Fall is here, bringing nice colors to trees and some festivals like Halloween celebrated all around. Even though Halloween means lots of candies and sugar for most; well there is also the main popular type of winter squash, called the pumpkin! You can surely see them everywhere, especially in North America around this time, and they are not only for decoration! Pumpkins are nutritious and can bring you many health benefits
7 health benefits
- It contains several antioxidants, which may protect your skin and cells against damage by free radicals.
- It is high in vitamin A and a source of beta-carotene that may help prevent from some eye disease (like cataracts or other conditions).
- It has many vitamins such as A, C, and E, as well as iron and folate (B-9), which can help boosting and strengthen your immune system.
- It is full of nutrients and low in calorie, so it makes it a great nutrient-dense food.
- It is rich in fiber, which slows digestion and can help regulate bowel habits. Pumpkin keeps you feeling full longer.
- It contains Biotin (B-7) and omega fatty acids (in pumpkin seeds), which helps in hair growth.
- It has many minerals, such as potassium that may help benefit heart health.
With all those nutrients, vitamins and minerals packed in pumpkins, including their seeds, it is time to really enjoy the season and start making delicious dishes for your taste and health benefits.
Some tips to enjoy your pumpkin lunch or dinner:
- Pumpkin has a sweet flavour, so it is a popular ingredient in dishes like custards, pies and pancakes.
- It works just as well in savoury dishes such as roasted vegetables, purée, soups and pastas.
- A very easy way to eat pumpkin is to season it with salt and pepper, add a bit of olive oil, some rosemary herbs and roast it in the oven.
- For a perfect fall meal combination, you can eat roasted pumpkins or purée with meat, such as beef or lamb.
- To warm up your winter, make a delicious smooth pumpkin soup, with some extra spices like nutmeg and/or cumin.
A yummy recipe to try over the weekend:
Ingredients: 1kg (pumpkin), 2 finely chopped onions, 2 or 3 garlic cloves chopped, olive oil (2 tbsp), butter (10 gr), chicken stock (700ml), cream (150ml), some seasoning (salt & pepper) and spices (nutmeg, cumin)
Stir fry the chopped pumpkin, onions and garlic with the olive oil and the butter for about 5 – 10 min until it is soft and colored.
Add the chicken stock, salt and pepper, then bring to boil then slowly cook for 10 min, until it is very soft.
Add the cream, then bring it back to boil. Remove from the stove, then blend well the soup. Add some spices as you prefer: nutmeg and/or cumin ( 2 or 3 pinches)
Enjoy this great fall season and stay healthy!