Roasted pumpkin soup

Roasted pumpkin soup.  Serves 1, 175 calories

The nights are getting colder and darker, so what better excuse do we meed to make a pan of warming, comforting soup

Pumpkins ( and other gourds like butternut squash) are also in season, so you can make this soup with an ingredient that is readily available, cheap and bursting with nutritional goodness such as fibre, potassium and immune fighting antioxidants.

pumpkin

photograph taken at The Fruit basket, West Bridgford

 

It’s also a great dish to support breast cancer awareness month and show that healthy nutritious food can support the body to maintain better health

 

pumpkin-seeds100g pumpkin (or butternut squash),  1 tsp veg oil, ½  tsp garam masala, ½ tsp curry powder, ¼ (40g) onion, ½ garlic clove, 300ml veg stock (using ½ tsp veg bouillon and 300ml hot water), 1 tbsp pumpkin seeds or flaked almonds

Peel the Pumpkin (or butternut squash) and cut into cubes.  Place in a roasting dish, add ½ tsp veg oil and the spices.  Roast at 1900C for 30 minutes

Chop the onion and fry in the remaining ½ tsp oil for 3 minutes, add the garlic and the roasted pumpkin and cook for 2 more minutes then add the hot stock.  Simmer for 15-20 minutes.  Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper if necessary

To toast the pumpkin seeds or almonds,  heat up a dry frying pan and add the seeds/nuts.  Keep the pan moving and watch to make sure the contents don’t burn.  After a few minutes the seeds or nuts should be likely toasted and give off a nutty smell

blend soup

If you like a smooth soup, blend and top with the roasted pumpkin seeds or nuts and serve with 1 Ryvita crisp bread

soup vegan

What to do with all those pumpkins!

For more healthy eating advice please visit my website http://www.nutrition-coach.co.uk/

What to do with all those pumpkins!

imagesWell Halloween has come and gone but we are still left with all those pumpkins and no clue what to do with them or why we should be eating them in the first place!  Pumpkin (or butternut squash and other squash’s)  is very low in calories (under 30 calories per 100g) and fat but high in vitamin A ,great for eye health, and fibre, brilliant at keeping you fuller for long and giving you good digestive health.

And during World Vegan Month it is an ideal vegetable to incorporate in to a healthy vegan diet.

The recipe ideas below are all vegan that is because not only are vegetables, seeds and beans nutritious they are also inexpensive.  Added to that the latest research has shown that eating a more plant based diet has numerous health benefits, such as a lower BMI (Body Mass Index), lower cholesterol levels, a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease and certain cancers

IMG_1906A simple way to use pumpkin (or any other squash) is to make a soup.  First of all cut up, peel and de-seed your pumpkin and place in a lightly oiled roasting tray.  You can add some spice like chilli flakes, cumin, coriander or curry powder.  Bake for 30 minutes until soft. Meanwhile in a pan add about 500ml veggie stock, a garlic clove and two handfuls of red lentils, cook for 20 minutes until soft.  Add the roasted pumpkin, season with salt and pepper.  You can either leave it chunky or blend. Then finish with some chopped herbs like parsley or IMG_1919coriander.  This will serve two people.

Another idea is to use the roasted pumpkin in a salad, throw in some chickpeas and you have a fibre and protein rich vegan meal

A creamy risotto would also benefit from this brightly coloured vegetable. Just omit the hard cheese and it instantly becomes vegan friendly.

pumpkin-spaghetti

 

A warming and nutritious pasta dish from Lazy Cat Kitchen

 

vegan-pumpkin-pie

 

And if puds are your thing then why not make a pumpkin pie here’s a recipe vegan pumpkin pie – just substitute canned puree for the equivalent weight in fresh pumpkin (peeled and cut in to chunks and cooked in boiling water for 15 mins)

 

If you have a glut of pumpkins, don’t worry if stored correctly they can see you through the winter.

pumpkin-seedsAs well as the flesh, pumpkin seeds are also highly nutritious; they are low in cholesterol and sodium and high in *magnesium and zinc. These two minerals are great for bone and muscle health, metabolism and supporting your immune system.  They are also great for adding texture and crunch to a dish and they make a satisfying afternoon snack.  28g or a small handful is a portion size.

*Tip Foods that are high in fibre like fruits and veg, nuts and seeds are generally also high in magnesium

 

I’d love to hear what your best pumpkin recipe is!

 

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