Fall brings us many delicious seasonal produce, but the pumpkin shines with its own light. Rediscovered its gastronomic possibilities in the last decade with the influence of certain fashions, pumpkin has been a typical product for a long time from our kitchen that is also the healthiest, and very suitable for weight loss diets.
Because it is not only capable of starring in succulent sweets: this vegetable is a great ally of those looking to lose weight without giving up pleasure at the table. To prove it, today we put together a good variety of recipes for all tastes that will prevent us from falling into monotony.
Serve this cookbook as inspiration starting point to make precise adaptations that are tailored to the needs of each person. If we are only looking to lose that typical couple of extra kilos, these ideas are mostly very satiating and healthy, low in calories but without looking for an excessive restriction that leads us to think about extreme diets.
The pumpkin, with small differences according to the variety, is a vegetable rich in fiber and water, with low caloric density and very satiating, and provides valuable nutrients such as carotenes and other vitamins and minerals, especially potassium.
When it comes to cooking with her has the advantage of its texture, very similar to the potato, makes it tremendously versatile and grateful to eat. The sweet and smooth flavor make it a perfect vegetable for those who are less fond of the plant world, proving that to go on a diet you do not have to reduce dinners to boiled cauliflower or withered chard.
If we want to reduce calories even more, we can substitute fattier dairy for skimmed versions or change them for broth or water; the amount of oil is also easy to control and, when combining it with protein, it is best to always opt for the leaner versions. In any case, we always recommend consult a professionall when it comes to losing weight or eating healthy.
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Creams and other spoon dishes
The pumpkin cream It is a delight that comforts in cold days and also feels very good in warmer times, served more temperate or even fresh. It pairs well with almost all other vegetables, as well as fruits and spices of all kinds. It is usually softened by adding some dairy, but to make them lighter We can eliminate them or substitute the fattest ones with milk or skimmed vegetable alternative.
For example, this pumpkin cream with truffle, whose complete recipe we leave you below, is out of the ordinary and is perfect for those who get bored with the usual flavors. To reduce calories you just have to do without cream and creme fraiche; instead we can use skimmed yogurt to accompany it.
We will start by cutting the meat of the pumpkin into cubes. We peel the pear, the apple and also cut them into cubes, the orange we peel without leaving a white or live part. Put the fruits, the pumpkin cubes in a saucepan and grate a little fresh ginger to taste. Add 100 milliliters of water, salt and pepper and add the milk and cream to the saucepan. We grate the nutmeg. Cook over medium heat until the pumpkin is slightly soft, then lower the heat and compote for 40 minutes. We pass a blender so that a very fine cream is left, we rectify the salt and pepper.
More pumpkin cream recipes
Vegetarian and vegan dishes
If pumpkin can find its match in many other vegetable ingredients in vegetable creams, the possibilities multiply when we open the spectrum to all kinds of vegetarian and vegan dishes. I personally like it better roast a good amount of pumpkin, cut into cubes in one bite, and combine it with other ingredients according to the occasion.
Due to its sweet flavor, it combines wonderfully with more bitter leaves in salads, such as this one with roasted pumpkin, avocado and arugula, and also with other seasonal vegetables such as in the recipe for baked Brussels sprouts with pumpkin. Adding a cereal -better wholemeal- or pseudocereal such as quinoa we will have a very satiating dish, which we can even complete with protein as an egg or, for a vegan option, tofu, seitan or legumes.
Recipes with legumes
Any stew or stew of legumes admits the pumpkin among its ingredients. Either replacing the potato or as part of the vegetable mixture, if we let it cook long enough it will begin to fall apart, melting with the broth to give it a very honeyed texture.
It also turns out excellent in salads and stir-fries with chickpeas or lentils, and we can cook it easily cut into cubes in the oven, or also in the pan with very little oil and a good amount of spices.
Dishes with fish, seafood and meat
Perhaps because it offers us a versatility similar to that of the potato, we like it a lot combine it with octopus and fish to make the dishes lighter and give them a special touch. For example, these shots of pumpkin cream with grilled octopus are great to open a meal or turn them into a first course, and we can keep the recipe for the holidays.
A perfect dish for diets due to its satiating and nutritious power is couscous with chicken, sweet and sour pumpkin and spinach, great to take away in a container and give out leftovers. We can do it cooking fat-free chicken breast and using whole wheat couscous; if we increase the proportion of vegetables to reduce the amount of grain we will make it lighter.
Snacking and sweets
Snacking between meals tends to be a headache for dieters; the pumpkin seeds or seeds They can be a perfect snack, without overdoing it, very nutritious and from which we can control the dressings without the need to add fat or excess salt. Only with spices and roasting them in the oven or in the pan, they are delicious.
For slightly sweet treats, the roasted pumpkin puree It is ideal to enrich oatmeal cookies without more added sugar, or to prepare pancakes that will have a natural sweet touch. Spices like cinnamon and vanilla will add a more flavorful touch to satisfy sweet cravings.
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