Have you ever wondered whether pumpkins are good for you and what you can do with them other than carve a lantern?
The answers to those questions are yes and lots!!
So here are 7 reasons to eat more pumpkins (and squash)
1 – That gorgeous orange flesh is packed with carotenoids, including beta-carotene. That’s going to really help to keep your eyesight sharp.
2 – They are a great source of fibre, and what does fibre do? Besides helping your digestive system, fibre fills you up so eating pumpkin can be a great way to prevent over-eating.
3 – Being rich in phytosterols, which reduce LDL (the bad cholesterol), pumpkins can help your heart.
4 – The free-radical neutralising power of carotenoids, which is in pumpkins in abundance, is not only considered to help keep cancer cells at bay but also help keep your skin wrinkle free.
5 – Pumpkin seeds are rich in the amino acid, tryptophan, and that’s an important input for the production of serotonin. Serotonin is considered to be a mood enhancer, so anything that helps boost serotonin is going to help you feel good naturally.
6 – For those who like a hard exercise workout, pumpkins are fantastic as a recovery snack. Packed full of potassium, eating pumpkin will help restore electrolytes and give your muscles what they need to fix and mend.
7 – If you’re prone to colds, and fancy just boosting your immune system, then adding pumpkin to your diet will make a difference. Being steeped in Vitamin C, these big orange brutes will help keep you well.
There are many ways to enjoy pumpkin, and its relatives in the squash family.
These spiced pumpkin cookies are just one idea… Click here for the recipe
Around Halloween time it’s worth double checking that you’re buying a pumpkin that is intended for eating. I was surprised to learn that not all of them are!
New ideas for those pumpkins
But what about all that leftover skin and innards, I hear you cry?
There’s so much of it! Well, yes… and I hate waste so I thought I’d share some thoughts on what you can do with that too. How about these ideas…
Most obvious first, turn the shell into a lantern…but what if it isn’t halloween?
How about a bright, temporary autumn planter? Carved or uncarved, pumpkin skins can bring a splash of natural colour to your garden. Keep them close to the house to protect them from the frost and you’ll give them a chance to last a little longer.
For the smaller pumpkins, why not use them as serving bowls at the dinner table. Really! It’s something a bit different and will certainly get people chatting at a party!
Try adding the stringy pulp when you’re making soup stock. It brings a delicious new edge to it.
Place unwanted pumpkin seeds in your bird feeder, and get your bird-watching binoculars out.
Do you have a favourite way to use pumpkin? Why not pop over to the Vibrantly Healthy facebook page and share your ideas there?