Learn all about pumpkin and whether it's keto friendly along with some delicious low carb pumpkin recipes!
With the beginnings of Fall starting to emerge, pumpkin is finally in season. And you are surrounded with delicious pumpkin pies, lattes and warming soups. You wonder whether you can have pumpkin on a keto diet. I have good news for you! Yes, pumpkin is keto friendly, but in moderation. Let's explore.
What is a pumpkin?
Contrary to popular belief, it's not a vegetable. Pumpkin is a fruit and is a type of winter squash. It is a berry, botanically speaking!
Native to North America, specifically Mexico it's one of oldest domesticated plants. Now it's cultivated worldwide.
Pumpkin is very versatile in cooking. Most parts of the pumpkin are edible, including the fleshy shell, the seeds, the leaves, and even the flowers.
When ripe, the pumpkin can be boiled, steamed, or roasted. And it is used in pies like in the popular pumpkin pie around Thanksgiving, soups and baked goods.
Pumpkin seeds, also known as pepitas, are edible and nutrient-rich. They make a very nutritious snack. Per ounce serving, pumpkin seeds are a good source of protien, magnesium, copper and zinc.
Nutrients in pumpkin
Pumpkin is full of nutrients.
It's loaded with beta carotene, a compound of Vitamin A. This nutrient is great for your vision, immune system, and skin. The color of the pumpkin is derived from these same vitamin A compound.
Pumpkin has a significant amount of Fiber to help you maintain a healthy weight, help with digestion and keep you regular. A ½ cup serving of pumpkin puree contains 6% of the fiber you need in a day.
A ½ cup of pumpkin puree contains the following nutrients:
- Calories: 25
- Carbs: 6 grams
- Fiber: 1.5 grams
- Protein: 1 gram
- Vitamin A: 123% RDI
- Vitamin C: 10% RDI
Pumpkin also has Vitamin E, Potassium, Copper and B Vitamin in addition to these.
Carbs in pumpkin
A half cup of cooked pumpkin has 6 grams of total carbs and about 4.5 to 5 grams of net carbs. So you can easily include pumpkin into your low carb diet.
When you are limited to 20 to 30 grams of cabs per day on the keto diet, it might seem like a lot.
Most recipes call for a half a cup or one cup of pumpkin puree divided over a number of servings and each serving would contain one or two tablespoon of pumpkin puree each - that's not much.
Pumpkin is low in carb and high in fiber when compared to other starchy vegetables like potatoes or corn.
Is pumpkin seeds keto?
Yes, you can include pumpkin seeds in keto diet. A tablespoon of raw pumpkin seeds has 1.6 grams of net carbs.
Carbs in canned pumpkin
Most of my pumpkin recipes use canned pumpkin puree as it's convenient for me. I use Libby's 100% pumpkin puree which doesn't have any sugar or additives.
There is another canned pumpkin specifically for pumpkin pie filling. This is used to make the classic pumpkin pie and has added sugar and carbs. You want to avoid this.
Canned pumpkin puree has 6 grams of net carbs and 42 calories per ½ a cup.
Keto recipes with pumpkin
Pumpkin can be low carb but when it is combined with sugar and other refined carbs the carb count can be pretty high. You can make you favorite pumpkin recipes keto friendly by swapping the high carb ingredients with low carb keto ingredients.
If you are looking for Keto pumpkin recipes, check these out: