It’s that time of year: The leaves are changing colors, the air’s a bit crisper, and a baker’s best friend is ripe and in-season.
Pumpkin makes for the perfect ingredient for everything from cookies to cakes to pies and more.
Here’s the thing: Those high-calorie desserts don’t have to break the calorie bank and send your diet over the edge.
That’s why we rounded up 7 healthy pumpkin desserts that will blow you away. Enjoy!
1) Healthy Pumpkin Ice Cream
You know those early-fall days where it still feels like summer but you’re also seeing the telltale signs of fall all around you? Yeah—this one’s for those moments.
1 12oz can evaporated fat free milk
8 oz fat free cream cheese
1¼ cups 100% pure pumpkin puree
⅓ cup pure maple syrup
1 tbs molasses
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp liquid Stevia extract
1 tsp natural maple flavor
1 cup unflavored whey protein isolate (75g)
1 tbs pumpkin pie spice
In a large blender, add the evaporated milk, cream cheese, pumpkin puree, maple syrup, molasses, vanilla extract, stevia extract and maple flavor. Blend until smooth.
While blending, add the whey protein powder and pumpkin pie spice.
Follow your ice cream maker’s instructions to churn. Transfer the mixture into a freezer-safe container and freeze for about 3-5 hours, or until it’s the consistency you prefer.
Serve and enjoy!
Recipe courtesy: Desserts with Benefits
2) Pumpkin Cornbread Muffins
Cornbread is the perfect sidekick to many delicious fall-themed meals (hello chili!). Add in that pumpkin flavor, and you’re taking things to a whole new level.
½ cup pumpkin puree
¼ cup maple syrup
2 tsp cinnamon
1 cup almond milk unsweetened
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
½ tsp baking soda
1 cup cornmeal
1 cup almond flour
⅓ cup Gluten Free oat flour
¼ cup coconut sugar
¼ tsp sea salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare a muffin tin with cooking spray or liners (or baking dish if making the bread version).
In a food processor, combine pumpkin, almond milk, apple cider vinegar, oat flour, sugar, maple syrup and cinnamon and combine.
Add (by hand) baking soda, cornmeal, almond flour and salt to the mixture and combine.
Let the batter sit for 1 hour in the refrigerator to allow the batter to thicken; the cornmeal will absorb all the ingredients to make fluffier and thicker muffins.
Pour the batter into the cavities. Bake 30 minutes until muffins appear golden and a toothpick can be inserted cleanly in the center.
Cool muffins in the tin before serving (about 10-15 minutes).
Recipe courtesy: Skinny Fitalicious
3) Grain-Free Pumpkin Spiced Cupcakes with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting
Most cupcakes typically have about 350 calories, but these little delights shave 60 calories off that total without shaving anything off the taste.
3 cups almond flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
½ tsp. cinnamon
¼ cup brown sugar
¼ cup Stevia In The Raw®
3 eggs, lightly whisked
¼ cup coconut oil, melted
¼ cup almond milk
1 (15 oz) can 100% pumpkin puree
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, pumpkin spice, cinnamon, brown sugar and Stevia In The Raw®. Set aside.
In a separate bowl, whisk together eggs, coconut oil, almond milk and pumpkin puree and stir until well-combined.
Pour the wet ingredients in with the dry ingredients and mix really well until there are no clumps.
Divide the pumpkin mixture evenly into 12 prepared muffin cups with cupcake liners and bake in the oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Let the cupcakes sit for 5 minutes, then remove from pan and let it cool completely on a wire rack.
While the cupcakes are cooling, add cream cheese, maple syrup and vanilla extract to the bowl of your stand mixer (or you can use a hand mixer) and whip on high until smooth.
Transfer the frosting to a pastry bag and frost each cupcake using your favorite tip. Top with sprinkles (if desired) and enjoy!
Recipe courtesy: Eat Yourself Skinny
4) Healthy Pumpkin Bread Pudding Recipe
12 slices light bread
¼ cup light whipped butter or light buttery spread (like Brummel & Brown)
1 cup canned pure pumpkin
1 cup egg whites or fat-free liquid egg substitute (like Egg Beaters Original)
¾ cup light vanilla soymilk
1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp. cinnamon
⅛ tsp. salt
¼ cup plus 2 tbsp. brown sugar (not packed)
Optional topping: Fat-Free Reddi-wip
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray an 8″ X 8″ baking pan with nonstick spray.
Lightly toast bread and cut into bite-sized pieces.
In a large microwave-safe bowl, microwave butter for 30 seconds, or until melted.
Add bread pieces to the bowl and toss to coat.
In another large bowl, combine pumpkin, egg whites/substitute, soymilk and seasonings. Add 1/4 cup brown sugar, and whisk until uniform. Transfer mixture to the baking pan. Evenly top with remaining 2 tbsp. brown sugar.
Bake until firm and set, 40 – 45 minutes.
Let cool slightly, about 10 minutes. Enjoy!
Recipe courtesy: Hungry Girl
5) Crustless Pumpkin Pie
A spin on the classic, this crustless pumpkin pie is the real deal. Plus, taking the crust out of the mix means all the flavor without all the excess calories.
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
2 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
⅓ cup flour, such as spelt, oat, white, sorghum, or almond
⅓ cup sugar of choice or xylitol pinch uncut stevia OR 2 extra tbsp sugar
1 (15-oz) can pumpkin puree
¾ cup + 2 tbsp milk of choice
2 tbsp oil, or omit and increase milk to 1 cup
1 tbsp flaxmeal OR 2 tsp cornstarch (can be omitted if pie will be served in a bowl)
2 ½ tsp pure vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 400 degree F and grease a 10-inch round pan.
In a large mixing bowl, combine first 7 ingredients and stir very well.
In a separate bowl, combine all liquid ingredients with the energ or flax and whisk.
Pour wet into dry, stir to combine, then pour into the pan and bake 35 minutes. (It’ll still be gooey after baking, but that’s ok.)
Allow to cool completely before transferring uncovered to the fridge to set for at least 6 hours before trying to slice.
Recipe courtesy: Chocolate Covered Katie
6) Pumpkin Pie Pudding
As if the crustless pumpkin pie wasn’t enough, you can also have all that Thanksgiving flavor in a little cup of delicious pudding delight.
½ cup sugar, divided
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 ¾ cups 1% low-fat milk
1 large egg ½ cup canned unsweetened pumpkin
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
⅛ teaspoon salt
⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg
¼ cup chopped walnuts
Dash of salt
¼ cup heavy whipping cream
Combine 6 tablespoons sugar and 2 tablespoons cornstarch in a medium saucepan over medium heat.
Combine milk and egg, stirring well with a whisk. Gradually add milk mixture to sugar mixture, stirring constantly, and bring to a boil.
Cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat.
Combine pumpkin and the next 4 ingredients (through ground nutmeg) in a bowl, stirring well.
Slowly add pumpkin mixture to milk mixture, whisking constantly. Place pan over low heat, and cook for 3 minutes or until thoroughly heated, stirring constantly (do not boil).
Divide pudding evenly among 4 dessert bowls, and cover surface of pudding with plastic wrap. Chill.
Line a baking sheet with foil, and coat foil with cooking spray.
Place the remaining 2 tablespoons sugar, walnuts, and a dash of salt in a small nonstick skillet; cook over low heat until sugar dissolves and is golden (about 3 minutes), stirring frequently to coat nuts.
Transfer mixture to prepared baking sheet, and cool completely.
Coarsely chop nuts.
Place cream in a bowl. Beat with a mixer at high speed until stiff peaks form.
Top each serving with 2 tablespoons whipped cream and about 1 tablespoon nuts.
Recipe courtesy: Cooking Light
7) Pumpkin Gooey Butter Cake
Rich, creamy custard on top of a light, shortbread crust? Sign us up!
1 15-ounce package natural yellow cake mix
3 large eggs, divided
8 tablespoons melted butter (1 stick), divided
¼ cup canola oil
1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree
1 (8 ounce) package reduced-fat cream cheese, softened
½ cup packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with cooking spray.
Beat cake mix, 1 egg, 4 tablespoons melted butter and oil in a large bowl with an electric mixer on low speed until combined.
The mixture will be crumbly.
Pat the crumb mixture into the bottom of the prepared baking dish.
Wipe out the large bowl.
Add pumpkin, cream cheese, brown sugar, the remaining 2 eggs, the remaining 4 tablespoons melted butter, cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla; beat with the electric mixer until smooth.
Spread the pumpkin mixture evenly over the crumb mixture.
Bake until mostly set but still a bit wiggly in the center, 50 to 60 minutes.
Let cool for at least 30 minutes.
Serve at room temperature or chilled.
Recipe courtesy: Eating Well
Author: Caitlin H
Diet-to-Go Community Manager
Caitlin is the Diet-to-Go community manager and an avid runner. She is passionate about engaging with others online and maintaining a healthy, active lifestyle. She believes moderation is key, and people will have the most weight loss success if they engage in common-sense healthy eating and fitness.