Oh, pumpkin. How obsessed I get with you this time of the year! I love you in coffee and tea, muffins and pie, bars and pancakes – even my adult beverages. The best part is, you’re good for me!
You’re rich in fiber.
You’re low in calories.
You’re super hydrating.
You’re full of antioxidants like vitamin A and beta-carotene.
You help boost my immunity with your vitamin C packed-power.
You help make my skin look good.
You help me fight disease.
You help regulate my blood sugar.
You help me feel fuller longer.
You taste amazing in so many different ways, especially with cinnamon!
You make it easy to love you, because you’re yummy.
Furry friends, don’t despair! There are even pumpkin treats for you, too.
I’ve got some of my favorite pumpkin products to entice every lover from the mouth to their pumpkinny toes. What’s best is that they’re all clean – no artificial colors, flavors or preservatives. So go orange and knock yourself out!
A Pumpkin Primer
- Clean the outside of fresh, whole pumpkins with Eat Cleaner Fruit + Vegetable Wash. The minute you cut through, you could be contaminating the inside of the skin isn’t washed properly.
- Sugar pumpkins, Cinderella pumpkins and Winter Luxury pumpkins make for some of the best flesh to use in all of these pumpkin recipes.
- Spoon out all the seeds and pulp and hold onto the seeds for roasting.
- Cut pumpkin into quarter and place on a baking sheet, skin side down, and roast for about 45 minutes, or until fork tender.
- If using pre-packaged pumpkin, opt for pure pumpkin puree vs. pumpkin pie filling, which is pre-seasoned and often has sugar added.
- If you can find it opt for the aseptic pumpkin – it tastes great! Second best choice is canned that is BPA-free.
- Spices that go well with pumpkin include nutmeg, cinnamon, vanilla, clove, curry, smoked paprika, cumin and sage.
- You can stock up on pureed pumpkin all year to add to your favorite sweet and savory recipes – it’s not just for fall!
Oh, and Don’t forget to grab my FREE pdf recipe book – my 8 GREAT Clean Eating Pumpkin recipes to help everyone enjoy you to the fullest this season – and beyond. After all, why do we only have this little window to love on you like this?
Here’s to pumpkin season year round. Enjoy in great health, with the ones you LOVE.
xxChef Mareya, The Fit Foodie, founder of eatcleaner.com
Kind Bar Limited Batch – Caramel Almond Pumpkin Spice: I have never been disappointed by Kind Bars assortment of flavors and this one just raised the bar (badum bump). Low glycemic index, no sugar alcohol, no GMO ingredients, high in fiber and low sodium – and the taste and texture is out of this world. I would recommend stocking up so you can have some for the rest of the year. You will crave them beyond fall, for sure.
They’re just the right crunch so you don’t feel like you have to dunk it to not break your teeth. The Pumpkin Spice is nicely flavored and the Dark Chocolate Pumpkin had my kids fighting for the last one, so try not to get addicted. My only callout is they’re a little high in sugar, so limit your indulgence.
Mrs. Renfro’s Gourmet Pumpkin Salsa: A medium-spiced salsa that’s not overwhelmingly pumpkinny, but will definitely take taco Tuesday to a new level. It’s not chunky so best as a topping rather than to dip into. Plus it’s low in calories, carbs and sugar and reasonable on the sodium side. The company is family owned and operated which is always great to support.
SweetLeaf Stevia Pumpkin Spice Drops: Let me count the ways I love stevia…it’s zero calorie, all natural, helps regulate blood sugar and is so versatile you can sub out all sugar in any recipe for it. The pumpkin spice flavored drops will transform everything from coffee and tea to baked goods into a festive occasion. SweetLeaf has done a great job of eliminating the funky stevia aftertaste, too.
Coronado Brewing Co. “Punk’n Drublic” Seasonal Selection Beer: Brewed in Coronado, California, this combo of pumpkin, spice and everything nice wrapped into an adult bevvy just begs for a fun get-together around a fire with friends to chat about if nothing else, the awesome beer
BarkThins Dark Chocolate Pumpkin Seed with Sea Salt Snacking Chocolate: What’s not to love about this combo, when it actually has heart health benefits to boot? Made with certified fair trade and non-GMO ingredients, it’s an all-natural treat with mass appeal. Just watch out for the sugar, and treat rather than polishing the whole bag off in a sitting (which would not be hard to do).
La Tourangelle Toasted Pumpkin Seed Oil: Of course, the French know how to anything foodie-related right. This super rich flavored toasted pumpkin seed oil adds a nice smoky flavor to salad dressings, marinades, dips and dishes like pasta, risotto and stews. Marry it with citrus, or a fig balsamic and you’ve got a match made in heaven. It’s a nice change from coconut and olive oil for this pumpkinny time of the year.
Graze Pumpkin Spice Flapjacks: When you think Flapjack, if you’re thinking pancake, you’re not even close. These moist little bars are hands-down one of the tastiest packaged snacks I’ve ever stuck in my pumpkin loving piehole. Made with GMO-free whole grains, delicious, these rustic rolled-oat bars are handcrafted in the family-owned Wiltshire farm bakery in the British countryside using a recipe that hasn’t changed in 35 years! Pumpkin spice, dates, cinnamon and nutmeg make it a pure winner. Another sugar watch though – share the package with someone you love and cut the amount in half.
Colorado Aromatics Pumpkin Harvest Soaps: When I prayed if I could just bathe myself in pumpkin all year, God replied and gave us this soap. OMGEEEE it smells so good I can’t stop sniffing my arm and making everyone around me do the same. Made with real pumpkin and an lively spice combo, it’s so good you might want to take a bite – although I would just recommend washing with it. See, Colorado can be famous for things other than green plants…
Rogue Pumpkin Patch Ale: This ale has a serious foodie farm to table heritage. Brewed with Rogue Farms pumpkins grown in Oregon, they’re cleaned, chopped and roasted just 77 miles away from where they’re made into this deep flavored, silky brew. The bottle alone deserves a design award and I will very much be turning into a vase when I’m don’t drinking it.
Your Pet Chef No Guilt Treats: Raw, gluten and grain-free, all natural, locally grown and made with fresh ingredients. No, it’s not a new human food snack line. This pumpkin treat is just for your pooches. Made with ground turkey, ginger, pumpkin, cottage cheese and kale, the company touts that it ‘heels that heartburn’. Sounds delicious! Now I just need a dog to test it on…any volunteers?
Sweet Home Farm Pumpkin Flax Granola: The first thing I thought when I got the package, which looks like just like a milk carton is, pour it right into my mouth! Made with non-GMO ingredients, no artificial preservatives, colors, flavors or trans fats, this granola tastes really, really good. The added benes are it packs a good 32g of whole grains and 6 g of protein per serving. With 11 grams of sugar per 2/3 of a cup, enjoy it in moderation.
And last but not least…
Charles Viancin Silicone Pumpkin Covers: The green girl in me loves these seasonal, high-quality alternatives to plastic wrap to cover a plate when heating or storing food. But the 11-year old boy humor side of me suggests there are many other ways you could use these covers but it’s not rated PG. Ahem. Think pumpkin pasties.