Skip the traditional pumpkin hoopla this season (we’re looking at you, pumpkin-spice latte!) and instead make a fall meal that’ll satisfy both your craving for a delicious seasonal dish and flawless skin.
“Pumpkin is one of the best foods to load up on for healthy, radiant skin,” says Alexis Wolfer, certified holistic health coach, founder of TheBeautyBean.com and author of The Recipe for Radiance: Discover Beauty’s Best-Kept Secrets in Your Kitchen. “Most notably, it’s packed with beta carotene that our bodies convert to vitamin A, which is essential for both cell repair and growth,” she adds.
Here, Wolfer shares her favorite pumpkin-infused breakfast, lunch and dinner recipes—recipes that are not only quick and easy to prepare at home, but are also deemed effective at preventing clogged pores, brightening skin tone, delaying the onset of wrinkles and more.
Breakfast: Pumpkin Parfait
What You’ll Need:
1 cup organic pumpkin (make sure it’s 100% pumpkin and not pumpkin pie mix)
1 to 2 tablespoons raw honey, to taste
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup vanilla yogurt (or a nondairy alternative)
4 tablespoons chopped walnuts or your favorite granola, divided
In a bowl, mix together the pumpkin, honey and cinnamon until well combined. In two glasses, alternate layering the pumpkin mixture and the yogurt. Top each with two tablespoons of the chopped walnuts or granola. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Lunch: Roasted Pumpkin With Walnut Pesto
(serves 2 as a main dish, 4 to 6 as a side)
What You’ll Need:
1 medium Cinderella pumpkin (the kind that’s flat on top and deeply ridged around the sides)
1 tablespoon extra-virgin, cold-pressed coconut oil, melted
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
3 tablespoons raw pumpkin seeds
1/3 cup + 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
1/2 teaspoon sea salt, divided
2 tablespoons raw pine nuts
1 garlic clove, sliced
1 cup fresh basil, tightly packed
2 tablespoons raw walnuts
1/4 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, optional
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Cut off the top and bottom of the pumpkin and discard before cutting it in half and scooping out and discarding the seeds and fibrous center. Cut into 1- to 2-inch wedges. Toss the pumpkin with the coconut oil and sprinkle with the salt and pepper. Place the pumpkin in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes, flipping halfway through.
Meanwhile, place the pumpkin seeds and one tablespoon of the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat and cook, stirring constantly, until lightly toasted. Sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon of sea salt and set aside. In the same skillet put in one tablespoon of olive oil, pine nuts and garlic and cook, stirring constantly, until the pine nuts are lightly toasted. Transfer to a food processor. Add the remaining olive oil, basil, walnuts, lemon juice, cheese (if desired) and salt and process until smooth.
Top cooked pumpkin with fresh pesto and toasted pumpkin seeds before serving.
Dinner: Roasted Winter Vegetable Salad
(serves 4 to 6)
What You’ll Need:
1 small pumpkin (or half of a medium one)
2 cups Brussels sprouts
4 tablespoons + 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
4 cups arugula, washed and spun dry
1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
1 orange, peeled and sectioned
1/4 cup almond slivers
Goat cheese, if desired
Salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Cut off the top and bottom of the pumpkin and discard before cutting it in half and scooping out and discarding the seeds and fibrous center. Cut into 1- to 2-inch cubes. Halve the Brussels sprouts. Toss the pumpkin cubes and the Brussels sprouts with four tablespoons of the olive oil. Place in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes, flipping halfway through. Let cool to room temperature before tossing with the remaining ingredients.