A healthy pumpkin breakfast is within reach. Try one of these five recipes to plan ahead and get this superfood into your diet.
Seasonally, when we think of pumpkin, we often think of fall, but adding pumpkin to your breakfast options can be a healthy choice any time of year. Don’t just use it for creamy desserts and flavorful soup; pumpkin is also fantastic for a healthy breakfast. Try out one of these pumpkin breakfast options and get this superfood into your diet.
What is a superfood?
The term ‘superfood’ has been around for a few years as a way to describe food that is high in nutrients. Superfoods tend to be higher in vitamins and minerals than other foods, making them ‘super’ nutrient-dense.
The list is long and distinguished. These are foods that you are trying to get into your regular diet.
- Dark leafy greens
- Kefir and yogurt
- Nuts and seeds
Pumpkin also happens to be a superfood, helping with things like weight loss (one cup has 49 calories), vision (high in zinc, vitamin C, and antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin) and providing 2.7 grams of fiber per cup, especially if you make homemade pumpkin puree.
Here are some things to know about the health benefits of pumpkin and why it is a superfood.
Superfoods are More Nutrient-Dense
The main reason pumpkin is considered a superfood is because of its high amount of nutrients. Many foods you eat will contain some types of vitamins and minerals, including processed snacks, believe it or not, but the bad often outweigh the good.
With superfoods, you are eating more cleanly and going for those whole, fresh foods, but you are also getting a higher-than-normal amount of nutrients. Pumpkin is no different, which is why this fruit proudly has that superfood label.
Pumpkin Has a High Amount of Nutrients
So, what vitamins and minerals does it have exactly? To start with, pumpkin has about 2.7 grams of fiber in a cup. This benefit comes from the pumpkin you preserve yourself by cutting it open and removing the flesh, after disposing of the seeds and guts. Cook, and then you can either cut it into cubes to add to salads, cut it up for soups and other savory dishes, or turn it into pumpkin puree.
A cup of pumpkin also contains vitamin C, vitamin E, magnesium, B-6, folate, potassium, niacin, thiamin, phosphorous, riboflavin, potassium, and copper. As you can see, it is loaded with nutrients.
It is Also Low in Macros
Pumpkin not only has a lot of vitamins and minerals your body needs to be healthy, but it is low in macros. Macros, or macronutrients, are typically what you track when you are following a diet. For example, your macros include calories, fat, and carbohydrates. They are on the lower side in pumpkin, with just 49 calories in a cup of pumpkin and less than 1 gram of fat. There is no cholesterol and only about 12 grams of carbs, which is low compared to many other fruits.
You can easily use pumpkin in your current recipes to add these extra nutrients into your food without increasing your fat or calories.
5 Healthy Pumpkin Breakfast Recipes
Many of these recipes can be made ahead and stored in the freezer or refrigerator, making it even easier to have a healthy breakfast.
This might sound like an unhealthy breakfast option, but it isn’t like your typical pancakes. You are taking a healthy version of 3-ingredients pancakes that use bananas, eggs and cinnamon, and adding pumpkin to the batter.
Stick with the cinnamon to flavor them, or try a pumpkin pie spice mix instead. This mix not only contains cinnamon, but also has some ground nutmeg, cloves, and ginger in it. Sweeten your pancake with a little raw honey or maple syrup, or keep it as-is.
Try these recipe combinations for 2 Ingredient Pancakes from Hurry the Food Up website.
Grain-free Pumpkin Muffin Bake
Bake ahead is a great idea when you want to make something the night before and have it ready to eat the following morning. It is also perfect to have breakfast prepared on busy workday mornings or weekends when you have a lot going on.
A breakfast bake has plenty of variations, but it usually starts with homemade pumpkin puree or canned pumpkin, pumpkin pie spice, and some eggs. It is banana egg muffin’s little-known cousin and made with only five ingredients.
See how to do it with this recipe for pumpkin pie breakfast egg muffins at The Whole Smiths website.
These healthy, whole grain muffins from Bless This Mess Please, freeze wonderfully and are naturally sweet, but not as sweet as dessert muffins.
Oats add a bit of texture and are rich in fiber and antioxidants. They are incredibly nutritious. Whole wheat flour provides more fiber, vitamins, and minerals. If you can tolerate them, whole grains offer legitimate health benefits that reduce the risk of heart disease and keep your system in balance.
For a tasty treat, try the Healthy Pumpkin Muffin Recipe from Bless This Mess Please website.
Pumpkin Energy Bites
If you need a quick boost of energy in the morning, but don’t want a protein shake and don’t have time to make a big breakfast, why not a little energy bite? This is a small ball that is easy to make and can use delicious pumpkin for added flavor and nutrients.
Think about how convenient it would be to eat an energy bite instead of choosing something unhealthy like a bagel or pastry. They often do not even require baking.
To make energy bites with pumpkin, start with your pure canned pumpkin or pumpkin puree, but don’t use the pumpkin pie filling for these.
Then take something to bind them together like honey, peanut butter or almond butter and mix it with your pumpkin. Add old-fashioned oats, some dried fruit and protein powder. For more nutrients, you can add in some flax or chia seeds as well.
Try this recipe for Cranberry Pumpkin Spice Energy Bites from Craving Something Healthy for inspiration.
Pumpkin Oat Breakfast Bars
Looking for an alternative to sweet pastries in the morning? Pumpkin oat breakfast bars have just a hint of sweetness and fiber from oats and nuts.
This Pumpkin Oat Breakfast Bar recipe from Homespun Seasonal Living will give you 12 generous servings suitable for a healthy breakfast on fast-paced mornings.
There are many other ways to incorporated pumpkin into your breakfast options and get this superfood into your diet. What is your favorite pumpkin breakfast recipe?