Pumpkin is a nutritious and seasonal ingredient for autumn meals, especially as a high-fiber standout and source of beta-carotene, a powerful antioxidant. You can add chunks of fresh pumpkin to stews and stir-fries just like winter squash. Canned pumpkin is also a great time-saver and is just as nutritious. When purchasing canned varieties, make sure you buy pure pumpkin and not pumpkin pie mix, which has a lot of added sugar. This smooth mashed pumpkin is ready to add to muffins and quick breads or to make hearty pumpkin soup, pie or pudding. Here is a simple fat-free pumpkin pudding recipe:

Fat-Free Pumpkin Pudding

  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 (1 ounce envelopes) unflavored gelatin
  • 2 cups fat-free evaporated milk, divided
  • 3/4 cup organic coconut sugar
  • 15-ounce can organic pumpkin
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Spray a 9-inch casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray. In a large bowl, sprinkle gelatin in water. Leave to stand for 5 minutes. Pour 1 cup of fat-free evaporated milk into a small saucepan and heat until almost boiling. Remove from heat and whisk into gelatin. Don’t worry if it the gelatin has hardened, the hot milk will liquefy it. Stir in remaining cup of evaporated milk, sugar, canned pumpkin, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves and vanilla extract. Stir until well blended. Pour pumpkin mixture into casserole dish. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours. If you prefer a less sweet pudding, or side dish, decrease the sugar to 1/2  cup.

   Serves 8                                                                                                                                                                                                     

   Nutrition Facts per serving (with 3/4 cup sugar and fat-free milk): 152 calories, 0 g Total Fat, 2 mg cholesterol, 32 g carbohydrate, 5.4 g protein, 2 g dietary fiber, 85 mg sodium.