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Pumpkin-Themed Recipes Beyond the PSL

Sweater weather has finally arrived! Our typical Canadian summer has slowly dissipated and been replaced by a much anticipated crisp fall breeze. With this, we’ve been bundling up, piling the layers AND, of course, warming ourselves up with the popular Starbucks drink: the Pumpkin Spice Latte. Personally, I am not a dedicated PSL fan, but I am still eager to be festive and somehow incorporate some pumpkin and spice in my diet. Here are three healthy pumpkin-themed recipes that will surely surprise and satisfy your taste buds.

 

Pumpkin Chili

The warmth this chili brings to your soul is perfect for fall, but it can be enjoyed all year-round. This recipe is loaded with protein from the beans and nutrients from the flavorful vegetables.

You need: 

  • 2 tablespoons of grapeseed oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped (2 cups)
  • 2 carrots, chopped (2/3 cups)
  • 2 ribs of celery, chopped (3/4 cups)
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, seeded and chopped (3/4 cups)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced (1 tablespoon)
  • 1 medium jalapeno, seeded and minced (3 tablespoons)
  • 2 tablespoons of chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons of cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoons of cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoons of cayenne
  • 1 15 ounces can of pumpkin puree
  • 1 14.5 ounces can of fire-roasted diced tomatoes
  • 2 cups of low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 15 ounces can of black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tablespoon of lime juice

For step-by-step directions on cooking your chili, click the link here.

 

Roasted Pumpkin-Apple Soup

You can never go wrong with soup! Soup is such a versatile dish that you can add practically any ingredient to in order to spice it up. This recipe, in particular, offers the festive pumpkin-taste along with a hint of sweetness given by the apples.

  • 4 pounds of pie pumpkin, peeled, seeded and cut into 2-inch chunks
  • 4 large sweet-tart apples (of your choice)
  • 1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons of salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon of freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon of chopped fresh sage
  • 6 cups of reduced-sodium chicken broth or vegetable broth
  • 1/3 cup of chopped hazelnuts, toasted
  • 2 tablespoons hazelnut oil

The specific preparation directions are provided here

 

Cranberry-Pumpkin Cookies

This recipe is one of my personal favorites. These cookies have a unique taste from the pumpkin and the cranberries embedded in the velvety dough and their cake-like consistency will keep you wanting more.

  • 1/2 cup of butter, softened
  • 1 cup of white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup solid pack of pumpkin puree
  • 2 1/4 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 cup of fresh cranberries
  • 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon of orange zest
  • 1/2 cups of chopped walnuts

Check out this link for detailed baking directions.

 

You can easily transform these recipes into the perfect excuse for a fun get-together with some friends or as a much needed midterm season de-stressor. Also, contrary to popular belief, pumpkins can be used beyond the pumpkin patch and canvases for Jack-o’-lanterns. They can improve overall cardiovascular health, vision and boost immunity which will prepare you for the oncoming flu season! 

 

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