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British pumpkins are in season now, starting in October and ending in December. They’re everywhere during the month of October due to Halloween, but many British people don’t eat them. They simply make lanterns from them and throw out both the flesh and seeds. Here are good reasons why you should retain both, with ideas on what to do with them.
Pumpkins belong to the same family as butternut squash and have a similar flavour. Here are some highlights:
– very low in calorie at only 15kcal per 100g
– good source of vitamin A
– also a source of folate and vitamin C
– very low in glycaemic load (GL)
A recipe for Pumpkins:
Oven-baked pumpkin risotto
Pumpkin seeds have a natural nutty flavour and great to eat as a snack or as part of a seed mix to include in breads, breakfast cereals or cereal bars.
– high in the minerals: potassium, magnesium and zinc
– good source of other minerals such as iron, manganese and copper
– good source of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats
– high in protein
How to prepare
Preheat the oven to 200c (180c fan oven)
Scrape the seeds out of the pumpkin into a colander and then run under water to rinse and separate the seeds out.
Place the seeds into a saucepan and boil in water, allow to simmer for around 10 minutes. Remove and drain.
Spread the seeds out onto a baking sheet with a little oil and bake in the top of the oven until they just start to brown, time depends on size, so careful about the little ones burning. You can use paprika to slightly flavour them if you wish before you roast them.
To preserve the nature of the good fats, consider turning the oven down and slow roasting them for no longer than 20 minutes
Seb is a writer and blogger of food and nutrition. He holds a bachelors and a masters degree in nutrition science, and has studied sports and exercise nutrition at postgraduate level. He specialises in plant-based nutrition and believes passionately that we can all live with a little less meat. He writes for www.veggieandspice.com and www.itsaboutnutrition.com