We all love to carve a pumpkin for the festive fun that is Halloween and pumpkins also get another moment to shine across America during Thanksgiving, but this hardy fruit (yes it is a fruit!) is awarded a trophy for being an all round superfood…take a look at the nutritional value of the mighty pumpkin and you’ll think twice about throwing the insides out! Instead, try our top five traditional pumpkin recipes from around the world!
Pumpkin Nutritional Facts:
- Very low in calories; 100 g fruit provides just 26 calories
- Contains zero saturated fats or cholesterol.
- Rich in dietary fiber, anti-oxidants, minerals, vitamins
- Contains many antioxidants such as vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin E (very high in vitamin A, providing 246% of RDA)
- Good source of the B-complex group of vitamins; folates, niacin, vitamin B-6 (pyridoxine), thiamin, and pantothenic acid.
- Rich source of minerals like copper, calcium, potassium and phosphorus.
- Excellent source of dietary fibre and mono-unsaturated fatty acids; good for heart health.
- Contain concentrated sources of protein, minerals and vitamins
- Zero cholesterol.
- Excellent source of health-promoting amino acid tryptophan.
Our top five traditional pumpkin recipes from around the world:
SOUTH AFRICA (Afrikaans)
By Fazila Olla-Logday
Pumpkin fritters or ‘Pampoen Koekies’ in Afrikaans are delicious for breakfast or dessert and so quick and easy to make!
- 2 cups cooked mashed pumpkin
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 egg beaten
- 1 cup Self Raising flour
- 2 tsps baking powder
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1 tbsp brown sugar
- Oil for frying
Cinnamon Sugar Coating:
- 50g castor sugar
- 2tsp ground cinnamon
- Drain the cooked pumpkin well.
- Add the beaten egg and vanilla extract and mix.
- Add the rest of the ingredients and mix to a soft, but firm, batter.
- Place a spoonful of the mixture into hot oil.
- Fry on one side until golden brown and turn to cook on the other side.
- Remove with slotted spoon and drain on absorbent paper.
- In small bowl, combine castor sugar with cinnamon and sprinkle over hot fritters before serving.
Tip: The cooked pumpkin should be drained well as too much moisture can make the batter too runny.
Pumpkin with Fenugreek
by Prerna Singh
- 1 medium size acorn squash or pumpkin (skinned, seeded and cut into 1/2 cubes)
- 1 tsp fenugreek seeds
- 2 dried whole red chili
- 1 tbsp freshly minced garlic
- 1 1/2 tsp aamchur powder (dried mango powder) or 1 tbsp lime/lemon juice
- 1/2 tbsp brown sugar
- 1 tsp turmeric powder
- 1 tbsp coriander powder
- 1 tbsp oil (mustard, olive or vegetable oil)
- Heat oil in a wok or thick bottom pan. Add fenugreek seeds.
- As they start to sizzle add garlic and whole chili (broken into pieces)
- When garlic starts to brown add the squash. Add turmeric.
- Mix it all together and cover with a lid stirring occasionally until its half cooked.
- Once squash is half cooked, uncover and add salt.
- Now cook it without the lid until squash is cooked through.
- At one point squash starts to get mushy so go easy while stirring or it will break. Not that there will be any change in taste but it just won’t look as pretty. So just try not to mash everything up while stirring.
- Once its cooked through add aamchur (or lemon/lime juice), sugar and coriander powder. Mix everything well.
- Cook for another minute and then turn the heat off.
Sweet Pumpkin Borani
by Naz Deravian
- 1 tablespoon raw, unsalted pumpkin seeds
- 1 large orange
- 1 cup strained Greek style yogurt
- 1/8 teaspoon orange blossom water
- 1 small sugar pumpkin, about 2 lbs/1kg
- 2 tablespoons melted ghee or olive oil or combination of
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon cardamom
- 1/4 teaspoon ginger powder
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon cloves
- 5 medjool dates, chopped
- Heat the oven to 375F. Oven rack in the upper 1/3 position.
- Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Toast the pumpkin seeds in a small pan over medium heat.
- Stir often (and never leave them out of your sight, they can burn very quickly!) until they release their oils and fragrance, about 5 minutes. Set them aside to cool.
- Place the yogurt in a medium sized bowl and zest the orange over the yogurt. Stir to combine and put the yogurt in the fridge until ready to use.
- Peel and segment the orange making sure you catch all the juices in a small bowl. Add the orange blossom water. Gently stir, cover and place in the fridge until ready to use.
- Peel the pumpkin (as you did the orange) and discard the seeds and pulp. (You can roast the pumpkin seeds if you’re in the mood)
- Cut the pumpkin into 1 inch slices or chop up the pumpkin in about 1 1/2 inch cubes. This depends on how you would like to serve it.
- Place the pumpkin in a big bowl and add the ghee or olive oil, the maple syrup and vanilla. Stir to combine.
- In a small bowl combine the salt and all the spices. Sprinkle over the pumpkin, stir to combine. Transfer the pumpkin to the baking sheet and roast for 20 minutes. Tossing once halfway through.
- Allow the pumpkin to cool slightly. When cooled combine with the yogurt, orange segments and juices, pumpkin seeds and dates. Drizzle with extra maple syrup if desired. Serve immediately.
- For a prettier presentation you can spread the yogurt over a platter and layer all ingredients on top.
The borani will keep in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Classic Pumpkin Pie
By Betty Crocker
- Pie Crust:
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon shortening
- 2 to 3 tablespoons cold water
- 2 eggs
- 1/2cup sugar
- 1teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2teaspoon salt
- 1/2teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/8teaspoon ground cloves
- 1can (15 oz) pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)
- 1can (12 oz) evaporated milk
Spiced Cream Clouds:
- 1/2 cup whipping cream
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice or ground cinnamon
- In medium bowl, mix flour and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cut in shortening, using pastry blender (or pulling 2 table knives through ingredients in opposite directions), until particles are size of small peas. Sprinkle with cold water, 1 tablespoon at a time, tossing with fork until all flour is moistened and pastry almost leaves side of bowl (1 to 2 teaspoons more water can be added if necessary).
- Gather pastry into a ball. On lightly floured surface, shape dough into flattened round. Wrap pastry in plastic wrap; refrigerate about 45 minutes or until dough is firm and cold, yet pliable.
- Heat oven to 425°F. On lightly floured surface, roll pastry with floured rolling pin into round 2 inches larger than upside-down 9-inch glass pie plate. Fold pastry into fourths; place in pie plate. Unfold and ease into plate, pressing firmly against bottom and side. Trim overhanging edge of pastry 1 inch from rim of pie plate. Fold and roll pastry under, even with plate; flute as desired.
- In medium bowl, beat eggs slightly with wire whisk. Beat in remaining filling ingredients. Place pastry-lined pie plate on oven rack to prevent spilling the filling. Pour filling into pie plate. Cover edge of crust with 2- to 3-inch strip of foil to prevent excessive browning.
- Bake 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350°F. Bake about 45 minutes longer, removing foil during last 15 minutes of baking, until knife inserted in centre comes out clean. Cool 30 minutes. Refrigerate about 4 hours or until chilled.
- In chilled small bowl, beat topping ingredients with electric mixer on high speed until soft peaks form. Serve pie topping with whipped cream.
Traditional Pumpkin Soup
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 1 leek, white part only, finely sliced
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 1kg peeled pumpkin, diced
- 1 large potato, peeled, diced
- 1L chicken stock or vegetable liquid stock
- 1/2 cup (125ml) thin cream
- Heat oil in a large saucepan over low heat, add onion and leek and cook for 2-3 minutes, until softened but not coloured. Add garlic and spices and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Add pumpkin, potato and stock and bring to the boil. Turn heat to low, cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Allow to cool slightly, then blend in batches.
- Return soup to pan, stir through cream and reheat gently. Season and add a little more nutmeg if desired.
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