Pumpkin carving is the most popular activity around Halloween, but do you make the best use of yours?
Pumpkin is actually a REALLY healthy food too… read why:
1. Pumpkins are an antioxidant and an anti inflammatory food helping joint health, organ health, stress relief and soft tissue injuries.
2. Pumpkins can help protect the eyes with their Vitamin A content.
3. The high levels of Vitamin C help the immune system and has anti ageing effects.
4. Pumpkin is a great source of fibre to help wash out any toxins.
5. Pumpkins hold enough carotids to help prevent premature aging and cardiovascular disease.
6. Pumpkin seeds are high in protein and plant based fatty acids, which help regulate cholesterol levels, protect against arthritis, promote healthy skin, and improve brain function.
7. The pulp and the seeds are rich in magnesium required for bone health.
8. Pumpkin contains lots of potassium and zinc to prevent the onset of cardiovascular disease and hypertension (high blood pressure). Zinc is also great for the immune system, skin and fertility.
9. The fruit contains L tryptophan, a chemical compound that triggers feelings of well being that aid depression in a smooth and natural way.
Here is how to carve a pumpkin:
And now a recipe for the leftovers:
Pumpkin and Lentil Soup
•1 tbsp coconut oil , plus 1 tsp
•2 onions, chopped
•2 garlic cloves, chopped
•Approx 800g chopped pumpkin flesh, plus the seeds
•100g split red lentil
•½ small pack thyme, leaves picked, plus extra to serve
•1l hot vegetable stock
•1 pinch of Himalayan Salt
Heat the coconut oil in a large pan. Fry the onions until softened and starting to turn golden. Stir in the garlic, pumpkin flesh, lentils and thyme, then pour in the hot stock. Season, cover and simmer for 20-25 mins until the lentils and vegetables are tender.Meanwhile, wash the pumpkin seeds. Then dry them with kitchen paper. Heat the 1 tsp coconut oil in a non-stick pan and fry the seeds until they start to jump and pop. Stir frequently, but cover the pan in between to keep them in it. When the seeds look nutty and toasted, add a sprinkling of salt and a pinch of sugar, and stir well. Blend the cooked pumpkin mixture until smooth.Taste for seasoning.
Serve with thyme leaves and the toasted seeds scattered on top!