Pumpkin is one of the world’s healthiest foods, helping to reduce numerous disease risks and boosting your immune system thanks to high levels of vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, and other antioxidants. Think beyond pumpkin pie and try adding this versatile, immunity-enhancing seasonal food to every meal in the day.
BREAKFAST: Pumpkin Spice Smoothie
Start your day off with a festive twist with this breakfast shake bursting with the decadent tastes of pumpkin pie — but without the sugar and the guilt! Not only do you get all the health benefits of pumpkin, but you also enjoy a full dose of gut health-enhancing probiotics, lots of protein to keep you full all morning long, and healthy fats that support a stronger immune response and boost your brain health.
1 frozen banana
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 cup unsweetened oat milk or your choice of milk
1 tbsp almond butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp each of allspice, ground nutmeg, and powdered sugar (optional)
Add all the ingredients to a blender. Blend until creamy and enjoy!
LUNCH: Roasted Pumpkin Sandwich
Roasting pumpkin caramelizes its natural sugars, enhancing its natural sweetness and creating a slightly smoky flavor that truly elevates your mealtime. This sandwich pairs roasted pumpkin with fresh veggies, spicy greens, and antioxidant-rich roasted pumpkin seeds (a perfect way to use leftover pumpkin seeds from Halloween jack-o’-lantern carving!), all of which are balanced by the slightly tangy bite of fresh sourdough bread. The result? A easy-to-make, delicious sandwich that offers layers of textures and flavors that will brighten a casual weekend brunch or a busy weekday office lunch.
8 oz. sliced fresh pumpkin (outer shell removed)
3 tbsp traditional or plant-based mayonnaise, divided
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 cup halved grape tomatoes
4 slices of toasted sourdough bread
1 1/2 cups arugula
3 tbsp roasted pumpkin seeds
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. While your oven is heating up, toss the sliced pumpkin with half of the mayo, salt, and pepper, and place in a single layer on a baking pan.
Bake for 25 minutes or until browned and sizzling.
Add the sliced tomatoes, toss, then bake for another 10 minutes or until the tomatoes are sizzling.
Spread the other half of the mayo on the sourdough bread. Top with pumpkin and tomato mix, plus fresh arugula and the pumpkin seeds. Close the sandwich with the other slice of bread (this makes two sandwiches). Enjoy!
DINNER: Autumnal Pumpkin Soup
This warm, comforting soup tastes and looks luxurious. And while it’s made completely from scratch, it’ll take you only minutes to prepare and uses less than 10 ingredients. This makes it ideal for weeknight dinners when you’re stressed and busy, or a cozy weekend dinner when you want something that really invites you into the autumn season.
2 1/2 cups pumpkin puree
1 tbsp avocado oil
2 medium shallots, minced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups vegetable broth or chicken broth
1 cup full-fat coconut milk
2 Tbsp honey, ideally local and organic
1/4 tsp each sea salt, black pepper, ground cinnamon, and ground nutmeg
2 tbsp pumpkin seeds
In a frying pan, saute the minced garlic and shallots on medium heat in the avocado oil until caramelized and fragrant. Turn down the heat to low and add the rest of the ingredients. Let is cook until simmering, then remove from the heat.
Pour the frying pan’s entire contents into a blender and blend on high until creamy.
Pour the soup into a pot and simmer for 15 minutes. Enjoy warm with crusty bread.