Food of the week - Pumpkin
🧡 When was the last time you indulged in the warm, earthy flavours of pumpkin? How do you indulge in this versatile, nutrient-rich autumn favourite?
A Nutrient-Packed Marvel 🎃
Pumpkin is more than just a symbol of autumn and Halloween; it's a gateway to nature's bounty! Bursting with essential nutrients, a flavour like no other, and a wealth of health benefits, this humble vegetable is a nutrient-packed marvel that deserves recognition.
The Health Benefits Unpacked ❤️
- Nutrient-Rich: Pumpkin is loaded with essential nutrients, vitamins, and minerals, making it a fantastic addition to your diet to support overall health and vitality.
- Vitamin Variety: This humble vegetable boasts a spectrum of essential nutrients like vitamins A, C, E, and folate, fortifying your immune system and nurturing skin health, among other benefits.
- Eye Health: Pumpkin is a great source of beta-carotene, which is converted into vitamin A in the body. Vitamin A is crucial for maintaining good vision and eye health.
- Skin Health: The vitamins and antioxidants in pumpkin can contribute to healthy skin by protecting it from damage caused by free radicals and promoting collagen production.
- Heart Health: The potassium content in pumpkins can help regulate blood pressure, reducing the risk of heart disease. The fibre also aids in lowering cholesterol levels.
- Antioxidants: The antioxidants in pumpkins may help reduce the risk of chronic diseases, such as certain cancers and heart disease, by protecting cells from damage.
- Anti-Inflammatory Effects: Some compounds in pumpkin have shown anti-inflammatory properties in studies, potentially aiding in reducing inflammation in the body.
Quality and Selection ✅
When selecting the perfect pumpkin, seek out ones with vibrant orange skin and a firm, unblemished texture. The scent should be fresh and slightly sweet. Opt for organic varieties when possible to minimize exposure to pesticides.
Kitchen Creativity 🍳
From pies and lattes to savoury stews and creamy soups, the versatile pumpkin offers endless possibilities for culinary innovation. Explore and relish its wholesome flavours!
Storage 101 🗃️
To store pumpkin properly, keep it in a cool and dry place, such as a pantry or cellar. You may wrap it in a paper towel to maintain its moisture. If you've already prepared it, place it in an airtight container to preserve its crispness and flavour.
Recipe of the week - Spicy Pumpkin Hummus
🎃⭐ This hummus recipe makes a great dip or snack, or it can be used as a surprisingly yummy condiment on top of burgers or whatever else comes to mind!
SPICY PUMPKIN HUMMUS
(makes 6 servings)
- 1 cup (240 grams) mashed pumpkin
- 1 15-oz (425 gram) can of cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
- 2 tbsp tahini
- Juice of half a large lemon
- 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1½ tsp nutritional yeast flakes
- 1-2 dashes of hot sauce or sriracha (to taste)
- ½ tsp. smoked paprika, plus extra for serving
- salt, to taste
- Place all the ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth.
- Taste and adjust seasonings. Serve & enjoy!
Pumpkin is more than just a symbol of autumn– it's a nutritional marvel! Here's why it's an essential addition to your diet:
- Nutrient-Rich: Pumpkins are packed with essential nutrients, vitamins, and minerals for overall health and vitality.
- Vitamin Variety: These humble vegetables offer a range of vital nutrients, including vitamins A, C, E, and folate, boosting immunity and skin health.
- Eye Health: Pumpkin's beta-carotene supports good vision as it's converted into vitamin A in the body.
- Skin Health: Vitamins and antioxidants in pumpkins protect skin from free radical damage and promote collagen production.
- Heart Health: The potassium content helps regulate blood pressure, lowering heart disease risk, while fibre aids in reducing cholesterol levels.
- Antioxidants: Pumpkin's antioxidants may reduce the risk of chronic diseases by safeguarding cells from damage.
- Anti-Inflammatory: Some pumpkin compounds have anti-inflammatory properties, potentially reducing body inflammation.
Embrace the autumn season with pumpkin, a versatile and vibrant orange vegetable renowned for its wealth of essential nutrients and potential to enhance your culinary creations while promoting overall well-being. Whether you choose to roast, steam, puree, or incorporate it into your favourite dishes, relish the treasure trove of healthful delights that this nutritious marvel brings to your table!
✅ To savour pumpkin at its peak of freshness and flavour, carefully choose and prepare the pumpkin and incorporate it regularly into your diet to fully experience the numerous health benefits it provides.