Fall Is Here And Pumpkins Are Everywhere!

Fall is here, which means cooler weather, fall fun, and pumpkins! If you’ve been to the store lately, you’ve probably seen pumpkin-flavored everything. Even I can admit, I am a huge fan of pumpkin-flavored things and when fall rolls around, I am up to my tastebuds in pumpkin goods. However, most items that have been flavored with fall’s favorite taste are not always the most nutritious for us. Many items that are pumpkin-flavored are full of added sugar, fat, and refined carbohydrates. Fear not though, because you can still enjoy real pumpkin, which is not only nutritious, but delicious.

Did you know that pumpkins are an excellent source of Vitamin A? One cup of pumpkin can provide 245 percent of the recommended Vitamin A daily intake. Vitamin A is important for our bodies, as it helps fight infections, regulate cell growth and division, maintain healthy skin and bones, and preserve vision. Not only are pumpkins a great source of Vitamin A, but they are also high in potassium and fiber. Potassium helps regulate fluids, maintain normal blood pressure, and balances minerals in and out of body cells. Fiber helps maintain bowel health, as well as helps to maintain a healthy weight, which can lower your risk of diabetes, heart disease, and some types of cancer.

Now that you’ve read about the benefits of pumpkin, I’m sure you’re curious about how to enjoy pumpkin in a healthy way, right?! You want to be sure that no matter the way you purchase pumpkin, that it is just that- 100% pumpkin. This could be 100% canned pumpkin puree, whole pumpkin that you’ve cut open, or pumpkin seeds.

Try the following simple ways to enjoy pumpkin in your meals, as suggested by the Mayo Clinic:

  • Stir pumpkin puree into soups, chilies, and stews.
  • Add canned or mashed cooked pumpkin to pancakes or quick breads.
  • Layer low-fat vanilla yogurt with  pumpkin puree and low-fat granola. Top with a pinch of cinnamon and nutmeg.
  • Drizzle pumpkin wedges with olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and roast for about 25 minutes at 400⁰F.

As the weather starts to cool off, try this Pumpkin and Bean Soup Recipe from MyPlate.gov


Pumpkin and Bean Soup. Image Source: MyPlate.gov
  • 1 can white beans
  • 1 onion (small, finely chopped)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 can 100% pumpkin (15 oz)
  • 1 ½ cups apple juice
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg, allspice, or ginger
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon salt


  1. Blend white beans, onion, and water with a potato masher or blender until smooth.
  2. In a large pot, add the pumpkin, juice, cinnamon, nutmeg, black pepper, and salt. Stir.
  3. Add the blended bean mix to the pot.
  4. Cook over low heat for 15’20 minutes, until warmed through. Enjoy!

For more fall-inspired pumpkin recipes click here.


Mayo Clinic Health System, 2018-2023.



Hillary Ayers, Family and Consumer Sciences Agent for UF/IFAS Extension Orange County
Posted: October 10, 2023

Category: Health & Nutrition, UF/IFAS, UF/IFAS Extension, WORK & LIFE
Tags: #extensionforall, #ocextensionnews, Fall, Family And Consumer Sciences, Health And Wellness, Nutrition, Pumpkins, Recipes, Soup, UF/IFAS Extension, UF/IFAS Extension Orange County

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