For the Love of Pumpkin!
Yes, it is that time of the year! October is here, and I am all about bringing on those fall flavors. Dare I say pumpkin?Pumpkin oatmeal? Check. Pumpkin muffins? Of course. Pumpkin smoothies? Definitely. I even added some canned pumpkin to my chili last week. You can find pumpkin in EVERYTHING this time of year!I am not complaining about this though. As you can probably tell, I am one of those people that loves to add canned pumpkin to whatever I make during this season. It tastes so good, and this orange vegetable is loaded with fiber, vitamin A, vitamin C, and iron! Really what is not to love?!
Be sure though when canned pumpkin, you’re buying plain, canned pumpkin rather than pumpkin pie filling. Pumpkin pie filling typically has added sugar and sodium and is higher in calories than plain pumpkin. Look for nutrition labels that say: “pumpkin” or “100 percent pumpkin,” to ensure that you're only getting pure pumpkin. You could of course boil and make your own pumpkin puree from the actual pumpkin…but that does take some work cutting a pumpkin.
Pumpkin Granola Bites
This recipe makes for a great snack that both kids and adults will gobble up! If there are tree nut allergies in your family, just omit the nuts. Some people also like to use cranberries instead of raisins or omit the pumpkin seeds for mini chocolate chips. Would love to hear of any changes you made to the recipe. Enjoy!Serves: 10 | Serving Size: 3 granola bites (balls)
- 2 cups rolled oats
- 1 cup canned pure pumpkin (not pie filling)
- ½ cup roasted slivered almonds or crushed walnuts
- ½ cup dried raisins
- ¼ cup unsalted pumpkin(pepitas) seeds (optional)
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spread the nuts or walnuts on it. Toast them for 8 to 10 minutes, until lightly golden. While the nuts are roasting, mix all the remaining ingredients together in a large bowl. Leave the oven on. Once nuts are complete, add them to the pumpkin oat mixture. Form 1-inch balls of the granola mixture. Place the balls on the baking sheet.Bake the bites for 15 to 18 minutes, until firm and lightly browned. Remove the pan to a wire rack to cool. Store the pumpkin bites in an airtight container. *Modified from Almond Board of California*We are also here to help! If you’re ready for support or want more information on healthy pumpkin recipes, drop us an email or give us a call at 877-293-9355 ext. 0!
– Kari Martinez, MS, RD, LDN
Health Advisor | Email Kari