends would never know they are low fat and low calorie too.  They are both delicious!

No-Bake Pumpkin Fluff Pie
Makes 8 servings

  • 1 can (15 oz.) canned pumpkin puree
  • 1 pkg Jell-o fat free instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 1 cup fat free milk
  • dashes of cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger and allspice
  • 1 packet Splenda
  • 1 low fat graham cracker crust
  • 8 Tbs  (1/2 cup) fat free whipped topping
  1. In a medium bowl mix the pumpkin, pudding mix, milk, spices, and Splenda together until well blended.
  2. Pour the mixture into a low fat graham crumb pie crust.
  3. Place pie in the refrigerator to chill for at least 30 minutes.
  4. To serve, cut the pie into 8 pieces and plate each piece.
  5. Spoon 1 Tbs of fat free whipped topping onto each piece.

Per serving, 1/8th of pie.
Weight Watchers P+ = 4.
Calories 162; Protein 3g; Carbohydrate 25g; Fat 5g; Fibre 3g.

Printable Recipe

And here is the other one....

Crustless Pumpkin Pie
Makes 8 servings 
  • 1 (15 oz.) can pumpkin pumpkin puree
  • 1 (12 oz.) can fat free evaporated milk
  • 3 egg whites
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 12 packets Splenda 

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Combine all ingredients in medium bowl and beat until smooth.
  3. Pour mixture into a 9" pie pan that has been lightly coated with non-stick spray.
  4. Bake at 400°F for 15 minutes, and then at turn oven to 325°F and bake for 45 minutes more, or until a knife inserted in center comes out clean.
  5. To serve cut into 8 pieces and plate each. Top with fat free whipped topping if you like.
Per serving, 1/8th of pie, without topping.
Weight Watchers P+ = 1.
Calories 50; Protein 4g; Carbohydrate 8g; Fat 0g; Fibre 2g.

If you don't have pumpkin pie spice, use dashes of cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, ginger and allspice


  1. Yum. All of that stuff looks delicious and is so creative! I never thought to put food into the pumpkin. I am totally going to use that one!

    Also, I think I am going to go get a Pumpkin Spice Latte now.

  2. Normally I stick to pumpkin oatmeal and pie, but this is far more exciting! I still haven't tried a pumpkin spice latter yet, but yours looks better!

  3. I love using pumpkin in so much. I freeze a lot to use later in the year. I haven't tried pumpkin oatmeal and was trying to figure out how to do it this week - I need to try your recipe now.

  4. Hi, I'm following from the blog hop. I had not idea pumpkins had so many vitamins in them. Also thanks for the recipes!!

  5. I love all things pumpkin too! Aside from eating it constantly I love to hollow them out and then put mums in them!!! I actually had that as a centerpiece at our wedding...white pumpkins with dark red and orange flowers!


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