Pumpkin the Med Way
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N.C. Cooperative Extension Service and NC State University has a wonderful educational program called Med Instead of Meds. This program focuses on the Mediterranean diet. Eating like those who live in the Mediterranean region has shown to promote health and decrease risk of many chronic diseases. The name of the program comes from the concept that eating the Mediterranean-way can help you eat well and reduce your need for medications.
You can learn more about the Med Instead of Meds program in two ways. There is a great website with on-line videos that explain the 7 basic concepts in eating the “Med Way”. There are also many great recipes that can help you incorporate these concepts into your everyday diets. Check it out at medinsteadofmeds.com
Another way is to join an in-person class. Locally, members of our Family and Consumer Science team in Brunswick County are planning a series of classes featuring Med Instead of Meds. These will be available in early 2024—to get you started on a healthy new year. In addition, we’ll be able to share (and you can sample) some of these recipes. Please give our office a call if you’d like to learn more about this class series. Or if you belong to a group that would like to learn more about the Mediterranean diet, we’re available to come out and teach these classes.
In anticipation of these upcoming classes, our Extension Master Food Volunteers were recently in the Extension Demonstration kitchen in Bolivia testing recipes to be used in the classes.
Knowing that this is the time of year for pumpkin everything, we experimented with the Baked Pumpkin Yogurt from the Med Instead of Meds website. It’s like a pumpkin pie but with less sugar and without the crust. It’s really simple, bakes quickly and can be eaten with your fingers as a snack or dessert. It’s perfect for those who like to eat pumpkin pie for breakfast—with a lot less guilt.
After sampling it, we decided we’d like to add some additional spices when preparing. Perhaps some pumpkin pie spice, ginger or nutmeg. In our test recipe we used honey, but we agreed that using maple syrup would “kick up” the flavor, too. We thought it would be great served with fruit.
Baked Pumpkin Yogurt
- 3/4 cup nonfat vanilla Greek yogurt
- 3/4 cup pumpkin puree
- 4 eggs
- 2 Tablespoons flour
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 4 Tablespoons maple syrup or honey
- ¼ tsp cinnamon (add more to your liking)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray an 8×8 baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.
- Whisk together yogurt, pumpkin puree, eggs, flour, vanilla, honey/maple syrup, and cinnamon until well combined.
- Pour batter into the baking dish.
- Bake for about 35 to 40 minutes, or until the center is set (no longer jiggles when you move the pan).
- Allow to cool for at least 5 minutes before cutting into squares. Sprinkle extra cinnamon on top before serving.
Makes 9 servings. Each square contains 87 calories and 8 grams of sugar.
Give us a call if you’d like to learn more about Med Instead of Meds classes. Ask to be put on the Extension Connection newsletter to learn about this an other educational offering from N.C. Cooperative Extension.
Best wishes to each of you from all of us at the Brunswick County office of the
Cooperative Extension for a happy and healthy Thanksgiving.
Syracuse is a Family and Consumer Science team member and can be reached at N.C. Cooperative Extension, Brunswick County Center 910-253-2610 or by email at