Pumpkin Power!

healthy vegan pumpkin soupPumpkin season is so packed with super-food goodness, I don’t know why we don’t eat pumpkins year-round. Did you know that just one cup of pumpkin contains half your daily recommended dose of fiber? It’s got antioxidants that prevent everything from wrinkles to cancer, contains more potassium than a banana, and is a great source of vitamin A and iron.

Pumpkin seeds are also incredibly good for you as a source of unsaturated fats and oils, zinc, and the amino acid tryptophan, which helps your body produce the feel-good chemical serotonin. In short, pumpkins make you look better AND feel better – but don’t help yourself to seconds on pie yet.

Whole V. Canned Pumpkin?

The argument against canned pumpkin is that the pumpkin goes through an intense heating process to pasteurize it for safe storage. Any cooking will, of course, destroy some of the nutrients, but considering that raw pumpkin just doesn’t taste the same (and I challenge anyone to make it into a pie-like substance), I’m going to say that it’s okay to cook this one. The canned version is usually sold with no preservatives or additives – so just be sure to look for “100% Pumpkin” on the label and check the ingredients list.

Canned pumpkin is also more concentrated, which means that one cup of canned pumpkin will actually have a higher density of nutrients than 1 cup of fresh cooked pumpkin.

Quick and Easy Vegan Pumpkin Soup

I love making a hearty Fall soup out of pumpkin using chopped onion, vegetable broth, ginger, nutmeg, salt and pepper – and, of course, a garnish of pumpkin seeds and crispy-fried sage leaves!

  1. Saute the onions in the pot first until they caramelize, then add the ginger and nutmeg, stirring until fragrant.
  2. Add 1 can of pumpkin (or the cooked meat of 1 small cooking pumpkin) and mash it together with the onion mixture.
  3. Pour in enough broth to get the creamy consistency you like best. Add salt an pepper to taste and cook for a few more minutes to let the flavors combine.
  4. While the soup is cooking, heat olive oil in a skillet and fry a handful of sage leaves until crispy, sprinkled with a little salt.
  5. Serve the soup garnished with the crispy sage leaves and pumpkin seeds.

Four Fabulous Fall Recipes

Pumpkin Recipes

Autumn is the time for harvest, which means some of the most delicious fruits, vegetables, and gourds are in season right now! So, even though the temperatures insist it’s still summer, let’s celebrate Fall in hopes that it will come in soon. Pumpkin Popsicles anyone? Just kidding.

Party-Sized Pumpkin Hummus 

For a healthy pumpkin dip perfect for Fall get-togethers, try this pumpkin hummus recipe. Just put everything in a food processor, except for the pumpkin seed and crispy sage garnishes. Serve with pita chips or your favorite vegetable chip!

  • 1 15oz can of garbanzo beans, drained
  • 1 Cup pumpkin puree
  • 2 Tbs Tahini
  • 2 Tbs olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 Tbs Lemon Juice
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • Toasted pumpkin seeds for garnish
  • Crispy sage for garnish (just heat olive oil in a pan and sautee the sage leaves until crispy)

Butternut Squash & Apple Salad

Instead of attempting to re-create the genius of this recipe by Balanced Platter, I’m just going to link to the original. It’s as easy as roasting butternut squash with onions and olive oil, then combining it with crisp fresh chopped apples, herbs, and apple cider vinegar.


Have you tried sprinkling plain popcorn with melted coconut oil, cinnamon and sugar? If you haven’t – this is a must-try for your next home movie night.

Sweet Potato Ginger Coconut Casserole

This is what happens when you put everything good about Fall in Florida in the oven and bake it. This mouth-watering recipe comes from Eating Richly: Combine 3 Lbs cooked, mashed sweet potatoes with 1 tsp grated ginger, 1/4 cup coconut milk, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp orange zest, and 1/4 cup orange juice and put into a casserole dish. Top with chopped pecans and crystallized ginger and bake for 10-15 minutes.

Need more Fall inspiration? We’ve got a Pinterest Board for that!

Seasonal Recipes for Fall