Pumpkin Mac and Cheese + The Surprising Health Benefits of Pumpkin

This ooey gooey pumpkin mac and cheese is a healthier twist on a classic comfort!



This ooey gooey pumpkin mac and cheese is a healthier twist on a classic comfort!



An ooey gooey macaroni and cheese is one of my favourite vices. Like desserts I’m always searching for ways to make indulgent meals healthier.

If you like the ooey gooey like me and want a healthier alternative [this one actually dairy free], well – you’ll get all of that and more with this Pumpkin Mac and Cheese.

Candice Kumai, chef, wellness expert and author of Kintsugi Wellness: The Japanese Art of Nourishing Mind, Body, and Spirit, is the one you have to thank for this mouthwatering pumpkin mac and cheese recipe. I stumbled on this recipe on Candice’s beautiful website and I just KNEW I had to make it.


I’ve followed Candice Kumai for a while and probably listened to every podcast episode she did while promoting her latest book.

I recommend this episode from Lewis Howes School of Greatness podcast.

Lewis has amazing guests each week that share their journeys on how they’ve overcome seemingly insurmountable challenges in their lives. If you need a little help with changing your mindset it’s a great listen.

I must admit I cried while listening to that podcast. She talked about Kintsugi which is the Japanese art of repairing broken pottery with lacquer dusted or mixed with powdered gold aka art of golden repair. It’s built on the philosophy that in embracing flaws and imperfections, you can create an even stronger, more beautiful piece of art and how we’re more beautiful with golden cracks.


Photo credit: Candice Kumai


I can relate so much to her painful journey of trying to heal her soul and her heart.
I love the ethos behind Kintsugi, and this principle couldn’t have found a more fitting time in my life.  Given my fertility challenges healing my heart is something that I’ve had to work on daily.

It’s such a beautiful book and I highly recommend grabbing it.

Photo credit: Candice Kumai


I should mention that I’m not getting paid to endorse this book. When I find something that’s been helpful to me I just get so excited about sharing with others in the hope that it can help them too.


“Wellness is about the practice of resilience, overcoming challenges and being a better version of yourself with all of your golden cracks.” Share on X

So, let’s get back to Candice’s amazing Pumpkin Mac and Cheese recipe!

Full disclosure, even though this Pumpkin Mac and Cheese is dairy free, trust me it SO packed with flavour you won’t even miss the cheese. Nutritional yeast which boasts many health benefits, is the substitute for cheese. You can learn more about nutritional yeast and also grab a healthier nachos and cheese recipe here.

Also, this dish may actually help to boost your vision, ease that stress away and boost your brain power. When’s the last time your mac and cheese gave you THAT?!

There’s so much more to pumpkins then just pumpkin spice lattes.

Pumpkin has been enjoyed for hundreds of years for everything from improving vision and easing those PMS symptoms ladies.


Pumpkin Nutrition

Pumpkins are high in beta carotene a precursor to Vitamin A – an important nutrient for mood, vision, memory, and immune function. One cup of cooked pumpkin contains more than 200% of your recommended daily intake!

Pumpkins are also rich in two brain-enhancing antioxidants – Lutein and zeaxanthin which help with memory. Eat pumpkin along with butter [preferably grass fed] for better absorption of these nutrient bombs!

Pumpkins are rich in potassium an electrolyte which sends signals and oxygen to the brain to help your body with digestion + helps to eliminate brain fog.

Pumpkins are great for protecting your brain and body from harmful free radicals which cause inflammation, speed up aging and chronic disease.

The high Vitamin C content in pumpkins helps to keep your immune system strong from colds and the flu. One cup of cooked pumpkin contains 17 percent of our RDA for Vitamin C.

Finally, pumpkins are a great source of tryptophan which helps to produce the feel-good neurotransmitter serotonin in your brain.

So those are the benefits of eating pumpkin beyond the PSL or your pumpkin loaf.

There’s even more vitamins and nutrients that are essential for boosting your brain power so that’s why I put together On Point, an e-book of 12 powerful evidence-based nutrients to boost your mood, reduce stress and overcome fatigue!

You’ll discover even more mood boosting foods that you can start eating today to pull you out of your slump.


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