Having lived my whole life in New Zealand and Australia, the phenomenon of Pumpkin Pie and Jack-o-Lanterns has been a tradition I have viewed from afar. Having the good fortune of staying in the US this year as Fall arrives, I have watched the pumpkins pop up at such a rapid rate. Pumpkins are literally everywhere – overflowing at the stores and market, in shop window displays, on the glossy pages of the magazines and out front of every second home as a key decoration in the lead up to Halloween.
While the bright orange skins signal to the nation that festivities are ahead, it’s what is inside them that has me most excited.
Both pumpkin seeds and the flesh are packed full of health-boosting benefits, loaded with vitamins, minerals and a host of other goodies.
Pumpkins are sweet & have a grounding effect on the body – bringing you down to earth when sugar has sent you sky high. They are a highly favored ingredient to balance the body in a Macrobiotic diet. In my practice as a holistic health coach, pumpkin is my secret ingredient in helping women eliminate sugar from their diets and remove cravings.
Pumpkin is low in fat and calories and rich in disease-fighting nutrients such as:
Here are some of the many health benefits of pumpkin:
To top it all off, pumpkin seeds and pumpkin flesh offer an abundance of uses in cooking; from muffins to pies to smoothies.
So when you finish carving up your pumpkins for Halloween, be sure to keep the seeds and flesh and get creative in the kitchen to reap the health benefits of Pumpkins.
Warm Pumpkin Spice Smoothie Recipe
1 cup of raw pumpkin, peeled and cubed (or canned pumpkin)
½ cup of hot water (or chai tea for extra spice)
Heaped tablespoon Almond Butter
Stevia to taste
1⁄2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ginger
A pinch ground cardamom
A pinch allspice
A pinch nutmeg
A pinch cloves
Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth – adding more liquid as you go if needed.
Taste the smoothie and adjust the stevia and spices to your liking.
I like to serve mine in a mug or bowl and eat it with a spoon like a warm pudding – perfect as the weather starts to cool. In summer, use cold water and ice instead of the tea.
Have you been doing any Halloween inspired cooking?