Simply Social

Mon 11 Sep, 2017

5 healthy pumpkin recipes


Scary, fun and surprisingly healthy. Healthy recipes are always important, but since the popular halloween season is coming up, why not add a little bit of fun and spice to your meals by basing them around the occasional scary looking pumpkin, whilst still managing to keep that healthy lifestyle! Here are 5 ways in which you can still enjoy the orange wonder of the sweet squash within your diet!

(The pictures in this article are serving suggestions only, the final result is all dependent on you!)

 

Pumpkin & bacon soup

Image: CDKitchen

The soft, sweet pumpkin squash is ideal for this healthy soup, the bacon also adds a little flavour:

Ingredients

1 tbsp vegetable oil
50g butter
1 onion, finely chopped
150g maple-cured bacon, cut into small pieces
½ pumpkin, peeled, deseeded and cut into medium chunks (you need about 500g pumpkin flesh)
1l chicken stock
100ml double cream
3 tbsp pumpkin seeds, toasted

 

Method
  1. Heat the oil along with the 25g of butter in a large pan. With a pinch of salt, add the chopped onion and cook for approximately 10 minutes. Then add 60 grams of the bacon and cook all together for a further 5 minutes.
  2. Add the pumpkin, stock and seasoning whilst turning the heat up to medium. After boiling turn down to a simmering heat and leave for a further 40 minutes.
  3. After adding the cream, turn the heat back up until boiling, then remove from the heat source. Set aside some of the mixture, then blend the remaining pumpkin until smooth, adding the mixture back into the pan little bits at a time as you go (if you prefer thinner soup, add more of the mixture). Then strain through a sieve, check the seasoning and leave to the side for the moment.
  4. With the rest of the butter, fry the remaining bacon with black pepper for approximately 5 minutes. Divide this bacon into the amount of servings you want to make (recommended 4 servings).
  5. After this, reheat the soup, pour into the separate bowls, and sprinkle the pumpkin seeds on the top. Drizzle the maple syrup over the top if you want it sweeter.

 

Pumpkin Risotto

Image: Food.com

An adaptation of the classic italian rice dish. Easy and cheap to make, with delicious results!

Ingredients

1 small pumpkin after peeling and scraping out the seeds, you need approximately 400g/14oz of the flesh
1 tbsp olive oil
2 garlic cloves
8 spring onions
25g butter
200g risotto rice
2 tsp ground cumin
1l hot vegetable stock
50g grated parmesan
small handful coriander, roughly chopped

 

Method
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180C/160C fan/ gas 4. Then chop up the pumpkin into approximately 1.5cm cubes. Place on a baking tray then drizzle a small amount of olive oil over the top. Place in the middle shelf of the oven for half an hour.
  2. Whilst the pumpkin is in the oven, crush the garlic using any method or equipment you want. If you don’t have a crusher, you can put it in a food bag and then bash it lightly with a rolling pin against a table or counter. Cut up the spring onions into small pieces with scissors or a knife.
  3. In a pan, heat up 1tbsp of oil with the butter over a medium heat. Add the spring onions and garlic. Add the rice and cumin once the onions begin to soften, but not brown. Stir all ingredients in the pan constantly for 1 minute until it is all mixed and coated.
  4. Add only half a cup of the stock and keep stirring until the stock has dissolved into the rice. Over around 20 minutes, keep adding large amounts of the stock and stirring it in until it is all gone.
  5. Carry on cooking the rice until it is soft enough to eat. Now lightly stir in the cheese, pumpkin and chopped coriander. Now serve up into approximately 4 servings and you’re good to go.

 

Pumpkin, halloumi & chilli omelette

Image: BBC Good Food

This simple but delicious recipe is easy to cook and is sure to tantalise your taste buds!

Ingredients

2 tbsp olive or rapeseed oil
175g halloumi cheese, sliced
500g pumpkin, diced
2 red chillies, seeded and finely chopped
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
2 tsp cider or balsamic vinegar
small amount of mint roughly chopped
6 beaten eggs

 

Method
  1. In a large frying pan, heat half of the oil. Then fry the halloumi pieces for about 1-2 minutes on each side, or at least till it has a golden brown colour. When cooked, remove and leave on a plate on the side for now.
  2. Clean the pan, add the remaining oil and heat again. After heated, add the pumpkin and cook for around ten minutes until it at least softens and changes colour.
  3. Now add the chilli and garlic to the pumpkin and cook for a further 3 minutes. After this add the vinegar and place the halloumi back in the pan. Scatter the mint and add the beaten eggs. Cook for around 5 minutes or at least until the base is set.
  4. Heat the grill to a high heat and place under the grill for around 5 minutes until it has a golden colour

Serve straight away if you want it hot but it is also delicious cold. A salad usually compliments this dish well!

 

Pumpkin curry with chickpeas

Image: E.D. Smith

A vegetarian dish perfect for parties, or by yourself!

Ingredients

1 tbsp sunflower oil
3 tbsp Thai yellow curry paste.
2 onions, finely chopped
3 large stalks lemongrass, bashed with the back of a knife
6 cardamom pods
1 tbsp mustard seed
1 piece pumpkin
250ml vegetable stock
400ml can reduced-fat coconut milk
400g canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 limes
large handful mint leaves
naan bread, for serving with.

 

Method
  1. Heat the oil up in a large deep pan, preferably a saute pan if you have one. Once the oil is heated, fry the curry paste with the onions, lemongrass, cardamom and mustard seed for approximately 3 minutes until a fragrance arises.
  2. Add the pumpkin into the pan and begin to stir until coated in the mix, then add the stock and coconut milk.Bring all the ingredients in the pan to a simmering heat, then add the chickpeas and cook for a further 10 minutes. Cook until the pumpkin is tender.
  3. Squeeze one lime into the curry, then chop up the other one into wedges to be served.Warm up the naan breads and sprinkle mint over the curry portions, and then you’re ready to serve!

 

Pumpkin Pie

Image: Listen Live

We’ll end on a high note, with a lovely pumpkin dessert!

Ingredients

750g/1lb 10oz pumpkin peeled, deseeded and cut into chunks
350g sweet shortcrust pastry
plain flour, for dusting
140g caster sugar
½ tsp salt
½ tsp fresh grated nutmeg
1 tsp cinnamon
2 eggs, beaten
25g melted butter
175ml milk
1 tbsp icing sugar

 

Method
  1. Put the pumpkin in a large saucepan, fill with water until covered and then boil. Put a lid on the pan and then simmer for around 15 minutes. When the pumpkin is tender, drain the pan of water and let it cool.
  2. Pre-heat the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Then roll out the pastry on a chopping board lightly dusted with flour. Roll it out until it lines a tart pan, preferably a 22cm loose-bottomed tart tin. Leave the pastry to set a chill for 15 minutes.
  3. Line the pastry in the tin with baking paper and ceramic baking beans. Place in the oven for 15 minutes. After this, remove the beans and paper and bake for a further 10 minutes until the pastry forms a golden brown colour. Then remove and set aside to cool.
  4. Then turn up the oven heat to 220C/200C fan/gas 7 and leave to heat up. Through a sieve, push the pumpkin through into a large mixing bowl. Then, in a separate bowl, mix the sugar, salt, nutmeg and half of the cinnamon.
  5. In this separate bowl mix in the beaten eggs, melted butter and milk, then add to the pumpkin purée in the main mixing bowl and stir until all ingredients are mixed together and combined. Pour this mixture into the pastry shell and then put into the oven.
    After 10 minutes, reduce the oven temperature to 180C/160C fan/gas 4 and leave in the oven for approximately 35-40 minutes, until the filling has set.
  6. In a small bowl mix the rest of the cinnamon with the icing sugar and dust over the pie. Now you’re ready to serve! If you really want a treat serve with a dollop of vanilla ice cream.

We hope you enjoy these recipes, and that you find them as easy and delicious as we do!