If you only use your pumpkin to carve a jack o’ lantern, you’re missing out. This versatile superfood is delicious, nutritious – and fabulous in so many ways.
Mash it up
Put all that goodness to work from the inside out. Steamed, roasted, braised, baked, stuffed, or stir fried, this versatile, colourful vegetable – high in fibre and vitamins – is delicious, sweet or savoury. Make a cooked, smooth puree to:
- Add to muffins or breads
- Stir into hummus for sweetness and colour
- Thicken soups and smoothies
- Sweeten with a slurp of maple syrup, and a shake of cinnamon and nutmeg
- Swirl into yogurt, smoothies, and your own pumpkin-spiced latte
- Layer in lasagna, add to pasta sauce and risotto.
1 cup cooked pumpkin = 80 calories, 2 grams protein, 1 gram fat, 18 grams carbohydrates.
Rich In monounsaturated fats, magnesium and zinc to help healthy cell turnover, and maintain collagen.
- Wash the seeds well to remove any flesh, and dry on a towel
- In a bowl, toss with a little olive oil, and your favourite seasoning – try a kick of cayenne or cumin. Toast in a frying pan, or in a 375° oven til golden. Watch them, and shake and toss often.
- Sprinkle with salt, and enjoy.
Nutty pumpkin seed oil is a great source of polyunsaturated Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids, vitamins A and E, cholesterol-fighting phytoestrogens and antioxidants. Keep in the fridge and use it raw on a salad, in a smoothie – and on your skin and hair.
Sow the seeds
Keep a few seeds to plant in a sunny spot when the soil is frost-free and warm. Make sure the soil is rich with compost and well watered.
Here are a few more uses for leftover pumpkins:
- Floating candle – Scoop out the top of a mini pumpkin, enough to hold a tea light. Float in a bowl of water.
- Aromatherapy – Rub the inside of any pumpkin with ground cinnamon, nutmeg or cloves, and light a candle inside. The aromas will release when warmed.
- Festive flowerpot – Cut a hole in the top of a pumpkin big enough to hold a jar. Remove the insides, fill the jar with water, and sink into the top. Fill with flowers for your home or front porch.