3 Easy & Healthy Pumpkin Recipes

People often associate pumpkins with Halloween and Thanksgiving — from the delicious dishes like pumpkin pie to the decorations. But how did this association come to be? And why is pumpkin so predominant in American culture?

The History of Pumpkin

Pumpkin is native to Mexico and the southern part of the United States. When the colonists arrived in America, the natives were already consuming it. Pumpkins were abundant in the fall and in the wild. Its flavor, versatility, and the scarcity of other foods made the English quickly incorporate it into their diet.

Today, pumpkin has become one of the most versatile products in the kitchen. It’s added to lattes, soups, salads, and a whole range of desserts thanks to its creamy texture.

The Health Benefits of Pumpkin

Besides being delicious, pumpkin is high in fiber and contains very few carbohydrates. It’s also high in potassium, which, combined with a low-sodium diet, has incredible effects in improving hypertension.

The yellow pigment in the pulp of the pumpkin (known as beta-carotene) is considered a Provitamin A. Provitamin A can be converted by the body into retinol. Vitamin A acts as an antioxidant, protects against cancer, and rheumatoid arthritis. It also strengthens the immune system and helps us fight off various infections.

Now that we know the benefits, let’s get cooking!

Pumpkin Pancakes

Servings: 10 small pancakes

Preparation time: 5 minutes

Cooking time: 10 minutes

Ingredients:

• 1 cup flour of choice (oat, coconut or all-purpose)

• 1 cup pumpkin puree

• 1 egg

• ½ cup milk of choice

• 1 tbsp of butter or butter alternative

• 1 tsp of baking powder

• Sweetener to taste

• A pinch of ground cinnamon

• 1 tbsp of oil (for the pan)

Instructions:

  1. Put all the ingredients in the blender glass, except the oil. Beat on high speed for about three minutes until you get a homogeneous mixture.
  2. Turn the stove on to medium heat. Grease the surface of a frying pan with oil.
  3. Pour in about ¼ cup of mixture and cook covered for three minutes. When the pancake has bubbles on its surface, turn it over and cook it on the opposite side for two more minutes. Remove and place on a plate. Repeat this procedure until the mixture is gone.

Pumpkin Soup

Servings: 6

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 20 minutes

Ingredients:

• 1 kg. of pumpkin

• 1 tbsp olive oil

• ¾ cup onion, diced

• 1 tsp dried thyme (optional)

• 3 cups of chicken broth (fat-free)

• Salt

Instructions:

  1. Cut the pumpkin in two. Extract the seeds. Peel it and cut it into pieces of about 5 cm approx. Place the pieces in a refractory container in the microwave on the “cooking” function for ten minutes until smooth.
  2. In a saucepan over medium heat, add the oil and the chopped onion. Cook it for about three minutes. Add the cooked squash and continue cooking for about 5 more minutes. Then add the broth, dried thyme, and a pinch of salt. Cook over high heat for five more minutes. Turn off and wait a few minutes for it to cool down a bit.
  3. Then, take all the mixture to the blender glass and process until you get a homogeneous mixture. Serve hot garnished with cilantro or sour cream.


Fish Fillet with Pumpkin Puree

Servings: 4

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 20 minutes

Ingredients:

• 4 Mahi-Mahi fillets (or fish of your choice)

• 1 tbsp of lemon juice

• 1 tbsp of oil

• 6 cups pumpkin (peeled and diced)

• 1 medium potato (peeled and diced)

• 1 tbsp of butter or butter alternative

• Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

  1. Put the potato and pumpkin cubes in a heat-proof glass bowl and cook in the microwave for about 8 minutes. Remove when fully cooked and slightly dehydrated. Blend them with the butter in a food processor until smooth. Season with a little salt and ground ginger if desired.
  2. Season the fish with lemon, salt, and pepper. Cook on the grill, about 4 minutes on each side.
  3. Serve a bed of puree, place the fish on top and garnish with a mix of lettuce and vinaigrette.

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