Pumpkins Aren't Just a Decoration?
Halloween has become more of a season than just a one-day celebration. A little like Christmas, it seems to start earlier every year. And nothing signals the start of the season of fright like the Autumnal glow of pumpkins!
If being trapped at home has made you go overboard with creative pumpkin carving, you might have piles of pumpkin innards staring at you. The great news is that pumpkins have a ton of nutritional value. So, instead of throwing it all away, here are some ideas on how to put these pumpkins to good use and why you might want to.
First, please check that the pumpkin you carved is edible - some are sold just for decoration!
How To Cook Your Pumpkin
One of the best ways to cook a pumpkin is to gently roast it. It’s effortless to do too. You chop the pumpkin flesh into pieces, toss in olive oil, and season it well. Then stick it in the oven at around 180oC. In about 30/40 minutes, you’ll have some tasty and tender pumpkin.
If you have the time, you can roast it low and slow. This will preserve as many of the vitamins and minerals that it’s packed full of.
One of the reasons that roasting pumpkin is such a good idea is that it is still low-calorie, even when combining with the oil for roasting. Pumpkin is mere 20Kcal per 100g. Since it’s packed full of fibre and virtually no fat of its own, it’s the perfect way to add some healthy fats from oil into your diet without going mad on calories.
In fact, you can even drizzle on some Udo’s Oil after cooking, to keep your pumpkin moist, then you can throw it into an autumnal salad without needing any additional dressing.
Toasted Pumpkin Seeds
Pumpkin seeds are great snack food. They’re packed full of protein and essential minerals. What’s more, making your own stash of roasted pumpkin seeds is super easy.
You first wash and dry your pumpkin seeds. Then toss them in a little olive oil and seasoning. Spread them out on a baking tray and pop them into a preheated oven at 180oC. In 15 minutes, they’re all done.
If you want to give them a little kick, you can sprinkle your favourite spices over them just before they go in the oven. Chilli flakes are a classic option.
Pumpkin soup is a perfect autumnal meal. Its vibrant and bright orange colour not only matches the decorations, but it also hints at its nutritional benefits. Pumpkin is an excellent source of vitamin C, which we all know, is a great immunity booster.
If you have a winter cold, chicken soup may be the traditional cure, but why not try pumpkin instead? It’s seasonal, delicious, warming, and vitamin-packed too! Given how 2020 has gone, I think we could all do we with a nice big bowl of pumpkin soup to get us through the rest of the year!
Pumpkin soup is easy to make you just need to add a couple of carrots, onions, garlic cloves, and sticks of celery. You gently fry all of this up with around 1kg of pumpkin. After about 5 minutes, you add 1.2 litres of stock. Once the pumpkin is soft enough to mash with a spoon, add 150ml of cream. Then blend until smooth.
Muffins are a great and easy snack that everyone loves. These go down great with both kids and grownups alike. There’s nothing better than getting one of your five a day in a sweet and yummy muffin. Top these with cream cheese frosting, and you’ll be in Halloween heaven.
You can use any carrot-based cake/muffin recipes and just do a straight swap of pumpkin for the carrot, and you’ll get great results. It’ll taste so good; you may be tempted to swap carrot for pumpkin at every opportunity! While both carrots and pumpkin contain a fair amount of carotenoids, which your body uses to make vitamin A, pumpkin also has high levels of potassium which is essential for healthy muscle function too. This means in a fight between nutritional properties; pumpkins have the edge.
Why Not Dress Your Pumpkin Up For Halloween?
If you’ve made a wonderful pumpkin-based meal over the Halloween period then maybe you should give it superpowers too! Udo’s Choice Ultimate Oil is a great way to finish off a pumpkin dish.
Udo’s Oil is a natural and healthy source of Omegas. It has the essential omega fats 3,6 & 9 in the ideal ratio. By adding Udo’s oil after the cooking is complete, it means you get all the health benefits of these special fats, without damaging them with heat.
Let us know how you get on and send us some of your recipes on our social channels @udoschoiceuk