Pumpkin is my vegetable of choice for autumn and winter. Not only do I adore the bright colour, I love the taste and the versatility of this humble vegetable. Just add a few simple ingredients to pumpkin and you’ve got yourself a filling and satisfying dish. I recently looked into the nutritional composition of this orange beauty and realised just how good this vegetable is for you...
· Pumpkin has a super high carotenoid content, which assists in deterring premature aging, cardiovascular problems and other infections. Carotenoids are also high in Lutein and Zeaxanthin, minerals which protect the eyes and inhibit the formation of cataracts and deterioration of the eye tissue.
· Pepitas, or the seeds in the pumpkin, are a fantastic source of protein. Just one ounce or 29 grams of pepitas contains a massive 7 grams of protein.
· Pumpkin flesh and seeds are rich sources of Vitamin A, which does wonders for boosting your immune system and improving the condition of your eyes.
· Pumpkin contains a considerable amount of Vitamin C, which is proven to attack several forms of cancer as well as increasing the body’s immunity and fighting free radicals.
· Pumpkin seeds are filled to the brim with essential fatty acids, which offer protection against common health diseases including arthritis, cancer and high blood pressure. Fatty acids also increase brain power and encourage healthy skin.
· Fibre can sometimes be a tough ingredient to incorporate into your daily diet. Luckily, pumpkin has plentiful amounts of good dietary fibre, which assists in lowering bad cholesterol levels in the blood as well as helping to regulate blood sugar levels. Pumpkin flesh is a very effective remedy for gastro illnesses such as indigestion and constipation.
· Pumpkin is also choc-full of Zinc & Potassium. Zinc is essential for improving bone density as well as boosting the immune system and keeping the reproductive system healthy. A diet filled with Potassium can reduce the onset of hypertension and cardiovascular diseases.
· Pumpkin flesh and pumpkin seeds are loaded with the mineral magnesium, which is involved in the maintenance of muscles, bones and teeth as well as many other biological functions.
- 750g pumpkin, (approximately 1/2 a butternut pumpkin) deseeded, peeled & chopped into even sized small pieces
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 large garlic clove, finely chopped or crushed
- 1/2 cup reduced fat cows milk (or if dairy intolerant / allergic try soy, lactose-free or unsweetened almond milk)
- 1 tablespoon ground sage and/or 1 tablespoon fresh sage, finely chopped
2. Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat and swirl to coat the pan. Add the garlic to the pan and cook for 1 minute. Add the softened pumpkin to the pan and cook, stirring frequently, for 2 minutes or until very soft. Add the sage and the almond milk, one 1/4 cup at a time, mashing and stirring until the milk has been absorbed and the pumpkin is smooth. Remove from heat and season with ground black pepper. Serve warm.
Serves / 4 as a side
Total Preparation time / 5 minutes
Total Cooking time / around 10 minutes