It's the time of year where pumpkin is abundant in almost any food you can think of! And while Pumpkin Spice Lattes aren't exactly a health food, pumpkin itself IS a nutritional powerhouse.
Pumpkin is loaded with antioxidants and vitamins- especially beta carotene. Beta carotene (an early form of Vitamin A) is important for immune health, eye health and heart health. It's a great source of fiber and Vitamin K.
It's simple to add pumpkin to your diet if you buy canned pumpkin puree. Just make sure you choose pure pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling that is often sold right next to it). Stir it into oatmeal, yogurt, soups, pasta sauce- the options are endless. Of course it's fun to bake with it too.
If you're in the mood for a baked pumpkin snack that's not too sweet and loaded with good for you foods, try these granola bites! You can add a little more maple syrup if you want them to be sweeter, but these are a great snack as is.
Pumpkin Cranberry Granola Bites
Makes 18-20 bites
2 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
¾ cup canned pure pumpkin
½ cup dried cranberries
1/3 cup pumpkin seeds
¼ cup maple syrup
2 tablespoons almond butter
2 tablespoons coconut oil
½ teaspoon pumpkin spice
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Place oats and walnuts on baking sheet. Bake for 8 minutes until toasted.
3. Meanwhile mix remaining ingredients in a medium bowl.
4. Add toasted oats and walnuts to the bowl and stir to combine.
5. Roll dough into 1-inch balls using a cookie scoop or spoon.
6. Place on baking sheet and bake for 15-18 minutes until firm.
7. Allow to cool before enjoying! Store in an airtight container.
*Recipe adapted from the Almond Board of California