From coffee to ice cream, it’s that time of year when everything is coming up pumpkin. While not a flavor one would typically associate with meat and poultry, pumpkin, in the form of a powder ingredient, may be used in breadings to boost nutrition and add desirable color with minimal impact on flavor.

Pumpkin powder may be used as an alternative to traditional flour in meat and poultry breading recipes. It’s one of those tricks to get more nutritional treats, like fruits and vegetables into the diet.

Pumpkin is low in calories. It’s a non-GMO food, rich in vitamin A, and a source of magnesium, potassium, zinc, omega 6 and 9 fatty acids, and fiber. It can be used to boost the nutrition of breading systems, both traditional and gluten free, as pumpkin is a naturally gluten-free food. Many gluten-free breadings are based on rice flour, which lack the orange-brownish hue obtained from wheat flour breadings. Pumpkin powder may assist visually without contributing characterizing flavor. In fact, a small amount of pumpkin flavor adds a desirable sweetness to some chicken breading recipes, which works well with mustard and ranch dipping sauces.