Fall is upon us! Pumpkin-spiced lattes, pumpkin patches, pumpkin carving… everything Fall seems related to pumpkins. We love decorating with them, seeing them in road-side stands, using them in food; pumpkins are the ultimate festive fall experience.
Yet, do we realize just how wonderful pumpkins are to our health? Seriously, the pumpkin benefits abound in these gorgeous orange veggies that will make us love and crave them all the more this season.
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What are the Benefits of Eating Pumpkin?
- It’s high in vitamin A. Just one cup contains over 200 percent of the recommended daily intake, which is super important for your eye health + night vision.
- It’s packed with vitamin C. Strengthen your immune system all winter (and flu season!) long by adding this veggie to smoothies, soups, baked goods and more. One cup of pumpkin contains 19 percent of the recommended daily intake.
- More potassium than a banana. There’s over 500 milligrams of potassium in a cup of canned pumpkin; that’s more than a large banana!!
- Fiber! Pumpkin will fill you up fast with 7 grams in one cup. The fiber also helps your digestion and can help lower your cholesterol.
A Nutrition Research Review study done by Cambridge University showed that when pumpkin was used on diabetic patients, it caused a drop in blood sugar levels. The study concluded that pumpkin may be used to naturally help regulate the blood sugar in Type 2 Diabetics instead of using chemical insulin.
Why is Pumpkin a Superfood?
Pumpkin contains antioxidants which help our bodies fight cancerous cells, as well as lower our risk for serious eye conditions and heart disease. This nutrient-dense veggie can help boost immunity, which we take seriously during the cold winter months when the flu feels right around the corner.
Pumpkin benefits those of us trying to shed some weight as well. Its high fiber content helps us feel full longer, and since it is 94% water, it doesn’t carry the extra carb load that can be found in other foods. It is naturally low in fat, and even the seeds of a pumpkin benefit us through their nutrient-packed shells.
Recipes with more Pumpkin Benefits
We want you to indulge in pumpkin this Fall, and we have an incredibly delicious smoothie recipe to help you do just that! The Pumpkin Maple Pecan smoothie is loaded with flavor that makes us want to wrap up in a blanket, while also giving us pumpkin benefits that will keep us well and energized going into the holiday season.
Ready for more pumpkin in your life? Check out our favorite pumpkin recipes from our blog and beyond:
- Ultimate Vegan Pumpkin Soup
- Healthy Whole Wheat Pumpkin Pancakes
- Pumpkin Spice Smoothie
- Warm Spiced Pumpkin Smoothie: Winter Cleanse
- Pumpkin Chia Pudding: Winter Cleanse
- Autumn Bliss Smoothie Bowl: Simple Green Smoothies Book
- Pumpkin Pecan Pie Smoothie: Simple Green Smoothies Book
Maple Pumpkin Smoothie
- 2 tbsp raw pecans plus more for sprinkling
- 1 cup almond milk
- ½ cup cauliflower frozen flourets
- ⅓ cup pumpkin puree canned
- 1-2 tbsp maple syrup
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- pinch cinnamon ground
- pinch nutmeg ground
- pinch sea salt
- 1 serving homemade protein powder optional
- Place pecans, almond milk, and cauliflower florets into a blender and blend until smooth.
- Add remaining ingredients and blend again until smooth.
- Pour into a glass, add any extra chopped pecans on top, and sprinkle a few more dashes of cinnamon and ground nutmeg.
- It’s best to use unsweetened non-dairy milk. If you are using a sweetened version, then cut the amount of maple syrup in half.
- Frozen cauliflower (instead of fresh) has a few benefits when blending smoothies. First, it doesn’t pack the same sulfury odor and taste as its raw or cooked counterparts, making it almost undetectable in smoothie form. Second, using frozen cauliflower helps make this a cold smoothie with a creamy, milkshake-like consistency. You can use fresh cauliflower if you prefer, but try frozen if possible!
Fall in a mason jar!!
Couldn’t have said it better!!
23G of sugar. ugh.
Decrease the amount of maple syrup you put in if the sugar amount is too high for your liking! 🙂
This was delicious! I didn’t have any cauliflower, so I used a frozen banana. I needed less maple syrup and it still gave me the creamy consistency that would have come from the frozen cauliflower. I also had pumpkin pie spice and just used a sprinkle of that. Yum!
Oh my gosh— I had everything to make this today and it was INSANELY delicious. Tasted like fall all the way.
WAY better than a PSL, am I right?!
Nothing says fall like pumpkins! Definitely making this tomorrow; this will be the first time my smoothie-loving daughter has a smoothie with pumpkin!
I get so pumpkin crazy when fall arrives. 😀 Come back and let us know how your daughter likes the smoothie!
This was amazing!!!! I might cut the maple syrup back a touch only because it was a little too sweet for me. But oh my gosh SO good!
I am so happy that you loved this recipe so much! If it’s too sweet for you no worries you can totally cut back on the maple syrup like you suggested 🙂
Love this! My favorite (non healthy) thing to make with pumpkin is a good Ol pumpkin roll. Mmmmm 🙂
I’m glad we were able to give you a recipe that is delicious and healthy!!!
Pumpkin muffins, pie, and jack o lanterns
Yes, yes, and YES!!! 🙂
This is the pumpkin smoothie my husband chose – just by the title. Very curious to see how it tastes!!
That is so neat! Let us know what you think once you give it a try!!
I live cauliflower and I live pumpkin! The two together is a great idea
So glad you enjoyed this delicious combination 🙂
Just made this…yummm! Was my first time having pumpkin in a smoothie. Used frozen bananas since I’m out of cauliflower, and coconut milk for the milk component. Perfect on this fall day in Minnesota 🙂
Yay!!! I am so happy that you took the chance and tried pumpkin in your smoothie for the first time! I am even more excited that you loved it.
Adding cauliflower is a unique twist! I’ll give it a try because I love pumpkin. I love using pumpkin for crustless pumpkin pie as I am gluten and dairy intolerant. And pumpkin pie is my favorite dessert. There is another pumpkin smoothie from Angela Lidden of “Oh She Glows” that is certainly yummy but it does not include other vegetables! Certainly lots of things to make using pumpkin.
I know it sounds weird but it is SO GOOD! Cannot wait for you to try it!!
Thank you for the recipe! Going to make this in the morning for the kids and I! Used up my frozen riced cauliflower the other night, so I sliced a banana and threw it in the freezer to use instead, along with a few frozen avocado chunks, but will definitely try it again after I pick up more cauli. I’ll use the rest of the pumpkin to make muffins We love your maple walnut muffins (from Simple Green Meals) Usually have pecans on hand so use those, plus a mashed banana if I’m too lazy to grate an apple, so we’ll see how they are this next time with pumpkin!
Those all sound so delicious. I love all the different ingredients that you add!! Way to make it work for you with what you have on hand.
This is like Fall in a cup!!!! I’m in love- thanks so much! I love pumpkin in anything especially when it’s healthy
It really is fall in a cup!! So happy you love this recipe 🙂
I have been craving some good pumpkin recipes, so thank you for this. I had the pumpkin spice smoothie bowl for breakfast this morning. One of my faves of all time is also a recipe from you that is a pumpkin maple bowl that is similar. I believe it is in the autumn Thrive? I’ll have to find it again. I love this time of year because of all the pumpkin. Pumpkin pancakes, overnight oats, and bread. Yay!
I totally agree, Angela! I love all things pumpkin and SGS has some of the best pumpkin recipes!!