The Spiritual Benefits of Pumpkin & Other Orange Foods
According to Hindu traditions, many of the functions of our bodies and minds are governed by the seven energy points in the body known as the chakras. When our chakras are open and nourished, we feel energized and balanced. Blocked or depleted chakras, however, lead to imbalances that can make us sluggish, anxious, or temperamental.
Each chakra is associated with a different color on the visible light spectrum and is strengthened by consuming that color with our physical senses. The sacral chakra is associated with the color orange, meaning that visualizing or wearing this color can help balance the energies within it.
Cooking and consuming orange foods takes this a step further, reaping the spiritual benefits of pumpkin and other similarly colored favorites.
Feeding the Sacral Chakra with Vitamins A, C, and K
If you’re feeling burned out, restricted, uninspired, or struggling with emotional or sexual intimacy, your sacral chakra may need some love. Located just below the navel, the sacral chakra is associated with creativity, sensuality and sexuality, emotions, femininity, and synergy with oneself.
Consuming orange foods is a fantastic way to feed the sacral chakra—both literally and symbolically. Orange and deep yellow foods contain high levels of lycopene, vitamins A and C, potassium, and vitamin K. All of these nutrients powerfully support the immune system and other key functions of the body—such as circulation—to help restore vitality, which is key to opening the sacral chakra.
Spiritual Benefits of Pumpkin & Other Orange-Hued Desserts
1. Carrot Cake Energy Balls
Traditional ingredients like carrots, coconut, and raisins are blended with wholesome oats and nuts to turn this comforting dessert into an indulgent treat healthy enough to have for breakfast.
- ½ c carrots (shredded)
- ¼ c raisins
- ¼ c coconut (dried and shredded)
- 1 c rolled oats
- ½ c nut or seed butter*
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- Pinch nutmeg
- Blend raisins, coconut, and spices in a bowl. In a separate bowl, blend the nut or seed butter and maple syrup.
- Add the nut butter mixture to the dry ingredients, then add the shredded carrots.
- Fold ingredients together with a rubber spatula until thoroughly combined.
- Roll the mixture into 1.5-inch balls. If the mixture feels too sticky to roll, very lightly wet your hands while rolling.
- Eat immediately or store in the refrigerator.
*Choose a neutral-tasting butter such as almond or sunflower seed for best taste. Unless you’re a peanut butter fiend—then, go for it!
2. Mango Creamsicles
Mangoes are an underrated fruit. Sweet and tart at once, they blend beautifully with Greek yogurt to create a velvety-rich mixture perfect for freezing into gourmet popsicles.
- 2 c mango (cubed and frozen)
- 1 c Greek yogurt (plain, full fat for creamiest texture)
- ¼ c agave nectar (or another liquid sweetener)
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- Blend all ingredients in a food processor or high-speed blender until fully combined.
- Pour mixture into popsicle molds, pop the lid on the mold, and add sticks.
- Freeze for about 2 hours before eating.
3. Warm Pumpkin Pudding
This vintage-style pudding combines the classic flavor and velvety texture of pumpkin with hearty grains to craft a rich dessert that will warm you from the inside out.
- ½ c pumpkin purèe
- ½ c oat flour OR cornmeal
- 1 c milk (plus a little extra)*
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- Pinch cinnamon
- Pinch salt
Crushed walnuts or pecans (optional)**
- Combine all ingredients except nuts and extra milk in a medium saucepan.
- Heat mixture over medium-low heat, stirring constantly. It should begin to thicken quickly.
- Add a small splash of milk if the mixture becomes hard to stir or begins to stick to the pan. It’s ready when the texture is velvety and the pudding begins to pull away from the sides of the pan.
- Pour pudding into a bowl and top with crushed walnuts or pecans, if desired.
*Oat and almond milk are favorites in this, but any will work.
**Alternative add-ins include nut or seed butter, coconut flakes, or chocolate chips!
4. Tropical Sunset Smoothie
Nature offers us so many delicious orangey-yellow fruits, why choose just one? This thick, creamy smoothie brings together a handful of tropical flavors that taste like paradise in a glass.
- ¼ c pineapple cubes (frozen)
- ¼ c cubed papaya
- ½ c fresh-squeezed orange juice
- ½ c coconut cream (unsweetened)
- ½ tsp vanilla
- 2 tbsp honey
- 1 c oat milk*
- 1 c ice
- Add all ingredients to a high-speed blender and blend until fully combined.
- Pour into a glass and enjoy!
*If you want to substitute a different kind of milk, choose a plant-based variety. Dairy milk may cause discomfort if consumed in large quantities with acidic fruits like these.
- by Megan Shoop-Volz