Pumpkin Cookies. These are the stuff of Autumn, of dreams and of dessert.
In fact, ours go beyond aroma and flavor. They use real spices in the pumpkin spice, real pumpkin puree, and are even low-carb with no added sugars.
When a cookie actually improves health rather than degrades it, you’ve got a winner.
Here’s our Healthy Pumpkin Cookies and what they’ll do for your body:
Preheat oven to 350°F. In a medium bowl, mix pumpkin puree and chia seeds. Allow to set about 10-15 minutes so the chia becomes hydrated. Add all other ingredients, folding in chocolate chips (or coconut flakes) last. Spoon onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper, about 1 heaping tablespoon per cookie. If you’d like flatter cookies with the traditional criss-cross peanut-butter-cookie design, gently press down each mound with a wet fork.
Bake approximately 12-15 minutes, or until slightly browned around edges. Makes ~18-24 small cookies.
Nutrition Info (based on 24 cookies and 70%-cocoa chips): 95 calories, 8 grams fat, 2 grams net carbs (5 grams carbs, 3 grams fiber), 3 grams protein
Luckily, pumpkin is delicious, healthy, and available year-round. It offers health benefits galore (1). Here’s what pumpkin has for your body:
Pumpkin contains alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, beta-cryptoxanthin, lutein, and zeaxanthin. These are strong antioxidants, and they will work together to fight free radicals, reduce the risk of cancer, promote heart health, reduce cholesterol-plaque formations, and preserve eye health.
In fact, when pumpkins are analyzed, lutein is the most abundant carotenoid therein (2). Lutein and the other carotenoids can protect body organs and tissue from free radical damage and oxidative stress.
This is incredibly beneficial as oxidative damages are always related to cancer, premature aging, cataracts, age-related macular degeneration, atherosclerosis, and a series of other degenerative diseases (3).
The cell walls of pumpkin contain pectin. Pectin contains components that are highly anti-inflammatory. How does this help you?
Anti-inflammatory diets can improve many chronic diseases and symptoms. These include heart disease, joint pain, arthritis, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, asthma, and more.
The flesh of the pumpkin is not the only valuable component.
Pumpkin seed oil is highly nutritious and beneficial to the body.
In fact, pumpkin seed oil has specifically been shown to reduce the risk of prostate, breast, colorectal, gastric, and lung cancer, arthritis, bladder, and urethral pressure, prostate disease, the progression of hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, and diabetes (4, 5, 6). Wow!
This is a great reason to also buy whole pumpkins, roast, and eat the seeds!
Pumpkin seeds also contain phytosterols. Phytosterols are the components used in cholesterol-lowering supplements, functional foods, and more. They are often termed plant sterols.
What’s more, the carotenoids in pumpkin flesh can protect the heart and other body organs and tissue from free radical damage, oxidative stress, and plaque formation (3).
Additionally, pumpkin is a great source of fiber, monounsaturated fats, omega-3s, B-vitamins, and copper. B-Vitamins and Copper both play a part in energy production, and can make a difference in your get-up-and-go!
In addition, the spices used in our homemade pumpkin spice recipe are no nutrition slouches.
Individually and together, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and ginger provide anti-inflammatory, digestion, brain, circulation, heart health, anti-cancer, anti-bacterial, free radical fightings, and other health benefits. Read all about them, and learn how to make your own homemade pumpkin spice here.
Lastly, high-cocoa chocolate chips are great for the body. Their cocoa and its polyphenols can provide benefits to your heart, brain, and energy levels. They promote reduced inflammation, reduced oxidative stress and free radicals, anti-cancer action, and neurodegenerative protection.
It’s not every day that a cookie is actually a great source of nutrition. But, today is your lucky day. These pumpkin cookies are easy, quick, and delicious!