8 Healthy Pumpkin Recipes with No Added Sugar
Pumpkin season is here, which means we’re faced with pumpkin everything. From pumpkin bread to pumpkin muffins, and pumpkin spiced lattes, pumpkin season is here to stay, at least through the rest of the fall.
While pumpkin is delicious, many of these fall-inspired recipes are loaded with added sugar. With added sugar comes added carbs and empty calories, which should be limited on a healthy meal plan.
The good news? You don’t have to completely deprive yourself of pumpkin goodness this fall. With a meal planning app like PlateJoy, you can have fall-inspired recipes built into your custom meal plan all season long. Plus, these pumpkin recipes are healthy, free from refined sugar, and totally delicious.
Ready to enjoy pumpkin season? We’re sharing eight healthy pumpkin recipes without the added sugar.
Health Benefits of Pumpkin
First, let’s talk about the fact that pumpkin is a nutrient-dense superfood. If we stick to the real deal and stay away from the artificial pumpkin flavors and recipes with tons of added sugar, pumpkin can bring a number of health benefits to the table.
Here are some reasons to get your pumpkin fix in this time of year.
- Pumpkin is a great source of dietary fiber
- It is great for eye health and vision due to its rich beta-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin content
- It's packed with antioxidants to help fight off free radicals and keep inflammation at bay
- It's a great source of vitamin C to keep your immune system strong. One cup of pumpkin contains anywhere from 25-48% of your recommended Daily Value of vitamin C.
Pumpkins are part of the Cucurbitaceae family and are a type of winter squash. There also happens to be various types of pumpkins that are all in season in the fall and winter months. Here are some varieties and pumpkin and squash you will find at your local supermarket or farmers market:
- Winter squash
- Butternut squash
- Acorn squash
- Spaghetti squash
- Delicata squash
- Pie pumpkins (aka sugar pumpkins)
What is Added Sugar?
While pumpkin makes a great addition to a healthy diet this time of year, we have to be concious of pumpkin foods with added sugar that pop up during the cooler months. Added sugar is sugar added to food during the processing of prepackaged foods. Added sugar can also be added to home-baked pumpkin recipes, or added to beverages like the popular pumpkin spice latte this time of year. It can come in the form of granulated sweeteners or syrup.
We want to limit how much added sugar we consume, as a diet high in added sugar can increase the risk of weight gain, diabetes, and even heart disease.
However, keep in mind that extremely restrive eating doesn’t have to be the only answer. Limiting your added sugar intake, while having a balance in your diet is key to sustaining a long-term healthy meal plan.
With a meal planning app like PlateJoy, you can remove added sugar from you custom meal planner, making it easy to stay on track with your health goals.
Healthy Pumpkin Recipes with No Added Sugar
To welcome in pumpkin season, we are sharing eight pumpkin recipes without added sugar that are sure to hit the spot and nourish your body at the same time.
1. Curried pumpkin soup with crispy tofu
This pumpkin soup is the perfect creamy fall soup that would make an ideal easy-to-prep lunch. It’s also dairy-free, gluten-free, added sugar-free, and vegetarian, making it a must for anyone’s healthy meal plan this fall.
2. Roasted butternut squash, quinoa and chicken salad with lime
This high-protein, high-fiber butternut squash salad makes the perfect fall dish. Bursting with flavor, you can prep this dish ahead of time and pack to take to work, or enjoy as an easy to reheat dinner option during the busy work week.
3. Winter pumpkin and turkey chili
Chili is a staple fall dish as it’s hearty and full of flavor, and this pumpkin chili packs in a nutritional punch from the added veggies. This winter pumpkin and turkey chili is high in protein and fiber to keep you full between meals, and can be made in bulk to have on hand to reheat and enjoy throughout the week.
4. Chickpea, pumpkin and sage stew
A high-protein, vegetarian pumpkin stew that’s easy to make and enjoy as a quick and filling lunch. This no added sugar pumpkin recipe is a great fall-inspired dish that would be delicious paired with a fresh salad.
5. Autumn-spiced tacos with butternut squash and black beans
If you’re a taco fan, these autumn-inspired tacos are sure to hit the spot. Vegetarian and sugar-free, these tacos are a dish the whole family can enjoy for dinner.
6. Pumpkin polenta with apple sausage crumble
A savory pumpkin polenta that’s perfect for autumn. This dish is made with seasonal flavors like green apple and sage, making it a scrumptious dinner that will leave you feeling warm and cozy. This is also a great pumpkin recipe to prep ahead of time to reheat and enjoy during the week.
7. Spaghetti squash and cheddar hash browns
Take hash browns to another level with this easy spaghetti squash recipe. Made with just a handful of ingredients, this makes a filling breakfast dish that will help keep you fueled until lunch.
8. Cajun chicken and spaghetti squash bake
One of our most popular pumpkin recipes, this batch spaghetti squash bake is perfect for meal prep day as it can be made ahead of time. It's easily doubleable, so you can make additional and keep leftovers in the fridge or freezer. Reheat it in the microwave or oven for a filling savory dish to enjoy throughout the fall months.
Fall is the perfect time to enjoy all things pumpkin. However, we want to make sure we are sticking to healthy pumpkin options free from added sugar as often as we can. With a meal planning app, you can have custom meal plans created just for you, with the option to avoid added sugar.
Take advantage of your custom meal plan generator, and enjoy all things pumpkin this fall, without the added sugar, but with all the added flavor you crave during pumpkin season.