Pumpkin isn’t just for pies anymore. Its earthy, nutty flavor works perfectly in savory dishes as well. Try it pureed into soup on a cold winter day, roasted in the oven, or tossed with pasta. The versatility of pumpkin makes it easy to incorporate into your meal plan.
Of course, its natural sweetness and creamy texture also make it a popular ingredient in many desserts and baked goods. If you’re following the Keto diet, you don’t have to pass up that slice of pumpkin pie, as long as you make a few tweaks to the recipe. For your next holiday gathering, bake a low-carb version using almond flour and natural, sugar-free sweetener. Keep reading to find the complete recipe for Keto Pumpkin Pie later in this article.
Pumpkin isn’t just delicious, it is also nutritious – eating it regularly can help you reap a number of health benefits. Not only is it full of vitamins and minerals, but it is also rich in antioxidants that boost immunity and help prevent cancer.
What’s more, pumpkin is very low in calories yet filling, which makes it a wonderful weight-loss food. So go ahead and try adding pumpkin into your diet today.
Is Pumpkin Keto Friendly?
Good news! Pumpkin is one of the approved foods for the Keto diet. A 100 gram serving (about a half-cup) of cooked pumpkin contains only 26 calories and 7 grams of carbs.
Although pumpkin is healthy, many pumpkin-based products and desserts are not. For instance, pumpkin-spiced lattés, muffins, and pre-made pie fillings can be loaded with carbs. Lower carb versions of these desserts can be enjoyed on Keto by swapping out sugar for a natural, sugar-free sweetener and using a lower carb flour like almond flour or coconut flour.
How Many Carbs are in Pumpkin?
A 100 gram serving of fresh, cooked pumpkin contains only 7 grams of carbs. Canned pumpkin contains the same amount of carbs as long as it is 100% pumpkin. It is important to note that some brands of canned pumpkin may have sugar added, so always check the ingredients label.
How Many Calories are in Pumpkin?
A 100 gram serving (about a half-cup) of cooked or canned pumpkin provides only 26 calories. As previously mentioned, always check the ingredients label if using the canned variety to ensure it is 100% pure pumpkin. Some canned brands may contain more calories than others if they have added ingredients, particularly sugar.
|Serving Size: 100 grams of Cooked Pumpkin|
|Total Fat 0.1 grams||0%|
|Saturated fat 0.1 grams||0%|
|Polyunsaturated fat 0 grams|
|Monounsaturated fat 0 grams|
|Cholesterol 0 milligrams||0%|
|Sodium 1 milligrams||0%|
|Potassium 340 milligrams||9%|
|Total Carbohydrate 7 grams||2%|
|Dietary fiber 0.5 grams||2%|
|Sugar 2.8 grams|
|Protein 1 grams||2%|
|Vitamin A||170%||Vitamin C||15%|
Rich in Nutrients
Pumpkin is rich in vitamins and minerals, especially beta-carotene, a carotenoid signified by its bright orange color, which your body converts into vitamin A. In fact, a single half-cup serving of pumpkin provides almost twice your daily recommended value of vitamin A. Pumpkin also provides a healthy dose of vitamin C, potassium, copper, manganese, vitamin B2, vitamin E and iron.
Disease Fighting Antioxidants
Besides beta-carotene, pumpkin also contains other powerful antioxidants, such as alpha-carotene and beta-cryptoxanthin. These carotenoids lower your risk of cancer by protecting your cells against damage caused by free radicals. Studies show that these antioxidants also protect the skin against UV damage and improve eye health.
A review of 13 studies showed that foods containing alpha-carotene and beta-carotene were associated with a lower risk of stomach cancer. Individuals with higher intakes of these carotenoids also showed a lower risk of other cancers, such as throat, pancreas, and breast cancer.
Strengthens the Immune System
The high doses of vitamins A and C that pumpkin provides helps strengthen the immune system. Additionally, the vitamin E, iron and folate in the fruit may also support immunity and fight off infections. The high vitamin C content has also been shown to increase white blood cell production and assist in wound healing. Pumpkin is also rich in vitamin E, iron and folate, nutrients that also assist the immune system.
Supports Healthy Vision
The vitamin A, lutein and zeaxanthin contents in pumpkin help protect your eyes against age-related vision loss. Pumpkin is also one of the best sources of lutein and zeaxanthin, two compounds linked to lower risks of macular degeneration and cataracts, two eye diseases that commonly occur with age.
Promotes Heart Health
Pumpkin is a good source of potassium, vitamin C, fiber, and antioxidants, all of which promote heart health. Studies show that people with higher intakes of potassium also have lower blood pressure and ultimately, a lower risk of heart disease. Additionally, the antioxidants in pumpkin may also prevent the oxidation of LDL cholesterol, another factor that contributes to heart health.
Pumpkin is generally safe in normal food amounts. However, some people may experience allergies after consuming pumpkin.
Pumpkin is considered a mild diuretic, which means eating a lot of this fruit could increase the amount of water and salt your body expels through urine. This diuretic effect could have serious side effects if you’re prescribed medications, such as lithium.
Keto Pumpkin Pie Recipe
Ingredients for Crust:
- 1 1/2 cup almond flour
- 1 cup coconut flour
- 1/3 cup granulated Stevia or natural, sugar-free sweetener of choice
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup melted butter
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Instructions for Crust:
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease the bottom of a 9-inch pie plate with butter.
- Mix together the almond flour, coconut flour, Stevia and salt in a large bowl.
- Stir in the melted butter, vanilla and egg, until combined. Knead and mix the dough until the crumbly texture comes together to form a smooth dough or mix using a food processor.
- Press dough into the bottom of the prepared pan. You can press down the edges of the crust with a fork if desired and poke holes with the prongs of the fork in the crust using a fork to prevent the crust from forming bubbles.
- Bake for 10-12 minutes, until lightly golden.
Ingredients for Filling:
- 1 can pure pumpkin puree (15 ounces)
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 2/3 cup Powdered Stevia
- 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla
- 2 large eggs (room temperature)
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
Instructions for Filling:
- Using a mixer, beat together all ingredients at a low speed until combined. (Be careful not to overmix).
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Pour the filling into the pre-baked crust. Gently tap the pie plate on the counter to prevent air bubbles.
- Bake for 45 minutes until the filling is almost set but it should still be slightly jiggly in the center before it sets.
- Cool on the counter and then transfer to the refrigerator to completely chill before slicing.
Is Pumpkin Good for Weight Loss?
Pumpkin is a nutrient-dense food, which means it’s very low in calories yet full of nutrients that your body needs. With just 50 calories per cup and a high water content of about 94%, pumpkin makes a perfect, weight-loss-friendly food. Additionally, pumpkin is high in dietary fiber, which has been shown to suppress appetite.
Is Pumpkin Good for Your Skin?
The natural beta-carotene in pumpkin works as a natural sunblock to protect against UV damage and wrinkles.
Pumpkin is also rich in vitamin E, lutein, and zeaxanthin – all of which contribute to the health of your skin. These antioxidants prevent skin damage caused by free radicals and environmental toxins.
Pumpkin is also high in vitamin C, which your body uses to make collagen, a protein that promotes elasticity in the skin.
Are Pumpkin Seeds Good for You?
Pumpkin seeds (also called pepitas) are completely edible and good for you. They may be small in size, but they’re big on nutrients. These little seeds can help you reap many health benefits.
Pepitas are especially rich in magnesium and fiber, which can improve heart health and even help lower blood sugar levels. Pumpkin seeds are also linked to a reduced risk of certain cancers. So feel free to enjoy them roasted as a snack or as a nut-like topping to salads.