I don’t know about you, but making (and eating) pumpkin treats is one of my favorite parts of fall! After all, pumpkin is versatile, nutritious—and pretty much everyone loves it. (As opposed to, say, broccoli. I don’t think Starbucks would have nearly the same success with brocco-lattes.) Since I want nothing more than for people to look and feel amazing through veggie-rich, plant-based eating, pumpkin season makes my heart sing.
In honor of this fabulous fall veggie, I’m delighted to offer you 7 healthy pumpkin recipes that are not only delicious, but vegan, gluten free, and low in oil and/or refined sugar. So you can not only feel good while you’re eating these tasty treats, you can feel good after eating them. Better yet, everyone—even those with food sensitivities and special diets—can join the fun. I’ve marked the recipes that comply with popular plant-based plans, like McDougall and Eat to Live, so you can hop straight to the ones that work for you.
What’s more, thanks to pumpkin, all these recipes contain slimming fiber and depression-busting folate¹.
You can use canned pumpkin in all of these recipes, or you can DIY with this easy-to-follow Pumpkin Roasting Primer from Angela at Oh She Glows. Get ready to soak up the pumpkin-y goodness, gluten-free, vegan style!
One of my favorite recipes on Veggie Quest, these apple slices with pumpkin pie dip are a great snack or appetizer. Loved by omnivores and vegans alike, they’re my go-to take-along for fall potlucks. Better yet, they’re SOS-free: no added salt, oil, or sugar. Most importantly, though, they’re downright delicious! (Low fat, SOS-free, Eat to Live)
Hoooooboy, I can’t wait to try this recipe from Angela at Oh She Glows! I mean, how amazing and creamy does this mac n’ cheeze sauce look? Bonus points: it just so happens be healthy! In fact, I’ve already got this recipe penciled into my meal plan for the week, as the sauce for a vegan baked mac n’ cheeze with gluten-free pasta. Given how delicious this sauce looks, though, I’m going to have to be careful not to eat it all with a spoon before putting it in the casserole. (Low fat)
These pumpkin pie squares by Cathy at Straight Up Food are treats that truly love you back. Not only do they look incredible, but since these oat-based bars with optional creamy cashew frosting are sweetened with dates, they could do double duty as breakfast or dessert. Perfect for a fall brunch! (SOS-free, Eat to Live)
Another great brunch option, these low-fat pumpkin muffins from Holly at My Plant Based family look simply scrumptious. With a brown rice flour base and sweetened with banana, applesauce, and maple syrup, these are muffins you can feel good about eating. Better yet, according to Holly they’re kid-tested and approved! And unlike a lot of low-fat baked goods, they still taste good the day after you bake them. (Low fat, no added oil, no refined sugar)
These veggie burgers by Cassie at Back to Her Roots are an outside-the-box way to make use of pumpkin. According to Cassie, they have the perfect veggie burger texture: “moist, but not mushy.” Better yet, they’re freezer friendly, so you can make a big batch in advance for healthy eats in no time. While they contain a little more oil than I’d normally use, you could easily swap that for a neutral nut butter like cashew to pump up the nutrients even further. Rich in fiber and plant-based protein, these burgers are a nutritious, deliciously different way to love pumpkin!
Every year at Thanksgiving time, I make this incredible pumpkin pie from Susan at FatFree Vegan Kitchen. It’s called “impossible” because it magically makes its own crust as it bakes, which means it packs in maximum flavor while being quick and easy to prepare. What’s more, despite the fact that it’s low fat, it comes out with perfectly creamy pumpkin pie texture and flavor. The only problem I have with this pie is that it’s too good—I can eat three slices (I know, right?) without blinking! (Low fat)
This chai-spiced pumpkin “latte” captures all the decadence of pumpkin pie in 5 minutes with just 61 little calories. Since it’s caffeine free, this latte is the perfect dessert for crisp fall evenings: A cozy, creamy mug of goodness that practically begs you to curl up with a novel in front of a crackling fire. Oh, and did I mention that in addition to tasting divine, it also provides 230% of your daily value of vitamin A? Not bad for dessert. 🙂 (Low fat, no added sugar, Eat to Live variation)
I hope you enjoy these gluten-free healthy vegan pumpkin recipes as much as I do! Now it’s your turn: What’s your favorite way to enjoy pumpkin?References