Pumpkins are everywhere during Autumn: Halloween, Bonfire Night, Thanksgiving. We love pumpkins as not only are they super versatile and tasty - but they have many great health benefits as well. Pumpkin is high in Vitamin A, which is an immune boosting vitamin which helps boost vision and skin health. Furthermore pumpkins - especially the seeds - are rich in beta-carotene, which are powerful, fat-soluble antioxidant compounds, which as well as being antioxidant can also help lower the risk of disease and ageing.
So rather than going for that Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte, why not try the real deal and get the health benefits that go with it?
Pumpkin Soup - served in Pumpkin (serves 8-10)
- 1 x 4kg Pumpkin
- 125g Butter
- 2 Medium Onions
- 1 Stick of Cinammon
- Grated Nutmeg
- 1.7 litres of Vegetable Stock
- 3 tbsp of Sherry
- Cut top off pumpkin - scoop out seeds and fibres (set aside for another recipe!)
- Carefully hollow out the pumpkin using a sharp knife + spoon. Remove the flesh, however do not cut right up to the inside! Leave 2cm of flesh all around the inside.
- Roughly chop the scooped out pumpkin flesh.
- Melt the butter in large lidded pan on a low heat before adding the onions, cook for 10-15 mins until they are golden-brown.
- Add the pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg, and season to taste. Increase the heat to medium and cover with lid.
- Cook for 40-45 mins, stirring occasionally.
- Add the stock and bring to boil. Remove from the heat and allow to slightly cool before blending until smooth.
- Bring to low simmer and cook for further half an hour.
- Preheat the oven to 170°C - pour soup into hollowed shell, and stir in sherry.
- Pace the pumpkin 'lid' on and place on large baking tray. Cook in oven for approximately 45 mins. Serve.
*Recipe courtesy of BBC Food
Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
- Scrape the seeds from your pumpkin using a spoon. Pull away the strings of flesh, and rinse the seeds clean.
- Spread them across a large baking tray. Drizzle a good amount of olive oil over the seeds.
- Sprinkle over your seasoning - try salt, ground fennel and chilli flakes - but experiment with anything!
- Bake at 180°C for around 10 minutes until seeds are a light golden brown. Yummy.