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Fall Flavors: The Power of Pumpkin

Published September 26, 2018


Fall has officially arrived, and you know what that means: sweater weather, pumpkin flavored desserts, and Halloween! If you’re planning on carving pumpkins soon, remember to save the pulp – it can be used for a hearty chili! Although pumpkins make great jack-o-lanterns, they also have numerous health benefits. Pumpkin is a good source of:

  •   Fiber, which helps you feel full and promotes regular bowel movements. Fiber is also known to help maintain blood sugar levels and reduce cholesterol levels.
  • Vitamin A, which is important for healthy vision, normal cell growth, and a strong immune system. With flu season upon us, Vitamin A can help fight the abundance of viruses.
  • Vitamin C, which helps to repair tissues, protect against heart disease, and helps with the absorption of iron.
  • Potassium, which helps maintain a healthy blood pressure, as well as enables the heart and other organs to function properly.

Pumpkin is also low in calories. One cup of cubed pumpkin is about thirty calories and one cup of pumpkin puree (not to be confused with pumpkin pie mix) contains about eighty calories. Chili is a fall favorite and this recipe is sure to be a crowd pleaser!

Hearty Fall Chili


  •   1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  •   3 cloves garlic, minced
  •   1-2 jalapeños, minced (with seeds removed for a milder chili, and with seeds for a more spicy chili)
  •   1 lb. ground turkey
  •   2 tsp ground cumin
  •   2 tsp chili powder
  •   1/2 tsp salt
  •   1 tsp cinnamon
  •   1 tsp thyme
  •   2 cans of beans, rinsed (white, black, or pinto beans)
  •   1 8-oz can corn
  •   1 can pumpkin puree
  •   1 28-oz can crushed tomatoes
  •   1 cup sodium-free chicken broth
  •   Optional toppings (jalapeño slices, Greek yogurt, sour cream, cheddar cheese)


1.      Place 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil in large saucepan over high heat. Once heated, add 3 cloves garlic (minced) and sauté for 1-2 minutes, until fragrant. Next, add diced jalapeños and sauté for another 1-2 minutes, or until softened.

2.      Add ground turkey and cook until browned. Then, add 2 tsp cumin, 2 tsp chili powder, 1/2 tsp salt, 1 tsp cinnamon, and 1 tsp thyme. Stir the mixture well.

3.      Next, add the 2 cans of beans, 1 8-oz can corn, 1 can pumpkin puree, 1 28-oz can crushed tomatoes, and 1 cup sodium-free chicken broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and allow to simmer for 30 minutes, or until thickened. Be sure to taste as you go and add a few extra dashes of the seasonings if needed.

4.      Once cooked, serve chili and top with optional jalapeño slices, cheddar cheese, or plain Greek yogurt.

The recipe yields eight servings. One serving is 370 calories, 14 grams of fat, 3 grams of saturated fat, 50 grams of carbohydrates, and 28 grams of fiber.

Recipe courtesy of

This Blog Post was brought to you by Carolyn Prucha, RD.

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