Healthy pumpkin desserts make any ordinary day taste extraordinary with the right recipes. That said, can you eat pumpkin desserts while losing weight? You wouldn’t want your waist to look like a pumpkin, would you? Meanwhile, you’ve heard that pumpkin is a superfood.
Here are top healthy pumpkin dessert ideas that will rest your concerns and show you which delectables are safe to eat. But first, let’s see which desserts stand out before showing you how to add pumpkin to your diet and which are the best desserts for any occasion.
What Is the Most Popular Dessert Made From Pumpkins?
Healthy pumpkin desserts include the most famous pick: pumpkin pie! However, healthy sometimes means substituting some ingredients. Here are some substitutes for healthy pumpkin pie recipes for different dietary needs and preferences (4):
- Pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
- Coconut sugar (not refined sugar)
- Unsweetened almond milk (not dairy milk)
- Maple syrup (not brown sugar)
- Almond/coconut flour (not all-purpose flour)
How Do I Add Pumpkin to My Diet?
Pumpkin pie is a tradition in many households over the holidays or when fall knocks. Still, you can add pumpkin to your diet to load your body with essential nutrients and make other foods taste good without seeing endless veggies on your plate. Let’s discover how.
What Is the Healthiest Way to Eat Pumpkin?
Forbes suggests the healthiest way to eat pumpkins is to consume fresh, roasted, or steamed seeds and meat for their nutrients (13). Pumpkin seeds have the following essential nutrients if you roast them:
- Magnesium – May reduce stress
- Omega-3 – May improve cognitive functions
- Phytoestrogens – May reduce perimenopause symptoms
- Tryptophan – May regulate sleep
- Zinc – May improve your mood
Meanwhile, pumpkin’s puree-ready flesh has the following nutrients (13):
- Beta Carotene – an antioxidant and precursor to vitamin A
- Fiber – May improve digestion
- Potassium – Is good for cardiovascular health
- Vitamin C – Strengthens the immune system
The best way to enjoy pumpkin’s benefits is to make a homemade puree or buy plain pureed pumpkin and not buy pumpkin pie filling with added sugars and spices. It’s the healthiest way to eat the essential nutrients (13).
What Goes Well With Pumpkin?
Making or buying plain pumpkin puree means you need spice blend inspiration to complement the vegetable. Make your pumpkin pie spice that tastes like pumpkin pie filling. Blend these ground spices to make your pumpkin spice (9):
- 3 tbsp. cinnamon
- 1 tbsp. ginger
- 2 tsp. nutmeg
- 1 tsp. allspice
- 1 tsp. cloves
Is Canned Pumpkin Good for You?
Clinical dietician Kaela Ketcham from OSF Healthcare suggests that canned pumpkin is good for you (1). Tinned pumpkin has 7 grams of fiber per cup. Fiber maintains a healthier digestive system and keeps you fuller for longer, which may help you avoid overeating..
How to Eat Canned Pumpkin Healthy
Livestrong suggests pure canned pumpkin is nutritionally dense and a low-calorie way to make pumpkin desserts healthily (10). Canned pumpkin puree is a time-saver to add the recommended 5.5 cups of orange/red veggies to your weekly diet.
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Healthy Pumpkin Desserts
Let’s discover the two best pumpkin dessert ideas for any occasion. All recipes in this section are courtesy of Eating Well, Shuangy’s Kitchen Sink, The Natural Nurturer, Eating Bird Food, and The Picky Eater (6, 7, 14, 5, 11).
Easy Healthy Pumpkin Desserts
Peanut Butter Pumpkin Bread
Pumpkin and peanut or almond butter combined tastes like magical dances on your tongue. It’s a dessert with a nutty twist. Meanwhile, the ingredients are safe enough for low-calorie servings.
Macros: 8 servings, 260 calories, 21 g carbs, 16 g fat, 9 g protein, and 2 g fiber (14)
Pumpkin Chia Seed Pudding
This healthy pumpkin dessert has high calories per serving but matches the fiber to ensure you eat enough. It only takes four minutes to prepare before chilling for four hours. It’s worth every minute you wait.
Macros: 2 servings, 427 calories, 54 g carbs, 18 g fat, 16 g protein, and 18 g fiber (14)
Healthy Pumpkin Desserts (No-Bake)
Mini No-Bake Pumpkin Cheesecakes
Not all pumpkin desserts require baking. However, this one uses higher-fat ingredients to make pumpkin-flavored cheesecakes.
Macros: 12 servings, 121 calories, 13 g carbs, 6 g fat, 3 g protein, and 1 g fiber (6)
Pumpkin Yogurt Parfaits With Homemade Granola
Healthy pumpkin desserts in cups are ideal as a no-bake treat with nutritionally dense macros. Meanwhile, you make homemade granola to ensure that you don’t overspend your calories in a single dessert
Macros: 6 servings, 198 calories, 25 g carbs, 5 g fat, 14 g protein, and 4 g fiber (11)
Healthy Pumpkin Desserts for Thanksgiving
Pumpkin Pie Crisp
The pumpkin pie crisp recipe is a healthier version of traditional Thanksgiving pies, and it’s adjustable if you want more sweetness. Switch from whole milk to almond or cashew milk if you prefer, and skip the ice cream if it adds too many calories.
Macros: 12 servings, 166 calories, 25 g carbs, 7 g fat, 3 g protein, and 2 g fiber (6)
Healthier Pumpkin Roll With Cream Cheese Frosting
Pumpkin rolls are delicious and look different on your Thanksgiving table. In addition, they differ in taste. This recipe uses spices and low-fat ingredients. Skip the powdered sugar to cut some calories if you desire.
Macros: 12 servings, 172 calories, 27 g carbs, 5 g fat, 5 g protein, and 2 g fiber (6)
Healthy Pumpkin Desserts for Weight Loss
Basic Crustless Pumpkin Pie
Removing the crust on your pumpkin pie can decrease calories and carbs per serving. The pie also has three optional crunches, with the Cranberry-Almond Orange Crunch sounding like a tastebud’s dream.
Macros: 8 servings, 95 calories, 20 carbs, 0 g fat, 4 g protein, and 2 g fiber (6)
Pumpkin Pie Breakfast Egg Bake
Pumpkin for breakfast is an incredible idea! Meanwhile, the calories, carbs, and fiber content will get you started on your weight loss goals early in the day. It’s a filling breakfast savory enough to kickstart your day.
Macros: 6 servings, 103 calories, 10 g carbs, 4 g fat, 6 g protein, and 1 g fiber (14)
Healthy Pumpkin Bars
Healthy Pumpkin Pie Bars
These healthy pumpkin pie bars are Paleo-friendly and low-carb, with various substitutes to ensure you eat healthier ingredients. They’re also gluten and dairy-free, using many coconut replacement ingredients to add the right texture and taste.
Macros: 9 servings, 250 calories, 24 g carbs, 16 g fat, 5 g protein, and 3 g fiber (7)
Fudgy Flourless Pumpkin Brownies
The recipe calls for gluten-free flour, which you can replace with coconut flour. However, the fudgy texture will blow your taste buds away.
Macros: 12 servings, 70 calories, 14 g carbs, 3 g fat, 1 g protein, and 3 g fiber (6)
Healthy Pumpkin Cookies
Spiced Pumpkin Cookies
Spiced pumpkin cookies use some all-purpose flour, but you can use whole-wheat or almond flour if you prefer. Also, add the Splenda variation with unseasoned puree and combine your spices with the recipe.
Macros: 36 servings, 72 calories, 13 g carbs, 2 g fat, 1 g protein, and 1 g fiber (6)
Snickerdoodles are the ideal grab-and-go snack with pumpkin nutrients. The calories are high, considering the serving sizes, but it’s a tasty treat.
Macros: 27 servings, 83 calories, 11 g carbs, 4 g fat, 1 g protein, and 1 g fiber (6)
Healthy Pumpkin Snacks
Pumpkin Pie Nice Cream
Who said pumpkin desserts were only for fall or winter? This ice cream variation would be an easy treat on a hot day or add to other recipes.
Macros: 8 servings, 72 calories, 18 carbs, 0 g fat, 1 g protein, and 3 g fiber (6)
Copycat Harry Potter Pumpkin Juice
Snacks can also come as a liquid, especially on a busy day or a fall morning when you need something warm.
Macros: 4 servings, 68 calories, 16 g carbs, 1 g fat, 1 g protein, and 1 g fiber (14)
Healthy Pumpkin Mousse
Frozen Pumpkin Mousse Pie
Macros: 10 servings, 231 calories, 42 g carbs, 5 g fat, 4 g protein, and 2 g fiber (6)
Easy Pumpkin Chia Mousse
Pumpkin mousse with chia seeds will enhance the taste while offering fewer calories. Meanwhile, the recipe uses various substitute ingredients to ensure you eat a healthy pumpkin dessert without guilt.
Macros: 4 servings, 189 calories, 31 g carbs, 6 g fat, 5 g protein, and 8 g fiber (5)
For more delicious pumpkin ideas:
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Does Pumpkin Burn Belly Fat?
No food alone can burn belly fat. However, pumpkin may help you burn belly fat as part of a healthy diet with other nutritionally dense foods (3). Pumpkins are high in fiber but low in calories. Eating pumpkin as part of a well-balanced diet may help you burn belly fat.
Is Pumpkin Healthier Than Sweet Potato?
The American Institute for Cancer Research suggests that both pumpkins and sweet potatoes are high in carotenoids and potassium (8). ½ cup of sweet potato contains 90 calories, while ½ cup of pumpkin has 30-40 calories. Sweet potatoes have more vitamin C, but pumpkins are also a good source.
Why Is Pumpkin a Superfood?
The Cleveland Clinic suggests pumpkin is a superfood because it’s nutritionally dense (2). One cup of pumpkin can provide 200% vitamin A and 16% potassium daily. Moreover, it has heart-healthy fiber, vitamin C, and antioxidants. Additionally, the carotenoids in pumpkins may help protect you from free radicals that cause some cancers.
Is Pumpkin a Carb or Protein?
Pumpkin is a fiber-rich carb. Medical News Today says one cup of pumpkin only has 1.76 grams of protein with 12 grams of carbs, 2.7 of which come from fiber (12). It isn’t the highest protein source but provides plenty of fiber from the higher carb numbers.
The Bottom Line
Healthy pumpkin desserts include favorites and some newer ideas. Follow the guide to use pumpkin healthily in your foods and desserts. Then, choose your favorite mouth-watering dessert and enjoy every nutrient hidden in the tasty ingredients.
This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!
- 9 Reasons to Add Pumpkin to Your Diet | OSF Healthcare (2023, osfhealthcare.org)
- 6 Pumpkin Health Benefits (2022, health.clevelandclinic.org)
- 32 Foods That Burn Belly Fat Fast: Eat Your Way Into A Flatter, Sexier Midsection (2022, betterme.world)
- Best Ever Healthy Pumpkin Pie | Ambitious Kitchen (n.d., ambitiouskitchen.com)
- Easy Pumpkin Chia Mousse (2022, eatingbirdfood.com)
- Eating Well (n.d., eatingwell.com)
- Healthy Pumpkin Pie Bars (Paleo, Low-Carb) (2023, shuangyskitchensink.com)
- How Do Pumpkin, Winter Squash, and Sweet Potatoes Compare Nutritionally? What Are Healthy Ways to Prepare Them? (2015, aicr.org)
- How to Make Pumpkin Pie Spice (2022, feelgoodfoodie.com)
- Is Canned Pumpkin Good for You? (2018, livestrong.com)
- Pumpkin Greek Yogurt Parfait Recipe (2021, pickyeaterblog.com)
- Pumpkins: Health Benefits and Nutritional Breakdown (2023, medicalnewstoday.com)
- The Healthiest Way to Eat Pumpkin This Fall (2018, forbes.com)
- The Natural Nurturer (n.d., thenaturalnurturer.com)