The supermarkets are currently filled with pumpkins and squashes in their many varieties.
Eating vegetables that are in season eating in season is both beneficial for the wallet and nutritional purposes.
And you’ll sure get bang for buck with a whole pumpkin.
Why is pumpkin so good for you?
- It contains fibre, potassium and vitamin C that all help maintain a healthy heart
- It’s beta-carotene content gets converted into vitamin A when ingested. The body uses the vitamin A for eye, skin and immune health.
That’s a whole lot of benefits from one vegetable.
Saying all of this, eating the same thing again and again can get extremely boring. We’ve all been there, searching for ways to make pumpkin more interesting to make sure we use it all up.
So here’s four recipes to use pumpkin or squash, with a few creative ones you may not have considered before. Enjoy.
#1 Healthy Spaghetti Squash Pesto Pasta – Vegan or Non-Vegan
A delicious and nutritious vege ‘pasta’ alternative for those who are gluten free
1 medium/large squash
¼ C Basil pesto (homemade as below or bought)
¼ C Coconut cream or ,ilk
3 C Diced broccoli florets, fresh or frozen
1 C Sliced mushrooms
1 Onion, diced
1 Capsicum, diced
3 C Baby spinach leaves
3 Rashers of bacon (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste
Sprinkling of cheese or nutritional yeast to season (optional)
Homemade Basil Pesto:
2 C fresh basil
½ C cashews or pine nuts
1 clove crushed garlic
½ C extra virgin olive oil
1 TBSP lemon juice
3 TBSP nutritional yeast
Pinch of salt and pepper to taste
Blend all pesto ingredients in food processor/magic bullet until desired consistency is reached. Store in an airtight jar in fridge.
- Cut squash in half and place on a large oven tray. Bake at 180 degrees for approx. 30-40 mins until flesh is soft.
- When squash has about 10 mins left, fry up onion, capsicum, mushrooms and broccoli in a little olive oil until slightly soft. If adding bacon, fry bacon separately then add to vege mix. Turn heat to simmer and add pesto and coconut cream/milk. Simmer for a few mins then turn heat off and stir in spinach leaves.
- Using a fork, rake out the inside of the squash until you have a pile of spaghetti-like strands. Divide amongst four plates and top with vege pesto mix. Sprinkle with parmesan or nutritional yeast and salt and pepper to taste.
- Enjoy! Note: Prawns or chicken make a delicious addition to this meal for some added protein.
#2 Pumpkin Chia Pudding
Great breakfast or dessert idea for those who enjoy the taste of pumpkin pie!
½ C Roasted pumpkin, peeled and chopped
½ C Coconut/almond milk
2 TBSP Chia seeds
2 TBSP Desiccated coconut
½ tsp Cinnamon
1 tsp pure maple syrup or other sweetener
- Blend pumpkin, milk, cinnamon, and maple syrup until smooth. Pour into a small jar/glass and stir in chia seeds and coconut.
- Refrigerate overnight or for at least 4 hours to let chia seeds swell and create a thick, pudding-like consistency.
- Serve as is or add some nuts & seeds for extra protein at breakky. Sliced banana and peanut butter also make a nice addition on top!
#3 Winter Pumpkin and Leek Soup
It’s a classic but an absolute goody.
1 Large butternut pumpkin, skinned and chopped
2 Leeks, finely chopped
2 Onions, finely chopped
2 TBSP Olive oil
2 Cloves of garlic, crushed
1L Vegetable or chicken stock
2 C Water or 1 C water/ 1 C coconut milk
½ tsp Nutmeg
- Place chopped leeks and onions in a large pot and lightly fry with olive oil for a few minutes. Add garlic and fry for a further minute.
- Add pumpkin, stock, water and a few grinds of salt and boil for approx. 20-30 mins until pumpkin is soft.
- Let contents of pot cool slightly then place in a food processor and blend along with coconut milk (optional) and nutmeg.
- Heat through before serving if needed and garnish with salt, pepper, and parmesan or nutritional yeast if desired.
#4 Pumpkin Pie Smoothie
Tip: Get prepared by roasting your pumpkin well in advance. Chop it up and leave in the fridge. or freezer ready to use.
¼ C Cooked/roasted pumpkin
½-¾ Frozen banana
1 C Milk (of choice)
½ tsp Cinnamon
1 tsp Natural maple syrup
½ tsp Vanilla Essence
Optional: Add 1 TBSP Peanut/nut butter
- Blend all ingredients in blender until smooth.
- Pour into a glass and sprinkle with cinnamon
- Drink and enjoy ☺
Let us know what you think and if you’ve got any pumpkin recipes we could try.
Happy winter cooking 🎃👩🏽🍳