Pumpkin Power!

What are your favourite memories of Halloween? Have a little think about it, and see what fond memories come flooding back for you. One of my favourites is…growing up on a farm, we didn’t actually have pumpkins as a child so we got a huge turnip instead, we spent the entire day carefully cutting and carving out all of the insides and cutting out a spooky looking face…then we put a candle inside and watched it glow. It was fun!

This week I have decided to get festive and I really encourage you…NO EXCUSES…to buy a pumpkin if you have never tasted it before. Sometimes the size of them can be daunting, go for a smaller one and don’t let the excuses prevent you from benefiting from the tasty benefits of this super nutritious food. If you are a regular fan of pumpkin you should really enjoy this recipe…

If fresh pumpkin is really not possible this week…have some pumpkin seeds every day!!!

PUMPKIN…Healthy and Nutritious

The orange and bright yellow flesh of pumpkins is the source of their great health benefits.

  • Strong Antioxidant protection: High levels of the antioxidants vitamins C, E and carotenes in food are strongly linked to a lower risk of cancer, heart disease, strokes and poor eye health.
  • Lowers cancer risk.
  • Pumpkins can easily and very tastily be used in sweet and savoury dishes from pumpkin pie to soups and curried dishes.
  • They can be stored for months as they are hard skinned. They should be firm and smooth.
  • Pumpkin seeds can be toasted on a pan and are a fantastic snack.
  • Assist in prostate health
  • High source of zinc
  • Supports immune function
  • Pumpkin seeds should be ground up before eating to help their absorption. 50g of seeds daily are recommended.
  • Sprinkle over cereals, fruit, salads, yoghurts, soups

Here is a tasty recipe to try…Pumpkin & Cashew nut soup

Ingredients

  • Pumpkin & Cashew nut soup (wheat-free, dairy-free) Contains nuts
  • 1/2 cup white onion
  • 3 tbsp. dairy free butter i.e. – Soya
  • 2 cups mashed cooked pumpkin
  • 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp. Black pepper
  • 3 cups chicken broth (Ensure if using stock cubes they are lactose free, where dairy intolerances are present)
  • 100g of unsalted Cashew nuts
  • Pinch sea salt to taste

Instructions

  • Chop the onions and gently brown with butter in a pan.
  • Put mashed pumpkin with onions in pan.
  • Add the salt, nutmeg and pepper.
  • Slowly add chicken broth and heat thoroughly, but do not boil.
  • Blend 100g cashews with 100ml water in a blender until creamy paste is formed.
  • Stir into the soup and serve immediately.
  • Makes 4 to 6 small servings.

Enjoy!