Pumpkin – 6 reasons why it is such a great addition to our diet

Did you know how healthy pumpkin is for you? Besides the obvious reason to eat pumpkin – it’s delicious taste- lets delve in to why it can help optimise your health.

  1. Feeling fuller-Pumpkin helps us to feel fuller: one cup of mashed pumpkin contains 50 calories and 3 grams of dietary fibre. We know the benefits of fibre help to make us feel fuller for longer and can assist in weight loss and management.
  2. Vitamin A (in the form of beta-carotene)- Pumpkin is high in beta-carotene, vitamin C and Vitamin E, all powerful antioxidants, with one cup of cubed pumpkin delivering almost twice the recommended daily intake of beta-carotene. Beta-carotene converts to Vitamin A and is essential for good eye health, maintaining healthy skin, teeth and bones. Pumpkins contain a wealth of antioxidants.
  3. Sleep- Pumpkin seeds are high in the amino acid tryptophan which converts in the body to serotonin, a feel good neurotransmitter which helps us to keep calm and relaxed and feel happier and to sleep better.
  4. Sexual health- the benefits of both pumpkin and its seeds assist in sexual health. Being high in beta-carotene and zinc the researched benefits show a reduction in prostate cancer and healthy testosterone levels.
  5. Heart health- the rich source of fibre in pumpkin could help to reduce heart disease. Fibre has been researched to show significant reductions in heart disease in human subjects. The fibre, potassium, and vitamin C content in pumpkin all support heart health and healthy blood pressure.

Diabetes – Pumpkin helps to control diabetes. The plant compounds in pumpkin seeds and pulp are excellent for helping the absorption of glucose into the tissues and intestines, as well as balancing levels of liver glucose.

Pumpkin Pie

Recipe by Jeremy Dixon – Revive Café Auckland

Makes 8 Serves

Pastry

  • 1 3/4 Cups wholemeal flour/or other type of preferred flour such as Gluten free
  • 1/2 cup Almonds or other nuts
  • 4 tablespoons oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup water
  • oil for brushing

Filling

  • 5 pumpkins or butternut roasted so its very soft
  • 2 tablespoons honey or date puree
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely chopped ginger or ginger puree
  • 2 teaspoons arrowroot or cornflour
  • 2 tablespoons water

garnish – sliced almonds & cashew cream

  1. Put pastry ingredients into a food processor and blend until it forms a ball. You may have to add a little more flour.
  2. On a floured bench or board, use a rolling pin to roll out the pastry into an area big enough to cover your dish and sides
  3. Carefully place into an oiled round pie dish and press up the sides. Trim of excess and lightly brush oil on the base.
  4. Cook pastry in the oven for 10 minutes at 180 Degrees Celsius (350F)
  5. Mix the arrowroot and water in a cup and combine with all other filling ingredients in your food processor. Blend until smooth.
  6. Spoon filling into the cooked pastry shell and bake for another 20 minutes at 180 Degrees Celsius (350F)
  7. Chill for at least an hour. Cut into wedges and serve with cashew cream and sliced almonds as a garnish.

ENJOY!

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