4 ways to add pumpkin to your diet

Pumpkins are a staple vegetable in different cuisines around the world. They also mark the symbol of the harvest and are also an important part of Halloween. From savory dishes like sambhar to desserts like pumpkin pie, it can be cooked in many different ways and each of them tastes divine. They are readily available and even the seeds are also very useful as they are added to salads as well as cookies. Pumpkins are also very healthy as they are high in vitamins and low in calories.

Being rich in antioxidants, pumpkin also helps reduce the risk of chronic diseases like cancer. Since it also has a good content of vitamins (especially vitamins A and C), including it in your diet also boosts immunity and improves eyesight. According to Healthline, its low calorie content helps maintain weight, which further promotes heart health. The high vitamin C content also protects skin cells against harmful UV rays. There are so many reasons to eat pumpkin.

But generally people do not like to include it in their daily diet as they often find it bland. Here are four unique and delicious recipes that will make you fall in love with pumpkin:

1. Pumpkin pancakes

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ cups white whole wheat flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 2/3 cup pumpkin
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon oil
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 1 ¼ cup milk
  • ¼ cup butter

Method:

  • Preheat a nonstick skillet over medium heat.
  • In a bowl, combine the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, salt and spices) and set aside.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the pumpkin, egg, oil, sugar and slowly pour in the milk until well blended.
  • Add the dry ingredients to a bowl of wet ingredients and mix. Let the dough rest for 2 minutes.
  • Pour the batter into a pan and cook the pancakes on one side until the edges begin to bubble. Flip and continue cooking for another two minutes on the other side.
  • Then carefully transfer to a plate.
  • Top with your favorite toppings like maple syrup or whipped cream and serve.

2. Pumpkin Bread

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups pumpkin puree
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • ⅔ cup of water
  • 3 cups white sugar
  • 3 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 ½ tsp salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger

Method:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour two pans.
  • In a large bowl, mix pumpkin purée, eggs, oil, water and sugar until well blended.
  • In another bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and ginger.
  • Stir dry ingredients into pumpkin mixture until just blended and pour into prepared pans.
  • Bake for fifty minutes in the preheated oven.
  • Leave to cool for a while and it’s ready to serve.

3. Pumpkin Spice Latte

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of milk
  • 2 tsp pumpkin purée
  • 2 teaspoons of sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 cup strong hot coffee
  • Whipped cream (to serve)

Method:

  • Add the milk, pumpkin puree and sugar to a saucepan over medium heat.
  • Heat until hot, but do not boil.
  • Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the vanilla, pumpkin pie spice and coffee.
  • And serve.

4. Pumpkin Spice Granola

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of oats
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup walnuts (chopped)

Method:

  • Preheat the oven to 315˚F.
  • In a mixing bowl, whisk together the melted coconut oil, pumpkin, maple syrup, vanilla, and pumpkin pie spice.
  • Stir in rolled oats until well coated, then add nuts and stir.
  • Spread the mixture in an even layer on a large baking sheet.
  • Bake for thirty minutes or until the granola is golden brown.

Let cool completely and enjoy.

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