5 Pumpkin Goodies w/out Guilt

Healthy Pumpkin Goodies | Girlfriend is Better
Photo courtesy: Ambitious Kitchen | Recipe: Healthy Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Oat Bars

PSL season is officially here!  Pumpkin pie has always been a childhood favorite. (With the Cool Whip topping-to-pie ratio being 1:1.) It’s totally possible to indulge in a little pumpkin with the 5 health-smart recipes below.   We’ve got gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, low-glycemic, and more!  You’re bound to find one that fits your taste/ diet criteria.  Guaranteed!

Healthy pumpkin pudding recipe | Egg-free, dairy-free | Girlfriend is Better
Photo courtesy: Against All Grain | Recipe: Pumpkin Pudding

Pumpkin Pudding {egg-free, dairy-free}

First, consider the sugar-quotient of the veggie itself. It is high on the glycemic index and 1 cup contains 3.2 grams of sugar.  Make pumpkin the main sweet-factor in your recipe and you’ve got a goodie that you can feel good about as a result!  This pudding recipe is super quick and easy, but needs to chill for 6 hours.  It’s a great one to make ahead of time when you’ve got company coming and works as a pie filling as well!  You can also pair the pudding with ginger cookies for some spicy delight.

5 Ingredients:
1 can full-fat coconut milk
3 teaspoons gelatin
1 ¼ cup pure pumpkin puree*
1/3 cup honey or maple syrup
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

Click here for full recipe and instructions. For the puree, try making your own fresh rather than using the stuff from the can.

Healthy Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Oat Bars | vegan and gluten-free | Girlfriend is Better
Photo courtesy: Ambitious Kitchen | Recipe: Healthy Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Oat Bars
Music Alert! Cooking is best with a soundtrack. Here is a great track by Der Badermeister. It’s got tin sounds that remind me of teaspoons and the like.
Press “Listen in Browser” to play immediately.

Healthy Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Oat Bars {vegan and gluten-free}

These are a little higher on the sugar scale than I would like (9.2g per bar), but we are all for getting carbs via oatmeal. Oatmeal sticks to your ribs, right? In addition to pumpkin, oatmeal is a great source of soluble fiber, calcium, and potassium. Since it helps lower cholesterol and reduces blood pressure, it is a healthy heart staple. Eating oatmeal helps control weight because it stabilizes your blood sugar (no crashes), boosts athletic performance, and more!  Like a match made in heaven.  *swoon

Vegan Ingredients:
3 cups gluten-free oats
2 teaspoons aluminum-free baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1-1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
pinch of ground cloves
1 cup canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon olive or coconut oil
1/3 cup vegan chocolate chips, plus 2 tablespoons for sprinkling on top

Click here for the full recipe and instructions. Also, try subbing 1/2 cup coconut sugar instead of the brown sugar to make it low-glycemic. Shazaam!

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread | Gluten-free, dairy-free | Girlfriend is Better
Photo courtesy: Meaningful Eats | Recipe: The Best Gluten-Free Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread

The Best Gluten-Free Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread {maple-syrup sweetened, dairy-free}

At first glance, this recipe may seem like a hard-core gluten-free bread recipe, but it doesn’t have to be.  You can always substitute the flours with a store-bought gluten-free, all-purpose flour.   Because gluten-free breads usually lack some protein, there is an extra egg added to compensate. The result is an incredibly moist bread packed with fall spices, chocolate chips, and pumpkin flavor. Also, pumpkin contains almost twice the recommended daily intake of vitamin A. Consequently, you benefit from improved vision, healthy skin, teeth, and bones.

Dry Ingredients:
1/3 cup buckwheat groats
1/2 cup potato starch
1/2 cup almond flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon cloves

Wet Ingredients:
3 eggs
1 cup pumpkin puree (canned or fresh)
3/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup coconut oil
2 teaspoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons vanilla

Optional Mix-In:
1/2-2/3 cup chocolate chips, pecans, or walnuts

Click here for the full recipe and instructions.  Another suggestion is to make Erin Collins’ flour blend to have on hand for future gluten-free recipes.  It’s a good one!

Healthy Pumpkin Snickers Bars | Vegan, gluten-free | Girlfriend is Better
Photo courtesy: Emelie Eats | Recipe: Healthy Pumpkin Snickers Bars

Healthy Pumpkin Snickers Bars {vegan & gluten-free}

Emelie is a college girl from Louisiana and shares our love for Snickers. First, these are 1,000,000 times better since they are so much healthier (using the sweetness of dates instead of sugar). Combining pumpkin and chocolate just made this girl our BFF! Whip these up in less than 15 minutes and enjoy them whenever you feel you deserve a little treat. Also, you can use peanuts to match the original candy bar, or any favorite nut. It’s good to have walnuts on hand because they are the lowest in sugar and fun fact – bitterness actually counteracts sweet cravings! Walnuts and pecans are also an excellent source of seratonin. That makes these bars the feel-good staple for the Fall.

1/2 cup oat flour (ground-up rolled oats)
2 tablespoons pumpkin purée
2 tablespoons almond butter
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract, divided
1/4 teaspoon + 1/8 teaspoon salt, divided
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup pitted dates
1/2 cup peanuts, or other nut of choice
one-half cup + one tablespoon cocoa powder
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons coconut sugar
3 tablespoons coconut oil, melted

Click here for full recipe and instructions. Props to this girl for coming up with such a tasty and imaginative treat that keeps you on track health-wise.

Pumpkin Breakfast Cookies | Low-sugar | Girlfriend is Better
Photo courtesy: Leealicious | Recipe: Healthy Pumpkin Cookies

Pumpkin Breakfast Cookies {low-sugar, high-fiber}

You might have noticed some of the previous recipes contained coconut oil. Coconut oil contains a unique composition of fatty acids and is wonderfully beneficial to add to your diet.  Additionally, it is a quick and healthy source of energy and helps with weight loss. We also recommend substituting honey with coconut nectar, which is low-glycemic.  The inclusion of pumpkin seeds and flaxseed in this recipe is even better! Both seeds contain a wide variety of nutrients, boost your fiber intake, and are one of the best sources of plant-based omega-3s.

1/4 cup Spectrum® coconut oil, melted
1/4 cup honey
1 cup rolled old-fashioned oats
1 cup quick cooking oats
2/3 cup unsweetened, dried cranberries
2/3 cup pumpkin seeds
1/4 cup ground flaxseed
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
2 eggs, beaten

Click here for the full recipe and instructions. Make these on a weekend and have them on hand throughout the week. (Also, they’re perfect with a cup of coffee or on the go.)

Healthy pumpkin cookies | Low sugar | Girlfriend is Better
Photo courtesy: Leelalicious | Recipe: Healthy Pumpkin Cookies

Made to Order

Hope you enjoy the health benefits of these yummy recipes!  They’re all pretty easy to doctor according to your tastes.  You can substitute the flours, oils, milks, however you want for any of these healthy pumpkin treats.  Let us know which one you like best in the comments below!  Any great substitutions?  Because we’d love to hear those as well!

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