Here's how to cook pumpkin in soups, dips, breads, and desserts—it's not all about pumpkin pie!

By Health.com and Health.com Staff
Updated: October 25, 2016

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This story originally appeared on health.com.

It's a shame that pumpkin is only popular for two months out of the year.

This low-calorie squash is rich in potassium and loaded with beta-carotene (a powerful antioxidant), and its natural sweetness brings flavor to baked goods without any added guilt.

1. Pumpkin Waffles With Maple-Walnut Syrup

The perfect fall breakfast treat, these lush, moist waffles are enhanced with pumpkin, brown sugar, and low-fat buttermilk.

Don't feel bad about enjoying this decadent indulgence. Fiber-rich pumpkin provides a dose of vitamin A in each waffle and walnuts add some heart-healthy fats.

Ingredients: Cinnamon, ground ginger, ground cloves, buttermilk, canned pumpkin, powdered sugar

Calories: 382

Try this recipe: Pumpkin Waffles

2. Pumpkin Dip

Bring out the best of fall's flavors with this super-easy pumpkin dip. Canned pumpkin mixed with maple syrup and cinnamon will be a treat for your taste buds. The cream cheese used in this recipe has a third less fat and makes the dip rich and soft without too many added calories. Serve with fresh apple slices for an extra serving of vitamins and fiber.

Ingredients: Reduced-fat cream cheese, brown sugar, canned pumpkin, maple syrup, ground cinnamon

Calories: 107 

Try this recipe: Pumpkin Dip

3. Pumpkin Cheesecake With Glazed Hazelnuts

Enjoy fall-flavored cheesecake without guilt! Use Neufchâtel and fat-free cream cheese to radically reduce the amount of saturated fat. Ground coriander and cardamom mixed with vanilla enrich each bite. Sprinkle chopped hazelnuts, a good source of vitamin E, over the brown sugar-and-butter topping. 

Ingredients: Graham cracker crumbs, sugar, butter, Neufchâte, fat-free cream cheese, flour, vanilla extract, pumpkin-pie spice, coriander, cardamom, eggs, canned pumpkin, hazelnuts

Calories: 334 

Try this recipe: Pumpkin Cheesecake with Glazed Hazelnuts

4. Whole-Wheat Bread With Walnuts, Sesame, and Pumpkin Seeds

Try whole-wheat bread with a new twist—add walnuts, sesame, and pumpkin seeds! Whole-wheat flour is low in fat and cholesterol, and high in figure-friendly fiber. As a bonus, walnuts are chock-full of omega 3 fatty acids, and pumpkin seeds are a great source of protein, magnesium, and zinc.

Ingredients: Dry yeast, sugar, plain low-fat yogurt, honey, butter, whole-wheat flour, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, all-purpose flour, egg white

Calories: 202

Try this recipe: Whole-Wheat Bread with Walnuts, Sesame, and Pumpkin Seeds

5. Pumpkin-Carrot Cake

Pumpkins and carrots in one dessert? Well, they are both orange—and nutritious! Canned pumpkin combined with grated carrot, orange rind, raisins, and dried cranberries gives this unique cake a natural sweet boost. No need for heaps of added sugar! Use egg whites and whole-wheat flour for less cholesterol and saturated fat.

Ingredients: All-purpose flour, whole-wheat flour, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, salt, eggs, brown sugar, canned pumpkin, vegetable oil, butter, grated orange rind, raisins, grated carrot, dried cranberries, walnuts

Calories: 219

Try this recipe: Pumpkin-Carrot Cake

6. Pumpkin and Caramelized-Pecan Pie

This decadent pie has a nutritious side, too. It has more than a day's worth of vitamin A. Plus, it contains 3 grams of fiber. Cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger spice up the flavor—with only 1/3 cup added brown sugar. Use whole-wheat crust for extra fiber. 

Ingredients: Sugar, pecans, butter, canned pumpkin puree, whipping cream, egg, brown sugar, vanilla extract, ground cloves, ground cinnamon, ground nutmeg, ground ginger, salt

Calories: 332 

Try this recipe: Pumpkin and Caramelized-Pecan Pie

7. Pumpkin Muffins

These tender muffins have a sugary crunch on top and make a perfect low-fat breakfast or snack. Replace up to half the white flour with whole wheat for extra fiber, and/or toss in 1/2 cup of toasted, chopped pecans to add some heart-healthy fats.

Ingredients: All-purpose flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, canned pumpkin, fat-free sour cream, fat-free milk, vegetable oil, vanilla extract, egg, brown sugar

Calories: 164

Try this recipe: Pumpkin Muffins

8. Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread

Replacing whole eggs with egg whites keeps this classic quick bread cholesterol-free and cuts the saturated fat in half, while fiber-rich pumpkin provides your entire daily vitamin A requirement with just one slice. Look for dark chocolate chips (made without milk) with at least 60% cocoa for an antioxidant boost. 

Ingredients: Sugar, canned pumpkin, canola oil, fat-free vanilla pudding, egg whites, all-purpose flour, cinnamon, salt, baking soda, semisweet chocolate chips

Calories: 152 

Try this recipe: Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread

See the rest of the healthy pumpkin recipes here.

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