5 Mouthwatering Vegan Pumpkin Recipes

VegNews gives you the lowdown on the fall pumpkin craze, including five seasonal recipes you’ll be dying to dig into.

It’s that time of year when every gloved hand holds a pumpkin spiced latte, bellies are filled with pumpkin muffins and scones, and the ubiquitous orange orbs fill grocery store aisles and adorn your next door neighbor’s stoop. But how did this fall favorite become a seasonal icon, associated with everything autumn, from hay rides to Halloween? We take you through the pumpkin’s journey to cultural prevalence, starting with its colonial roots and ending with five scrumptious recipes of the sweet and savory variety.

The History of Jack-O-Lanterns
Perhaps the pumpkin’s most prominent role is a Halloween Jack-o-lantern, when a spooky face is carved in a hollowed-out pumpkin and a candle inside illuminates the image with a spooky flicker of light. Originating in Ireland, Jack-o-lanterns were first made with turnips, and named after the folk character Stingy Jack, whose soul supposedly wanders the Earth with only a lit coal placed inside a turnip. Irish immigrants who came to the United States brought the Jack-o-lantern tradition with them, but used pumpkins because they were less expensive.

The History of Holiday Pumpkin Pie
If there’s anything more beloved than an artfully carved Jack-o-lantern, it’s a freshly-baked pumpkin pie. Pumpkins grew in abundance in Plymouth, and America’s early settlers took note of the Native Americans’ many uses for them, such as roasting or boiling the vegetable for meals. Later, the settlers began seasoning the pumpkin before cooking it and adding spices, honey, and milk. In 1653, a French chef published a cookbook that featured a recipe for what was the pumpkin pie that we know today. In 1796, the recipe appeared in an American cookbook, beginning a marketing storm by companies to push the pastry as a holiday staple. 

Health Benefits of Pumpkin
While it is certainly dynamic and delicious, pumpkin also yields an array of health benefits. A cup of puréed pumpkin has approximately seven grams of dietary fiber and is filled with potassium, iron, and vitamin A and E, promoting healthy digestion and helping maintain a strong immune system. Pumpkin’s orange glow is credited to beta-carotene, a carotenoid nutrient that bolsters eye health, fights cancer, and staves off heart disease. But don’t forget the seeds! These bite-sized snacks, best enjoyed roasted, toasted, and salted, are packed with zinc, protein, potassium, and magnesium. 

Herald the autumn and kick start the annual pumpkin craze with these five festive recipes:

Hot Pumpkin Mug
Blogger Kathy Patalsky veganizes coffee house giant Starbucks’ iconic Pumpkin Spiced Latte. Savory and sweet with a hint of nutmeg and cinnamon, Patalsky does her own take on this steamy fall treat––vegan whipped cream and all!

Pumpkin Spiced Latte Quinoa Breakfast Casserole
We’re big fans of quinoa, and this morning dish from food blog Healthful Pursuit is as festive as they come. What better way to accompany your vegan pumpkin latte than with a complementary breakfast casserole?

Gluten-Free Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies
If there’s anything we love year round, it’s the classic chocolate chip cookie. But once fall hits, what’s better than adding some pumpkin-goodness to the ooey gooey sweetness? Plus, this recipe from gluten-free baker Sarah Hornacek keeps the pesky allergen at bay.

Pumpkin Curry with Chickpeas
Why not make an entire day’s menu while we’re at it? This pumpkin curry dish is a perfect hearty, warm dinner for once the cooler temperatures hit. The alluring aroma of lemongrass and cardamom is enough to affectionately usher in autumn, one spoonful at a time.

Gluten-Free Pumpkin Spice Ice Cream
Summer may be over, but we still welcome any chance we get to dig into a big bowl of soft serve––so imagine our excitement at this Pumpkin Spice Ice Cream recipe. It's official, we’ll be starting our day with a Pumpkin Spiced Latte and ending it with scoop of Pumpkin Spice Ice Cream. Hello fall, we’ve missed you!

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