Pumpkin + Dairy = A Nutritional Powerhouse

Pumpkin seems to be the buzzword this fall. Every time I cruise the aisles of the grocery store, I see a new pumpkin-flavored product from coffee creamer to cookies to chewing gum. From a nutritional perspective, the problem with these pumpkin flavored products is that while they may offer the flavor of pumpkin, they forgo all of the great nutrition real pumpkin can offer. Low in calories (only 30 calories per cup) and rich in dietary fiber, anti-oxidants, vitamins and minerals, pumpkin is a fruit you definitely want to include in your diet this fall.

This season, I have been experimenting with some delicious recipes that include pumpkin and dairy foods, thus providing a storehouse of nutrients including protein, calcium, vitamin D and potassium from the dairy as well as fiber, vitamin A, and vitamin C from the pumpkin. This fall, I encourage you to venture away from the pumpkin flavored products, and bring pumpkin into your kitchen with these pumpkin and dairy recipes.

Cheese Ravioli with Pumpkin Sauce: With 15 grams of protein, 20 percent of your daily calcium needs and 3 grams of fiber per serving, this meal will please all pumpkin fans young and old!

Autumn Pumpkin Soup: Does lactose intolerance keep you from warming up with creamy soups on brisk fall days? This delicious pumpkin soup is made with lactose-free milk to nourish and satisfy everyone at mealtime.

Pumpkin Yogurt Cheesecake Shake: Prefer your pumpkin in a glass? Replenish after a brisk fall hike with this creamy shake.

Savory Corn and Pumpkin Pudding: Looking for a new dish for the Thanksgiving table this year? Give this savory pudding a try.

Do you have a favorite pumpkin and dairy recipe?

LauraBuxenbaum_headshot_small  Laura Buxenbaum, MPH, RD, LDN