Pumpkin recipes for Autumn
Pumpkin season is well and truly here: prepare to see them not only decorating homes, but also being served in sugary recipes like pies and pumpkin-spiced coffees. While festive holidays, like Halloween, can feel like a difficult time to keep on top of your health goals, having just a few healthy pumpkin recipes up your sleeve can make sure you still get to enjoy those classic Autumnal flavours, while prioritising your health. It’s also a great way to use the leftover flesh after carving your spooky masterpieces.
Keep reading to find out our top pumpkin recipes, as well as the environmental and health benefits of eating this popular winter squash!
Note – butternut squash can be used interchangeably with pumpkin in any of the recipes below.
The environmental benefits of enjoying pumpkin recipes!
Using pumpkins in your cooking is an excellent way to reduce waste after an afternoon of pumpkin carving. A whopping 22.2 million pumpkins are thrown away each year, and around 60% of people discard the pumpkin flesh after carving which then produces the harmful greenhouse gas, methane, in landfill. So, this year, rather than scooping and dumping the flesh out of the inside of your Halloween decorations, try using them in these tasty pumpkin recipes to help reduce waste.
Not only does eating pumpkins do good for the planet, but consuming this nutrient-dense food does your body plenty of good too.
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The health benefits
Pumpkins are a versatile mature winter squash (often referred to as a veggie, but technically a fruit due to their seeds) and can be used in a variety of dishes, from sweet cakes to savoury soups. They’re almost 94% water, so they are low in calories at just 26 calories per 100g which makes them ideal for pumpkin recipes that you can enjoy on both fasting and non-fasting days.
Some of the key nutrients found in pumpkins include:
- Beta-carotene: Pumpkins are high in the antioxidant ‘beta-carotene’, which our body turns into Vitamin A. Studies have shown that it significantly lowers your risk of developing stomach, breast, pancreas, and throat cancer. Your body is able to absorb more beta-carotene when it’s cooked, which is just another reason to enjoy home-cooked pumpkin recipes!
- Vitamin A: Pumpkins are a great source of Vitamin A. Just one cup of pumpkin can provide 200% of your recommended Vitamin A intake, helping to benefit healthy vision, reproduction and organ function.
- Vitamin C: Pumpkins are also very high in Vitamin C which has been shown to increase white blood cells production, make wounds heal faster and help immune cells work more effectively. This means that eating delicious pumpkin recipes can actually help fight infections, making them ideal to eat if you have a cold or an injury.
- Potassium: Around 10% of your daily potassium can be found in one cup of pumpkin. This helps to control blood pressure and improve hypertension, which in turn reduces your risk of stroke and cardiovascular disease. Potassium also improves bone health, decreases the risk of type 2 diabetes and acts as an electrolyte which maintains optimal hydration. 
- Polysaccharides: Polysaccharides are long chains of carbohydrate molecules that are an important source of energy. The beneficial polysaccharides found in pumpkin pulp have been shown to have hypolipidemic and hypoglycemic effects, which benefit insulin levels and reduce blood lipids, blood pressure and the risk of type 2 diabetes.
- Fibre: Pumpkin flesh and seeds are high in fibre, which can help to curb your appetite, among other health benefits like supporting a healthy gut and digestive system. As a result, pumpkins may help promote weight loss and weight management.
- Magnesium, zinc, iron, Vitamin E, manganese and protein: Pumpkin seeds are high in many nutrients which are known to improve heart health, blood sugar levels, and sleep. The seeds are also one of the best natural sources of magnesium which is important for blood pressure and blood sugar levels. Roast, and enjoy them sprinkled on salads or pumpkin recipes to reap maximum benefits.
Popular pumpkin recipes to make this October
This pumpkin recipe takes just 15 minutes to prepare, and at 221 calories per portion it’s ideal for a fasting day lunch. Pair with Sourdough bread for non-fasting family members or children and don’t forget to add a spooky spider web design on top this Halloween with protein-rich Greek yoghurt.
Our fasting-friendly seasonal salad is as versatile as it is tasty: switch out the recipe’s butternut squash for pumpkin to make a scarily good Halloween salad. It’s warm yet refreshing, hearty yet light, and is packed full of fibre and nutrients to keep you full for a whole afternoon of festive fun.
This hearty vegetarian dinner can be turned into a pumpkin recipe easily by switching out the butternut squash for pumpkin slices. It’s packed full of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, protein and fibre which are all ideal for warding off colds and illness.
Keto pizza topped with pumpkin
If you’re currently on a keto diet but don’t want to miss out on the Friday night pizza party, give this pumpkin-topped keto pizza a go. It’s completely customisable, contains almost a third of your daily recommended protein and fibre, and is a fun one to make.
We’re a big fan of using hidden veggies in recipes to boost nutritional contents, and this sweet pumpkin recipe has all the treats without the tricks! This recipe contains just five ingredients and takes just 5 minutes to whip together. With each brownie containing a whopping 10g of protein and just 151 calories, how could you say no?
Pumpkin Spiced Festive Cake
If you’re a fan of those warming spices at this time of year, then this delicious dessert is for you. Containing all the classic flavours such as ginger, cinnamon and cardamom, a sweet pumpkin recipe like this one is sure to satisfy that pumpkin-spice craving. Better yet, it’s high in fibre and low in calories at just 277 calories per serving.
To check out more delicious pumpkin recipes to try this season, use the search function in our Programme to look for recipes using ‘pumpkin’, exclusive to members. Happy carving!
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