Get the Skinny: Pumpkin Nutrition + 3 Easy Recipes for Leftover Halloween Pumpkins!

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Whatcha gonna do with all that pumpkin? We’re Getting the Skinny with Molly on the health benefits of pumpkin plus 3 easy ways to add it to our diets!

  • Nutrient Rich: Pumpkin is packed with antioxidants, potassium and vitamin C
  • Low in calories: just 15 calories per half-cup raw, and 40 calories per half-cup canned
  • Good source of fiber: 3 grams fiber per half-cup


Not just for holiday baking! Pumpkin can be used in recipes year-round, particularly since the texture of pumpkin puree makes it a good fat substitute in recipes.


Fat replacer: Substitute pumpkin puree for equal amounts of fat, for up to two-thirds of the fat called for in a recipe.  Not only does it shave calories, you’ll get the benefit of 10 grams of fiber for every cup.  (Tip: fresh pumpkin pulp is thinner than canned, so strain if using fresh, or just use canned).


Pumpkin Seeds: Rich in iron and magnesium, a one-ounce serving (two tablespoons) has nine grams of protein – more than that of a large egg – along with 145 calories and 12 grams of fat.


Use roasted pumpkin seeds just any other type of nut (think pine nuts or slivered almonds) to add variety to favorite recipes.  Sprinkle them onto salads, cottage cheese, Greek yogurt, or hot or cold cereal for a nutrient-rich crunch.



Any whole grain or protein pancake mix will work for this recipe, though Kodiak Cake’s Power Cakes Flapjack & Waffle Mix is one of my favorite on shelves, with a hefty dose of whole grains and protein.


Pumpkin Spice Whole Grain Pancakes, Shaped Like Pumpkins


  • 1 cup Kodiak Cakes Power Cakes Flapjack & Waffle Mix
  • 1-1/4 cup milk of choice
  • 1 large whole egg
  • 1/4 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin spice
  • 1 tablespoon Swerve sweetener


Add all ingredients into a bowl and mix until smooth.  Preheat large skillet and coat with butter or non-stick spray. Pour pancake batter and cook until golden brown on both sides.  Serve with fresh berries.

Per serving: 130 calories, 3 grams fat, 0 saturated fat, 230 milligrams sodium, 25 grams carbohydrate (18 grams net carbs), 4 grams dietary fiber, 2 grams sugar, 7 grams protein




A Starbucks venti blended Pumpkin Spice Latte – even the “lowfat” version – will set you back nearly 500 calories and 64 grams of sugar – that’s the sugar equivalent of sixteen sugar packs. This DIY version of a Protein PSL Frappe turns those numbers upside down, with zero added sugar and 19 grams of protein.  Optional: Use a blend of vanilla protein powder and unflavored collagen like Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides or Great Lakes Collagen Hydrolysate


Protein Pumpkin Spice Frozen Latte

Makes 1 serving


  • 2 tablespoons pumpkin puree (canned, unsweetened)
  • 2 tablespoons cold brewed coffee concentrate (e.g. Cool Brew)
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder (Designer Whey Natural or Sun Warrior Fit & Lean Protein Classic Plus
  • 1 cup unsweetened vanilla coconut or almond milk
  • 1 tablespoon Swerve sweetener
  • ⅛ teaspoon xanthan gum (optional, but latte will separate without it)
  • ½ teaspoon pumpkin spice blend, or:
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ⅛ teaspoon cardamom
  • 1 pinch of cloves
  • 1 pinch of nutmeg
  • Ice


Add all ingredients into a blender and blend until well-combined.  Enjoy immediately.

Per serving: 160 calories, 6 grams fat, 2 grams saturated fat, 200 milligrams sodium, 20 grams carbohydrate (5 grams net carbs), 3 grams dietary fiber, 3 grams sugar, 19 grams protein



Pumpkin Spice Protein Shake


  • 6 oz plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/3 cup canned pumpkin or fresh pumpkin puree
  • 1 scoop low-sugar vanilla protein powder
  • 1-2 teaspoons/packets Swerve Sweetener
  • ½ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (or ¼ tsp cinnamon, 1/8 tsp cloves, 1/8 tsp ginger)
  • ½ cup ice


Place all ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth.

Nutrition Facts per Serving: 250 calories, 5 grams fat, 2 grams saturated fat, 144 mg sodium, 16 grams carbohydrate, 3.5 grams fiber, 11.5 grams sugar (0 added sugar), 36 grams protein.



Want more from Molly?  Click here to sign up for Nutrition Bites, her weekly e-newsletter with links to her Get the Skinny TV segments here on WGNO, and her weekly column in|The Times-Picayune!   And you can follow Molly on Facebook, Twitter, & Instagram:  @MollyKimballRD


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