Orange you glad it’s pumpkin season? The vibrant vegetable is more than just a pretty decoration, though. Packed with vitamin A, fiber and the antioxidant beta-carotene, your favorite edible gourd can promote healthy eyesight and digestion and also reduce inflammation. But don’t be fooled: Many products like pumpkin spice lattes and pumpkin beer get their seasonal flavor from artificial ingredients — not the real deal. So in order to get the most benefits per bite, you’d better DIY instead of buy. Here are six guilt-free pumpkin recipes to get you started!
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Pumpkin Recipes Under 200 Calories
1. Pumpkin Pie Bites (92 cals per pie)
These cute mini pies make portion control a cinch. Simply press your favorite piecrust into muffin trays and spoon in the low-sugar filling. Each serving clocks in at just 92 calories, so having one (or two!) won’t weigh you down.
2. Healthier Pumpkin Spice Latte (85 cals per cup)
Nothing says autumn like a cup of pumpkin spiced caffeine. Unfortunately, many coffee shops use artificial syrups and added sugar in your favorite sweet sip. Looking to avoid fake ingredients? This slimmed down version is all-natural — and only 85 calories!
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3. Mini Cranberry Pumpkin Muffins (83 cals per muffin)
Cranberry and pumpkin — a beautiful marriage of fall flavors! Thanks to a scant amount of brown sugar and zero butter, these TK-calorie treats are much healthier than standard supermarket pastries. If you’re in the mood for regular muffins instead of the minis, just remember to double the baking time.
4. Whole Wheat Pumpkin Spice Bread (167 cals per slice)
Instead of butter, this 170-calorie-per-slice recipe uses yogurt to maintain moisture while cutting down on fat. Plus, swapping whole-wheat flour for the white variety will deliver a hearty serving of good-for-you whole grains. The best part? Your entire home will smell delectable while your loaf is baking!
5. Healthy Pumpkin Pancakes (187 cals per 3 pancakes)
Get ready to flip for these festive flapjacks. Cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves give your batter an equal mix of spicy and sweet. This recipe is perfect for weekend brunch or any morning when you have 20 minutes to spare. Keep it simple for a 190-calorie dish, or top your stack with a drizzle of maple syrup or a smear of creamy Greek yogurt if you’re craving all the fixins.
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6. Low-Fat Pumpkin Cheesecake Pops (90 cals per pop)
Normal cheesecake has loads of fat, but these pumpkin treats have only 90 calories and five grams of fat a pop! If you’re prepping for a party, make the filling the day before and chill the mixture overnight. Then, shape it into balls and coat them with chocolate before guests arrive.
7. Pumpkin Pie Protein Smoothie (148 cals per 8 oz.)
Let your post-workout smoothie get in on the orange action. This simple recipe tastes like your favorite Thanksgiving pie, but packs a whole 17 grams of protein per 10-ounce serving thanks to vanilla protein powder. Flavor, protein and fiber? We’ll raise our glass to that!
Originally posted October 2014. Updated October 2015.