Halloween is a great time of year - Autumn is in full swing, nature is full of beautiful colours and the weather is changing for the colder, calling for cozy nights in with comfort food.
The tradition of making Jack-o'-Lanterns comes from an old Irish folktale and has been carried throughout the years, making the end of October a time when households across the world dedicate an evening to carving funny faces on pumpkins with their friends and family.
The insides of a pumpkin are often left aside and thrown out, but this year we want to share with you some seasonal pumpkin recipes which will spoil your tastebuds and put those pumpkin insides in use!
Health Benefits of Pumpkin
Not only is a pumpkin a symbol of Halloween, it is also full of healthy perks - like keeping heart health, vision and waistlines in check, as long as you take it easy on the pie, that is.
- Keeps your eyesight sharp
A cup of cooked pumpkin mush contains more than 200% of your daily recommended intake of vitamin A, which is known to aid vision.
- Can aid weight loss
Pumpkin is a very rich source of fibre, and is very low in calories. Studies have shown that a fibre rich diet helps weight loss as it helps stay full for longer, therefore you consume less calories.
- Pumpkin seeds can help your heart
Pumpkin seeds are rich in phytosterols that have been shown to reduce "bad" cholesterol. They are also rich in zinc, which is needed for healthy skin cell production.
- Can help after an intense workout
Although bananas are know to be nature's energy bars, cooked pumpkin actually contains higher levels of potassium, which helps restore body's balance of electrolytes after a big workout.
- Helps boost your immune system
Pumpkins are also a very good source of Vitamin C, which helps fight off colds during those cold months.
- Pumpkin seeds can actually help boost your mood
Pumpkin seeds are rich in the amino acid tryptophan, which is important in production of serotonin, one of the major players when it comes to our mood.
- Protects skin
Pumpkins are a good source of beta-carotene, which helps keep skin wrinkle-free.
Putting Pumpkin Leftover to Good Use
Pumpkin is not only full of goodness, it is also delicious! So why not utilise this pumpkin season (and your kids carving pumpkins right around no) to cook up a feast of delicious dishes? Here's a few recipes to inspire you: