Health hacks: 6 ways to incorporate pumpkins into your diet

Here is a list of six hassle-free ways to include pumpkins in your daily meal

Amna Hashmi October 14, 2016

Fall not only brings chilly weather but the return of the pumpkin as well. Yes, we know that it’s not the most popular fruit but guess what? It really ought to be appreciated more, considering its high nutrition value and versatility.

Per cup, pumpkins provide almost three grams of filling fiber and are a lower-calorie food at fifty calories per cup. Also, its orange pigment is due to the antioxidant called beta carotene, which is shown to reduce the risk of certain diseases.

There are simple, yet delicious ways to incorporate pumpkin into some common foods. So why not give it a chance? Compiled from, here is a list of six hassle-free ways to include pumpkins in your daily meal.

1) Pumpkin oatmeal

Pumpkin oatmeal is an easy and healthy recipe that can really spice up your regular oats. To prepare, mix a quarter cup of pumpkin with a half cup of cooked oats. Add a dash of cinnamon, nutmeg and a drizzle of maple syrup. Finish off this recipe with chopped pecans. This breakfast provides both fiber and protein that will keep you feeling full until your next meal.

2) Pumpkin yogurt parfait

Yogurt takes on a whole new flavour by adding in the rustic taste of pumpkin. To assemble the pumpkin yogurt parfait, layer the fruit, plain Greek yogurt, cinnamon and a drizzle of honey into a bowl. Top with a high fiber cereal, banana slices and an extra sprinkle of cinnamon. This easy recipe can be made ahead of time for busy mornings too.

3) Pumpkin smoothie

Smoothies are everyone’s favourite, not only for the many flavour combinations you can create but also for its portability. Bring this treat into fall by incorporating pumpkins. Combine ice, pumpkin, vanilla yogurt, milk and a drizzle of honey in a blender and mix until smooth. For a post workout drink, you can even substitute the yogurt for vanilla protein powder.

4) Homemade pumpkin coffee

Pumpkin spice lattes are all the buzz come fall. Unfortunately, this beverage isn’t easily available to us so why not make a lower-calorie version at home? Simply combine two tablespoons of canned pumpkin to one cup coffee. Mix ingredients well and spruce it up with milk, cinnamon and sugar, based on your preference. This guilt-free version can be enjoyed hot or over ice.

5) Pumpkin granola

Granola is a tasty treat but can sometimes be loaded with calories. Prepare your own, leaner version of pumpkin granola to use on top of yogurt or your morning cereal. Combine pureed pumpkin with honey, coconut oil, vanilla extract, oats, pecans and golden raisins and sprinkle the mixture with cinnamon. Lay granola out on a baking sheet and bake in a 160 degree oven for about eight to ten minutes, stirring once.

6) Pumpkin seeds

Pumpkin seeds pack a powerful nutrition punch. To roast, toss two cups of pumpkin seeds in one tablespoon of olive oil, one teaspoon of salt and pepper and bake at 150 degrees oven for about forty minutes. Toss seeds halfway during baking. Although they make the perfect snack on their own, you can also enjoy them tossed into a roasted vegetable salad.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 15th, 2016.

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mohammad khan | 5 years ago | Reply Our Traditional Fijian favorite way of eating pumpkin make pumpkin tarkari with onion , garlic, curry leaves , mustard seed , Jeera (cumin) seeds and Methi seeds (Fenugreek) and eat with puris
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