Pumpkin makes for the perfect ingredient for any healthy fall dessert! Loaded with good-for-you pumpkin, these recipes are some must-try healthy pumpkin desserts to make for yourself or to share with a crowd!
Health benefits of pumpkin
We are about to make and eat a dessert….so why do we care about it having pumpkin in it? Beyond its seasonally yumminess, pumpkin adds a lot to a recipe and, ultimately, your body! And, while these are desserts and not main meals, my belief is if veggie-load all your food (yes, even desserts), you are going to find yourself eating SO MANY MORE veggies than you would if you ate an unveggie-loaded dessert.
So, just add the pumpkin to your desserts. Here is what it will add to your treats:
- Beta-carotene, which is then converted to vitamin A in the body. Vitamin A is essential for eye health, so add some pumpkin to your diet for the sake of those peepers!
- Vitamin C. Yep, oranges aren’t the only plant that can help boost your immune system!
- Fiber. There are 7 grams of fiber in a cup of canned pumpkin. Important for helping you feel full and keeping those “pipes” flowing.
What is the difference between pumpkin puree and pumpkin pie filling?
You will see in many of these recipes that the ingredient list calls for “pumpkin puree, not pumpkin pie filling.” Here is why…
Pumpkin puree is JUST pumpkin. Not added spices or add sugar. Or anything else.
Pumpkin pie filling is…well, the ready-to-go filling of a pie. So it has spices and sugar added. And maybe other stuff. If you grab this stuff and add extra sweetener in with it, oh boy….you are in for an extra sweet treat. Plus. all of these recipes use natural sweeteners (like honey or maple syrup) and pumpkin pie filling usually has processed sugar or high fructose corn syrup added.
Moral of the story: read your ingredient list! Pumpkin puree and pumpkin pie filling are usually right next to one another and look quite similar.
Where to find canned pumpkin puree for making healthy pumpkin desserts
I love making homemade things, but I also try to use healthy living hacks where I can….and using canned pumpkin puree is definitely one of them!
Something I always have on hand, it makes veggie-loading all kinds of recipes easy and extra healthy!
I usually find canned pumpkin puree in most grocery stores here in the US. Where each store keeps them can vary depending on…..well, I don’t know what. But here are a few spots to look for them before asking a grocery store employee for help…
- with canned vegetables
- in the baking section
- with the dog food (weird, but true. Lots of people add orange vegetable puree to to their dog’s food and so some grocery stores keep it there. I also find butternut squash puree and sweet potato puree there too. Usually it is the same stuff you eat, just in a different section. Of course, double check to make sure what you are grabbing is meant for people!)
How to use homemade pumpkin puree instead of canned
In some places in the world, you can’t find canned pumpkin (I know I hear this often from my readers in Europe). Or maybe you have a stash of pumpkin puree in the freezer from a big ‘ol pumpkin you cooked up. Either way, you can totally use homemade pumpkin puree instead of canned pumpkin puree if you want or need to.
I use a 1:1 ratio for this substitution, however I let my homemade pumpkin puree drain for a few minutes in a cheesecloth over a mesh strainer.
Homemade pumpkin puree tends to hold a lot more water, so skipping this step might result in an some extra wet healthy pumpkin desserts….and thats no fun.
Possibly the easiest cookies you can whip up when a craving hits, Pumpkin Almond Butter Cookies are going to be your new fall jam! Made from 8 squeaky clean ingredients and whipped up in one bowl, these delicious beauties are totally Paleo, dairy-free, gluten free and naturally sweetened.
These Chocolate Chips Paleo Pumpkin Muffins are super easy to make and so delicious! The perfect fall baking project that is kid-approved, naturally gluten free and dairy free
This Pumpkin Souffle is super easy to make, full of warm fall flavors and so delicious! Healthy enough for breakfast, but tastes like crustless pumpkin pie! Paleo, gluten free, dairy-free and naturally sweetened.
A healthy drinkable pumpkin dessert! This Harry Potter Pumpkin Juice is not only super easy to make, but full of warm fall flavors that will have you feeling like you are part of Hogwarts! Naturally sweetened with apple juice and no added sugar, it is the perfect refreshment to make for any HP fan!
Easy to make, these Oatmeal Pumpkin Cookies are the perfect healthy dessert, fun breakfast or quick snack. Naturally sweetened too!
If cooking isn’t your thing, you can still enjoy pumpkin treats! This pudding comes together in minutes, is dairy-free and tastes like fall!
Top these with a little homemade whipped cream and they are a healthy, veggie-loaded cupcake waiting to happen! And, they are super easy to make!
This delicious peanut butter pumpkin bread is full of amazing fall flavors and is made with oodles of healthy ingredients. Make it with or without chocolate chips to fit your personal taste! Gluten free + dairy-free
This no-bake mini Paleo Pumpkin Cheesecake recipe makes mini, delicious treats that are made from real food ingredients! Full of healthy fat, protein and pumpkin, these mini cheesecakes are dairy-free and perfect for a fall treat!
These soft, chew vegan peanut butter cookies are easy to make in one bowl and are so delicious! With added pumpkin for a bonus punch of goodness, these cookies are naturally gluten free, egg-free and dairy-free.
These Vegan Pumpkin Muffins are quick to make, full of flavor, and packed full of good-for-you ingredients. Dairy free + egg-free – these muffins are perfect for breakfast, snack or as a healthy dessert.
Paleo, gluten free and naturally sweetened, these cookies are perfect for sharing with a crowd or a delicious end to a day!