Recently, the Spoon UD team got the awesome opportunity to visit our local Whole Foods Market for a private cooking demo. We met Kristen, the in-house healthy eating specialist. She talked to us about tricks to staying healthy while navigating a busy college lifestyle and making sense of the high fructose corn syrup world.

“I’ve been in college twice,” she explained, “and the hardest thing was having a healthy snack on hand. If there were chips around, I was going to eat them.”

Her solution? “Batch cook and have something quickly available that you enjoy eating. Always bring tupperware on busy days!”

Kristen also told us how to get the most bang for our buck while still enjoying really healthy food. She suggested focusing on super flavorful foods. An easy way to do this is to pick a few favorite spices and buy them in Whole Foods Market’s bulk area.

Photo by Caroline Grew

Here’s another fun fact we learned about WFM: did you know they have a separate area, tools and ways to prepare organic foods? For example, the awesome loaves of bread you can get are no longer organic if you ask for them to be sliced. Or if an organic apple accidentally gets mixed in with a nonorganic apple, it is no longer considered organic. So, when you go to WFM,  you are guaranteed to get the very best products.

After talking with Kristen, the team learned how to make coconut curry pumpkin soup and devoured it once it was done. Kristen advised us that soup is always a great option to make because it is usually cheap, hard to mess up and can pack both health benefits and flavor. Music to a college student’s ears.

Whole Foods Market

Photo by Caroline Grew

Whole Foods Market

Photo by Caroline Grew

Whole Foods Market

Photo by Caroline Grew

How do you make this tasty dinner yourself? Impress your friends with this dynamic mix of fall flavors.

Coconut Curry Pumpkin Soup


Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

Servings: 6-8


1 can pumpkin
1 large onion, diced
4 gloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons red curry paste
1-2 teaspoons grated ginger
1 can coconut milk
4 cups low sodium vegetable broth
Maple syrup, to taste
1 pinch cayenne pepper
Salt and pepper, to taste


1. In a large pot over medium heat, add the diced onion and a pinch of salt and pepper.

2. Cook the onion until soft and translucent.

3. Add garlic, curry paste and ginger.

4. Cook until fragrant, about 2-3 more minutes.

5. Add pumpkin and mix and cook for 2-3 more minutes.

6. Add the coconut milk, vegetable broth, maple syrup and cayenne pepper.

7. Cover the pot and let it simmer for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.

8. Adjust your seasonings to taste and enjoy.