This week is pumpkin, a vegetable that lends itself equally to sweet and savoury dishes. Yes, technically pumpkin is a fruit because it has the fleshy ovary of the plant, enclosing the seeds.
From a nutritional perspective, pumpkin is loaded with vitamin A, a powerful antioxidant that can strengthen your immune system.
It is also a good source of vitamin C, vitamin E, iron, potassium, magnesium, folate and fibre. AND don’t forget pumpkin seeds, they are like little multivitamins, and eating them has been associated with a lower risk of breast cancer. They also contain tryptophan, an amino acid that can aid sleep.
Roasted Vege Medley
You can’t beat roasted veges, hot or cold they are delicious! The key is to make sure you add some extra flavours and I use the healthy salt Herbamare. When cooking roast veges do an extra tray for lunch the next day and this recipe is a perfect way to use them. Any vegetables will do, but pumpkin always brings a lovely sweetness to the mix. Feel free to add a can of rinsed beans to up your plant protein and make this a complete nourishing meal.
Who doesn’t love pumpkin soup? This recipe is super tasty and full of immune-boosting fresh garlic and ginger which gives the soup an amazing flavour. These days I choose a small tin of organic, reduced-fat coconut milk to keep my intake of saturated fats minimal. My preference is always to use the whole food form, but buying a whole coconut and processing the flesh is a bit too much work!
Pumpkin & Chickpea Curry
This is so easy and is another way to use a tray of roasted diced pumpkin. Although you don’t have to roast or even cook the pumpkin before adding it to the saucepan but you would need to extend the cooking time. Once again I do not use liquid oil in this dish – and NO one ever complains! The trick is to put the onion, garlic, ginger, spices and chopped tomatoes in the saucepan first and gently cook – no oil needed.
When I lived in a remote village in Thailand a few years ago, my daughter and I were rather limited in healthy comfort foods. Enter pumpkin pancakes! There was always an abundance of pumpkin and eggs, and I was able to source quick oats (no rolled oats or any other gluten-free flour!). Keep one cup portions of cooked pumpkin in the freezer for a weekend breakfast treat.