5 Healthy Ways to Bake with Pumpkin Puree — Fall Fest

Work smooth and spicy pumpkin puree into your favorite baked goods, from classic pumpkin pie to savory pumpkin biscuits.
By: Emily Lee
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If you’re daunted by the idea of baking with fresh pumpkin, well, we can’t really blame you. Splitting, gutting and skinning a whole pumpkin with nothing more than a carving knife and a large spoon to scoop out the seeds is a time-consuming process — and completely unnecessary when you have pure pumpkin puree on hand. Luckily, one-half cup of unsweetened canned pumpkin contains roughly 50 calories per serving, which means it’s a great way to add moisture and creaminess to your favorite baked goods for very little additional fat or sugar. Better yet, it’s a quick and convenient method for imbuing each bite of cookie, muffin or pie with comforting fall flavor. Here are five easy ways to work rich pumpkin puree into your favorite baked goods, from classic pumpkin pie to cheesy pumpkin biscuits.

Instead of relying on fat for flavor, Ellie Krieger’s better-for-you muffins get their distinctively warm spiciness from molasses, dark brown sugar and a total of four ground spices: cinnamon, ginger, cloves and nutmeg. Low-fat buttermilk, canned pumpkin and just a touch of canola oil instill a moist tenderness in each of these wholesome pumpkin-seed-flecked muffins.

GEORGE_DURAN_PUMPKIN_CHOCOLATE_CHIP_COOKIES_ALT_H_.jpg

GEORGE_DURAN_PUMPKIN_CHOCOLATE_CHIP_COOKIES_ALT_H_.jpg

Photo by: Matt Armendariz ©2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Matt Armendariz, 2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Kids love chocolate chip cookies, so this pumpkin-laced batch is a no-brainer for fall. A little bit of pumpkin puree goes a long way here (just one cup is needed for 60 cookies). Cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and cloves lend a rich spiciness that you’d associate more with pumpkin pie, but it does wonders for chocolate chip cookies, too.

For a heartier, more adult-friendly cookie, try this recipe featuring pumpkin, quick-cooking oats and tart dried cranberries. Bonus: This recipe calls for a wheatless flour blend, so gluten-free guests won’t be excluded from these sweet, buttery cookies.

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04_Biscuits_032.tif

Food Stylist: Christine Albano Prop Stylist: Marcus Hay ,Food Stylist: Christine Albano Prop Stylist: Marcus Hay

Photo by: Con Poulos

Con Poulos

It’s common to find pumpkin in sweet baked goods at this time of year, but less often in savory items — and yet the rich, complex and slightly spicy flavor plays so well with savory ingredients. Mix Parmesan cheese, pumpkin puree and heavy cream into your batter to get the full fall flavor of these moist biscuits. Surprisingly, one biscuit contains just 136 calories.

Food Network Kitchen's Vegan Pumpkin Pie For Vegan and Vegetarian Thanksgiving as seen on Food Network

Photo by: Stephen Johnson ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Stephen Johnson, 2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Of all the pies you could make, pumpkin is one of the easiest (and tastiest) to turn vegan. A couple of essential substitutes render this easy pie recipe vegan-friendly without sacrificing flavor: unrefined coconut oil, which provides a flaky, buttery texture for the crust, and silken tofu, which lends creaminess to the filling.

For more ideas on cooking with pumpkin, check out these recipes from our friends:

The Hungry Traveler: Pumpkin Brown Butter Madeleines

Homemade Delish: Warm Pumpkin Salad
Creative Culinary: Pumpkin Butter
The Lemon Bowl: 20 Healthy Pumpkin Recipes
Virtually Homemade: Pumpkin Snickerdoodles
Napa Farmhouse 1885: Spiced Pumpkin Pancakes
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