October 30, 2017 6:55 am Leave your thoughts
At Naturally Good Food, we love pumpkins! We like watching them grow. We love carving them. We like scooping out the flesh and making it into amazing bakes, soups and pies. We love roasting the seeds and nibbling them. And we know just how very healthy they are. All in all, we think that pumpkins are one of the very best things about this misty, cosy, nights-drawing-in time of year.
What’s so great about pumpkins?
If you’re going to join our pumpkin appreciation society, make sure you choose a pumpkin that’s really worth appreciating! The hugely swollen gourds that fill the discount baskets in the supermarkets may carve well, but there’s virtually no flesh inside them and their health benefits are limited. For real nutrition, you need to buy (or grow) a firm, smaller, properly ripened (and preferably organic) pumpkin. And that’s when you really find out what’s so great about pumpkins.
- Pumpkins are orange. That’s good, because it indicates that they’ve got a huge amount of beta-carotene inside them. When we eat that, it’s converted to vitamin A in our bodies, which aids eye health. (Indeed, a cup of cooked pumpkin apparently provides 200% of our recommended daily dose of vitamin A.)
- Pumpkins are top-notch for vitamin C; they also contain good amounts of vitamin E and some vitamin B-6.
- Pumpkins are a good provider of potassium, which is important for reducing high blood pressure and aids muscle regeneration. They’ve also got riboflavin, copper, manganese, thiamine, folate, niacin, iron, magnesium, phosphorus and zinc.
- Pumpkins are full of antioxidants and have anti-inflammatory properties.
- And pumpkins are a good source of fibre.
What about the seeds?
Whether you clean and roast your own seeds, or join the hundreds of customers buying organic pumpkin seeds from Naturally Good Food, you’re going to reap loads of health benefits.
Accurately described as ‘nutritional powerhouses’, pumpkin seeds boast a great range of nutrients. There’s magnesium, for good heart health and blood pressure; zinc, for the immune system and reproductive health; protein; omega-3 fats; phytosterols; antioxidants; fibre; manganese and copper; and tryptophan, which is converted in our bodies to melatonin and serotonin, the hormones that relax us and keep us upbeat.
Some of our pumpkin seeds leave our building destined for really great flapjacks or baked goods. Some go off to be candied, or spiced. Others are fated to be sprinkled onto yoghurts, muesli or salads. You can also make them into a tasty pesto, following this recipe here.
All in all, pumpkins are one of the healthiest vegetables around. And that’s why you always see them with a big grin on their faces!
What can you make with pumpkins?
America leads the world in pumpkin recipes! In the states, they use pumpkins in pies, pasta, scones, soups, bakes, stews, and as a spread. This website here gives some really good ideas.
You might also like these recipes from our own collection:
- Pumpkin paleo bread
- Obama’s Sweet Pumpkin Pie
- Couscous, bean and pumpkin salad
- Carrots with mint, parsley and pumpkin seeds
- Pumpkin seed crunchy cereal
Meanwhile, keep your eye on our own posts: we’re putting up our favourite pumpkin recipe this week!
Tags: pumpkin, pumpkin seed, pumpkinseed
This post was written by Yzanne