Most people only think about the pumpkin at Halloween as something to carve out in creating the traditional lanterns.  Although the fresh grown pumpkin can only be found in the autumn months, of which there are many different named varieties, all are part of the squash vegetable family and can be successfully frozen or canned, to be used the whole year round to create healthy pumpkin desserts not to be missed out on!

The humble Pumpkin is one of nature’s riches sources of alpha-carotene and beta-carotene, two carotenoids, promoting healthy vision, anti-aging nutrient for good skin health plus a boost to our immune systems health. Vitamin A, C, E, B5, Fibre, Potassium, Zinc, iron and Magnesium are all found in the Pumpkin, as well as helping to balance blood sugar levels due to slow energy release. More reasons not to miss out on using this healthy vegetable in more ways, than just a decoration this Fall.

It’s easy to add pumpkin in to your baked savoury dishes, but there is more way to enjoy this healthy vegetable, also remember; don’t throw away the seeds these can be used as healthy nutritious snacks and the flowers are edable too. Pumpkin Oil is becoming more popular to use as a healthy cooking oil or salad dressing alternative, with its intense nutty flavour.

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healthy pumpkin desserts2

Image by Cheap&SimpleVegan

Healthy Smoothies are all the more popular as a healthy fast delicious drink, breakfast or even a tasty desert.

“The Healthy Pumpkin Smoothie”

is just like pumpkin pie in a glass, but with lower calories and fat content, but still has a thick and creamy texture as well as giving you a great energy boost too.

1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 very ripe medium-sized banana preferably frozen
3/4 cup or  fat-free vanilla yogurt or dairy free yogurt
1 tbsp honey
1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup crushed ice

Place all ingredients in a blender and puree until smooth, making sure the ice is completely crushed. Serves two.

So if you have a pumpkin carving to fullfill, but want to make a healthy desert choice, perhaps try alternative ingredients to the original Pumpkin Pie recipe; Use a gluten free/ allergy free pie crust baked and cooled, use coconut milk, which seems to complement the pumpkin or just rice milk in the custard type filling, possibly even try a hob cooked and cooled filling, using cornstarch as the thickener instead of eggs, making the pumpkin pie even more acceptable to those on specific or  special food requirements.

Remember those seeds? Toasted; they easily become a healthy snack, salad or desert topping. After removing the flesh residue in a bowl of water, dry the seeds then place them on a lined baking tray with a little oil, again of your choice to add flavour, with a sprinkle of healthy salt plus your favourite desert spices; cumin is great, roast until dry and crunchy, delicious. The seeds can be enjoyed with or without the shells.

Healthy pumpkin desserts, now you don’t have to miss out this Fall on the great pumpkin season, get creative, stay healthy and enjoy the whole of this colourful, nutritious and fun winter vegetable.

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