Recipe and photos courtesy of: Healthy Nibbles & Bits
We have officially entered pumpkin season and it’s time to take full advantage! Usually when we think of eating pumpkin, it’s in the form of the unhealthy, yet terribly delicious pumpkin pie. This is the time of year where we are tempted to cave and binge on unhealthy sweet treats but we have found the solution: The Pumpkin Yogurt Parfait! This recipe satisfies our sweet tooth craving and allows us to chow down on all the awesome health benefits pumpkin has to offer!
Most people don’t think of using pumpkins for anything other than making jack-o-lanterns or pie, but… in actuality, pumpkin is packed with nutrients that our body craves. A lot of the time pumpkin is thrown to the wayside simply because people are unsure of what to do with it, but there are actually SO many ways to incorporate it into meals year round. And, it would be a good idea to start doing so because there are tons of benefits to take advantage of!
First off, pumpkin is low in calories making it a great substitute for things such as butter and oil (strange we know, but it works). Not only that, pumpkins are crammed with cancer-fighting properties that are often overlooked. Beta carotenes, the part of the pumpkin that gives it its orange coloring, once ingested are converted into vitamin A, an antioxidant that helps the body fight off the pesky free radicals that can cause cancer. Believe it or not, pumpkin is one of the foods highest in beta carotene content so it’s a bit crazy we don’t use it more often! In addition, pumpkin, like other fruits and veggies, is high in fiber which contributes to overall better health. Medical News Today says that, “A study reported in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that those who consumed the most fiber had an 11% lower risk of developing breast cancer compared to women who ate the least.” Lastly, although they aren’t included in this recipe (you can add them if you want), pumpkin seeds are packed with phytoestrogens, a plant compound that mimics the human hormone estrogen and can help prevent breast cancer.
Who knew how many benefits those plump, lil orange guys could bring us! It’s always better to use the real deal, but if you don’t have the time to prep and puree a pumpkin yourself, canned pumpkin will do the trick. Like all canned foods, it doesn’t contain the same of nutrients as fresh pumpkin but it’s better than nothin! Layer the pumpkin with greek yogurt, rich in calcium, protein, and probiotics, add in some granola for crunch and top it off with fresh strawberries, and you’ve got yourself a super nourishing meal. We are so stoked we’ve found a guilt-free way to enjoy one of our favorite desserts year round!
- 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
- 1 TBS maple syrup
- 1/2 to 1 tsp ground cinnamon (adjust according to your taste)
- 2/3 cup low-fat Greek yogurt
- 1/3 cup granola
- sliced strawberries (optional)
- In a small bowl, mix the pumpkin puree with the maple syrup and cinnamon.
- Serve the parfait in a glass, alternating between pumpkin, yogurt, and granola layers. Top with strawberries if desired.