So, how can we boost our potassium intake without noshing on an entire bushel of bananas throughout the day? Well, there are tons of foods rich in potassium to choose from aside from ‘nanners, which, for context, a small one contains about 362 milligrams of the nutrient. For starters, hemp seeds contain 360 milligrams per three-tablespoon serving, while raw spinach contains 334 milligrams per two-cup serving. But what potassium-rich food would be more apropos to ring in fall and cozy sweater weather other than pumpkin? Ahead we delve into delicious high potassium pumpkin recipes that pack more of the nutrient per serving than a banana to help you meet your quota for the day.
Why is potassium so important for overall functioning?
First things first, why is potassium important to begin with? Well, it’s vital for several bodily functions. Registered dietitian Bonnie Taub-Dix, RDN, tells Well+Good that potassium is essential for the communication between cells and nerve connections important for muscle contractions and kidney function. Deficiencies in potassium, she adds, tend to fall under the radar in comparison to other essential nutrients such as electrolytes, protein, or even vitamin C.
Meanwhile, cardiologist Kaustubh Dabhadkar, MD, MPH, MBA, FACC, also emphasizes that potassium is essential for proper functioning of muscles and nerves, and low potassium levels can hamper muscle and nerve functioning.
Pumpkin is le perfect potassium-rich food
As it turns out, pumpkin is one of the top potassium-rich foods that leads the pack. According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, a one-cup serving of pumpkin contains a whopping 505 milligrams of potassium, which exceeds the amount you’d get from eating just a banana. The best part? Pumpkin contains tons of other benefits, such as essential vitamins and minerals, including vitamin A (one cup contains over 200 percent of the recommended daily intake), vitamin C (a great way to boost immunity), loads of gut-healthy fiber, and even magnesium (about 14 percent of your daily value). So, how about we dig into some delicious potassium-rich recipes featuring our star ingredient of the day: pumpkin!
5 high-potassium pumpkin recipes perfect for fall
1. Pumpkin Pie Smoothie
Breakfast on your mind? How about you start the day off on the right foot with a refreshing, yet warming, pumpkin pie smoothie recipe by Ambitious Kitchen that features several potassium-rich ingredients all in one tasty drink. (Think pumpkin, almond butter—one tablespoon has 120 milligrams of potassium—and good ol’ banana.)
Get the recipe: Pumpkin Pie Smoothie
2. Pumpkin Baked Oatmeal
Feeding a crowd or looking to batch cook breakfast for the week? This pumpkin baked oatmeal recipe by Minimalist Baker will definitely do the trick. It’s chewy thanks to gluten-free rolled oats, rich thanks to smooth and creamy pumpkin purée, and loaded with potassium thanks to the flax “eggs” (a vegan egg alternative made from ground flaxseeds) which contains high amounts of potassium (plus pumpkin, duh).
Get the recipe: Pumpkin Baked Oatmeal
3. Creamy Pumpkin Pasta
Time to switch over to the lunch specials. First up on the list is Feel Good Foodie’s creamy pumpkin pasta that’s the perfect way to use up your selection from the pumpkin patch. Aside from the usual pasta-making pantry staples—like your favorite pasta, a drizzle of olive oil, minced garlic, pepper, nutmeg, and good parmesan cheese—all you need is a splash of half and half for creaminess (or you can use a plant-based alternative) and some pumpkin purée. Then, the rest of this two-step recipe is easy peasy. In short: You add everything to a pan (along with the perfectly al dente pasta) and you have yourself a fall-inspired (potassium-rich) delicacy.
Get the recipe: Creamy Pumpkin Pasta
4. Simple Pumpkin Soup
Easy blender soup anybody? This pumpkin soup recipe by Minimalist Baker takes easy cooking to a whole new level. It’s made by roasting the pumpkin until they’re nice and caramelized before blending them away with the rest of the ingredients until rich and creamy. Looking to up the protein (and potassium) intake in the recipe? Add a can of longevity-boosting white beans, which contains 19 grams of protein and 1,190 milligrams of potassium per cup.
Get the recipe: Simple Pumpkin Soup
5. Pumpkin Pancakes
These pumpkin pancakes by Feel Good Foodie are the definition of sweet, spice, and everything nice. With 515 milligrams of potassium per serving (which is two of these delicious pancakes), you’ll get a delicious combination of nutrients and fall-inspired flavor. Each flapjack contains a homemade pumpkin spice blend and pumpkin purée that are sure to put you in the autumn spirit.
Get the recipe: Pumpkin Pancakes
For dessert, we have a gluten-free pumpkin bread recipe: