Thankful for Pumpkins and Ten Healthy Recipes

by Kristen Troy

Pumpkins are a popular fall gourd from the Cucurbita genus. In Delaware, pumpkins are in season from late August to early November but can be seen through the end of November in our local stores. Pumpkins come in many colors, including but not limited to orange, red, blue, and white. With the many varieties of pumpkins, you may wonder, are they all edible? Yes, they are, but each variety is useful in its own way.  

When you think about pumpkin recipes you probably think about pumpkin pie, pumpkin seeds, or a popular fall drink, the pumpkin spice latte. The pumpkins that are used for pumpkin pies – which you are likely to see frequently in the coming weeks – are typically pie pumpkins that have flesh with a sweeter taste and a smoother texture.  

Pumpkins may appear scary or silly when they’ve been carved into Jack O’Lanterns but their nutrition facts are nothing to be scared of! Pumpkins are nutrient-dense, meaning they are rich in nutrients but low in calories. Not only is the flesh edible, but so are the seeds, flowers, and leaves, all of which are very nutritious.  

In one cup of cooked pumpkin there are: 

  • 49 calories 
  • 12 grams carbohydrates 
  • 3 grams of fiber 
  • 2 grams of protein 
  •  49% of the RDI of Vitamin K 
  • 19% of the RDI of Vitamin C 
  • 16% of the RDI of Potassium 
  • 11% of the RDI of Copper, Manganese, and Riboflavin 
  • 10% of the RDI of Vitamin E 
  • 8% of the RDI of Iron 
  • 6% of the RDI of Folate 
  • 5% of the RDI of Niacin, Pantothenic acid, Vitamin B6, and Thiamin 
  • High levels of Beta-Carotene

In 25 oz of roasted pumpkins seeds there are: 

  • 144 calories 
  • 3.7 grams carbohydrates 
  • 1.65 grams of fiber 
  • 12.5 grams of fat 
  • 7.5 grams of protein 
  • 7.5% DV niacin 
  • 53.5% DV Manganese 
  • 39% DV Magnesium 
  • 42% DV Phosphorus 
  • 20% DV Zinc 
  • 16% DV Iron 

As we are headed into Thanksgiving break we may be craving more of those sweet and salty pumpkin-flavored treats and snacks. The pumpkin treats we see in stores and cafes are not always the healthiest options to satisfy your cravings so I’ve compiled some healthier recipes you can make at home. Not only will these recipes satisfy your pumpkin cravings but making them could be a fun activity!

First up, we have breakfast cupcakes to start your day off deliciously. Take 30 minutes the night before to make these breakfast cupcakes and you’ll have a breakfast cupcake under 100 calories ready to go!

Need a dessert for a Friendsgiving, Potluck, or Thanksgiving? No problem – this pumpkin pie recipe is a lighter version of your typical homemade and store-bought pie. It is dairy-free and can be made completely from scratch or with some pre-made ingredients for bakers of all levels.

Single-serve items are wonderful in many situations; not enough ingredients for a full recipe, you are the only one who is hungry, or you don’t want to be tempted by an entire batch of muffins. This pumpkin mug muffin can be made in less than 5 minutes and uses 8 ingredients.

Need an easy packable snack for pre or post-workout, work, or school, this may be the recipe for you. These energy nuggets are simple to prepare and don’t require any baking. Some of the ingredients that may intrigue you are chia seeds, hemp hearts, and maple syrup.

Pumpkin Granola for many. This granola is vegan-friendly, gluten-free, oil-free, and refined sugar-free. The recipe also gives an option to be nut-free. Granola is a great addition for smoothies, yogurt, and oatmeal or good with a little bit of milk or as a plain snack.

Switch up your almond butter for pumpkin butter this season. Pumpkin butter is a delicious spread to put on toast, pancakes, scones, fruit or to put in crepes, yogurt, oatmeal, or smoothies. Prepping the butter is as easy as combining the ingredients into a food processor or strong blender until smooth.

Pumpkin Spice Lattes can be upwards of 300 calories at a coffee shop, this recipe is under 100 calories per serving and each recipe creates enough for 2 people. It is also vegan, dairy-free, and gluten-free with the option to be made with or without coffee.

This smoothie bowl tastes like fall, the combination of pumpkin, apple, and seasonal spices will delight your taste buds. Creating the smoothie bowl may also be faster than waiting in line to buy one out!

During cooler months we typically don’t get as excited about smoothies because of their cooler temperature. This smoothie is versatile and can be consumed cold, room temp, or even warmed up. It doesn’t discolor easily so it is a great smoothie to drink any time of day even if it was prepped hours before.

Another snack option is roasted pumpkin seeds. Pumpkin seeds are an easily transportable snack, easy to make, and have many seasoning options. This recipe combines sweet and salty to be a satisfying treat. The recipe also gives both oven and air fryer instructions to prepare the seeds.

If you are interested in more pumpkin recipes for the fall or holidays, check out our Pumpkin Recipes Pinterest board.


Hockessin Athletic Club opened its doors on June 10 2007. Boasting over 100,000 sq. ft., a 5-pool aquatics complex, and over 200+ weekly group and aqua fitness classes, it is Delaware's premier fitness destination. 100 Fitness Way, Hockessin, DE ·

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