Pumpkin, the harbinger of fall, has gone absolutely viral. In the past, we had our basic pumpkin pies and pumpkin spice muffins, but now pumpkin is in everything from hummus and pasta to coffee and tea. You can even wash your face with pumpkin! I personally love the pumpkin trend, because it’s about time people realized that pumpkin is so much more than a pie filling. Cultures around the globe have cherished pumpkin as a main ingredient in savory dishes, from Latin American soups and stews to Asian pumpkin dumplings and stir-fries.

Pumpkins are in the same family as winter squashes, and they are packed with nutrients such as B vitamins, vitamins A and C, fiber, copper, potassium, slow-digesting carbs, and more. I grew pumpkins in my garden this summer—the result of composting pumpkins last fall and the seeds catching hold in my garden to produce mystery vines. And now I have their cheerful shapes and curling vines gracing my mantel and doorstep as I welcome fall into my home. I love cooking with these gems, too. Check out my five favorite ways to use pumpkin in the kitchen below.


I grew these pumpkins in my garden this summer. When you grow them at home, you can clip a length of their twisted vines to include in your fall décor.

My Top 5 Ways to Use Pumpkin in the Kitchen

  1. Bake with Pumpkin. Turn your kitchen into nirvana with the aroma of pumpkin spice baking in your oven in breads, pies, cookies, and muffins. Check out my recipe for Pumpkin Spice Muffins from   Plant-Powered for Life.
  2. Stir in Mashed Pumpkin. Cook up pumpkin and mash it (or simply open up a can of pumpkin) to stir into so many wonderful recipes, such as soups, macaroni and “cheese” (let pumpkin stand in for cheese!), and even a pumpkin latte. Skip those fake lattes with pumpkin additives and use the real thing. Check out my   Real Pumpkin Spice Soy Latte   in my new   video   and learn how to make a healthier version of this classic fall staple.
  3. Blend Pumpkin Up. Throw pumpkin in a blender to make an amazing pumpkin smoothie—check out my recipe for Pumpkin Spice Orange Smoothie   here.
  4. Save the Seeds. Don’t throw out those pumpkin seeds! Roast them in the oven with a little olive oil and seasonings and enjoy them as a nutrient-rich snack. Sprinkle them over salads (such as my   Salad with Cantaloupe, Radishes, and Pumpkin Seeds),   into baked goods, and on your veggies.
  5. Use Pumpkin as a Vegetable. Don’t forget that pumpkin is a vegetable, not just an ingredient. You can roast it just like you would winter squash, cube it in soups and stews, and sauté it in a savory stir-fry.

Pumpkins on display at the Nashville farmers market. Aren’t they lovely?

Go crazy for pumpkins this fall! Try my recipe for Pumpkin Latte below, and look for my new Pumpkin Mania Recipe Roundup on the blog this month.

Yields 2 servings

Real Pumpkin Spice Soy Latte (Vegan)

Bring in the fall with this easy, plant-based recipe using genuine pumpkin (not those fake syrups or mixes).

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  • 1 cup brewed espresso or strong dark coffee
  • 1 cup plain soy milk, unsweetened, unflavored (may substitute your own plant-based milk preference)
  • 3 tablespoons canned (or cooked, pureed) pumpkin
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon cloves
  • 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup


  1. Add all ingredients to a small pot, place on medium heat, and stir with a wire whisk until smooth and hot.

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