I absolutely love fall! It signifies the holidays are coming up which means good food! Of course one of the first things that people think about are pumpkins! These things aren’t just good for carving but make really healthy and nutritious meals! A pumpkin cooked boiled and drained packs in a lot of nutrients with no fat and little calories.   I cup has only 50 calories, no fat and 245% of your daily Vitamin A needs!  Now you can buy pumpkin puree at the grocery store and it comes form the can but this way looses a lot of nutritional value and it never as fresh as the real thing.

To get pumpkin puree yourself just follow these easy steps:

1)   Wash the pumpkin to make sure it is free from dirt, etc.

2)   Cut the pumpkin in half and scoop out all the gunk (save the seeds, I have some great flavoring for these)

3)   Cut the pumpkin into fours or sixes depending on the size

4)   Get a roasting pan, place one cup of water in it and place pumpkins skin up

5)   Heat oven to 400 degrees farenheight and cook for 30 minutes or until tender

6)   Let them cool a bit and then scoop out the flesh of the pumpkin

7)   Now you can mash it wish a fork but to get it to puree consistency use a processor

8)   Next put a sieve with a deep bowl underneath to filter

9)   You are now left with perfect, healthy, delicious pumpkin puree

Now that we have the puree here are some great pumpkin recipes! I really love pudding and now that it comes in sugar free varieties, what’s not to love?! I looked through many recipes but couldn’t find one that I loved so I combined a few of them to create this:

Fat-Free Pumpkin Pudding

~ 15 ounces of your fresh pumpkin puree

~ 1 package of instant sugar free, fat free vanilla pudding

~ 2 cups of fat free Almond Milk (this is my little addition, the consistency and flavor of almond milk makes the pudding extra creamy and the almonds compliment the flavors nicely)

~ 1 ½ teaspoons of cinnamon

~ ¼ teaspoon nutmeg

~ ¼ teaspoon ginger

In a large bowl combine the pumpkin, spices and half of the milk.  Whisk in the instant pudding slowly along with the rest of the milk.  If you do not want to mix it by hand feel free to use an electric hand mixer. Put it in the refrigerator to let it continue to thicken until you are ready to serve.  There are also many great and fun toppings you can add to make the treat more festive! One thing you can do is put candy corn on top and shape it in different faces for the kids.  Another great topping is pecans or walnuts.  Finally, I like some marshmallows on top and you can even get the ghost shaped ones to go with the Halloween theme J

Creamy Pumpkin Pasta Sauce served over Wheat Pasta

~ 15oz of your fresh pumpkin puree

~ 1 cup water

~ 1 tsp vegetable broth

~ 1 tsp ground sage

~ 1 tsp garlic powder

~ 1/2 tsp onion powder

~ 1/2 cup chopped toasted walnuts

~ Salt & pepper to taste

~ Whole wheat pasta

In a pan combine your pumpkin, water, broth and spices over a medium heat til it is smooth.  Feel free to season to your liking adding more or less of the spices.   In a pot bring water to a boil and cook the pasta until it is fully cooked.  Drain the pasta, put in dish and top with creamy pumpkin sauce.  Sprinkle the chopped walnuts on the top and ENJOY!!