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  • Hui Hui Lee, RD/LD

Pumpkin is in da season

November 11, 2020 | Hui Hui Lee, RD/LD

(Image credit: USDA SNAP-Ed Connection, na)

Hello, my friends! How’s November treating you so far? Are you busy cleaning up the messy leaves which are pretty much everywhere now? Or are you busy baking/cooking? No matter what you are doing, let’s take a quick break and have a talk about pumpkin. Pumpkin products and recipes can be found anywhere, whether online or at the stores. So, how can we skip pumpkin talk for this season.

Pumpkin facts

Pumpkin is similar to sweet potatoes (nutrients content, taste, and ways to cook them). You can definitely substitute one for another. Just like sweet potatoes, pumpkin contains an excellent source of fiber and vitamin A (beta-carotene) (Schaeffer, 2015). The nutrient content in the pumpkin is not limited to fiber and vitamin A, it also consists of vitamin K, vitamin C, potassium, iron, magnesium, vitamin B-complex, and some other minerals (Schaeffer, 2015).

To be honest, the idea about the pumpkin talk comes from when I happened to open a huge can of pumpkin puree and of course I only used a small amount from it. To prevent food waste, I browse for many different pumpkin puree recipes (from appetizer to dessert). Let me show you how to incorporate pumpkin puree.

Appetizer/side dish

Pumpkin hummus: To make this recipe, you need pumpkin puree, garbanzo beans (or white beans), tahini, lemon juice, and some seasoning/herbs/spices (cayenne pepper, cinnamon, cumin, salt, and black pepper). Pumpkin hummus is best to go with tortilla chips, naan, toast, or vegetables. The recipe adapted from Minimalist Baker.

Pumpkin bacon salad: I know it sounds a little weird for this recipe. It is one of the Japanese’s dishes, which can be served as a side. If you are interested in trying something different for this year, I strongly recommend this recipe. Because the recipe called for an actual raw pumpkin, and I don’t have it, I used about ¾ can (~11.25oz) of pumpkin puree and cooked off the excess water in the puree before adding it into the salad. I also added some chopped roasted mixed nuts and apples. SUGGESTION: if you are not a big fan of mayo, replace it with plain yogurt/greek yogurt. The recipe adapted from Just One Cookbook.


Pumpkin Mac and Cheese: Let me tell you all something about this dish, it is a WHOA! I never thought I would fall in love with this recipe, but man, after giving it a try, I am definitely going to be making this dish again! It is super creamy and not heavily coated with cheese (which my stomach is not able to handle). SUGGESTION: if you have some nutritional yeast flakes available, I would recommend you to sprinkle some over the pasta prior to eating. The recipe adapted from Domestic Superhero.

Spinach Pumpkin Lasagna: Similar to pumpkin mac and cheese, you have gotta try this pumpkin lasagna, at least once in your lifetime. It is a very flavorful, satisfying pumpkinny dish! Before assembling, make sure you give it a taste of the pumpkin layer mixture, and add more seasoning (if needed), because it determines the ultimate taste of your lasagna. The recipe adapted from Ambitious Kitchen.

Pumpkin Veggie Burgers: How do I describe these veggie patties? They look like classic Chick-fil-A chicken patties. The patties are very flavorful, which you will be surprised that it is actually a vegetarian recipe. The recipe adapted from Peas and Crayons

Pumpkin Butter Chicken: As the weather is cooling down, I crave for something warm and slightly spicy. Pumpkin butter chicken seems a best fit for this weather. This recipe is the healthier version of butter chicken where pumpkin puree is used in place of heavy cream. The recipe adapted from A Saucy Kitchen.

Desserts (Both desserts share the same recipe with some modifications. I modified and combined the recipes from Carol Easy Life and MASAの料理ABC, they are all written in chinese). For recipes, see the November 2020 supplemental posting (Pumpkin Desserts).

Chocolate cupcakes with pumpkin custard filling

Pumpkin Mont Blanc cake


USDA SNAP-Ed Connection (na). Pumpkin [Digital image]. Retrieved from

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