The humble pumpkin is so much more than just a Halloween decoration, this baby is a winter hero and a powerhouse of vitamins and nutrients. Not only is pumpkin a delicious and versatile vegetable, but it’s an underrated superfood. Here are five amazing benefits of pumpkin that will make you run to the supermarket right now.
Packed with nutrients
It’s true - pumpkin is loaded with goodness that our body craves and needs to work it’s best. Like vitamin C, for example, which acts as an antioxidant. And your gut will love you for loading up as it’s a great source of soluble and insoluble fibre, which promotes healthy cholesterol and supports healthy digestion. It’s also a tasty source of beta-carotene. Beta carotene is converted to vitamin A in the body and is one of the key antioxidants that help keep your skin protected from UV damage. Pumpkin is high in vitamins A and C, which can help boost your immune system. Its supply of vitamin E, iron and folate may strengthen your immunity as well.
Can promote weight loss
Besides being packed with vitamins and minerals, pumpkin is a nutrient-dense food and is incredibly low in calories. In fact, pumpkin clocks in at under 50 calories per cup and consists of about 94% of water! Pumpkin is a weight-loss friendly food because you can consume more of it than other carb sources but still take in fewer calories.
Versatile and easy to add to your diet
Not only is this orange vegetable delicious, but it’s incredibly versatile and easy to add to your diet. So much so that you can add it to both sweet and savoury meals - whip up some pumpkin pancakes, pumpkin pie, chuck into your pasta dish, roast alongside your other favourite root vegetables, or dig into my yummy Pumpkin, Feta & Quinoa Pie recipe below!
Keeps your heart healthy
Pumpkin’s high fibre content, along with potassium and vitamin C nutrients, help support healthy blood pressure and can reduce your risk of developing coronary heart disease.
Pumpkin seeds are great post-workout
The seeds are also edible and packed with nutrients so don’t throw those away! Pumpkin seeds are a good source of both BCAAs and zinc, two key nutrients for recovery. Zinc helps the growth, building and repair of your muscle tissue. It can also help to support your immune system.
Now you know how beneficial pumpkin is, it’s time to dig into my delicious Pumpkin, Feta & Quinoa Pie from my Everyday Thermo recipe book.
Let’s face it - peeling pumpkin skin is a pain! And for this recipe it’s unnecessary as the skin is made edible by the thermo cooking method. You will also benefit from the vitamins, which are more concentrated near the skin if you leave it on.
This is the perfect grab and go snack that the whole family will enjoy.
Pumpkin, Feta & Quinoa Pie
Prep + Cook Time 1 hour 10 minutes
- 400g Butternut Pumpkin, seeded, skin on, chopped
- 1 cup (200g) White Quinoa, rinsed
- 3 Green Onions, chopped coarsely
- 1 1/2 cape Fresh Mint Leaves, plus extra to serve
- 1/2 cup Fresh Dill, plus extra to serve
- 1/2 medium Lemon (70g), rind gravely finely, juiced
- 3 eggs
- 2/3 cup (105g) Wholemeal Self-Raising Flour
- 80g Low-fat Feta
- 2 tbsp Pepitas
- Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius (160 fan-forced). Grease a 22cm round springform pan; line base and side with baking paper.
- Place pumpkin in mixing bowl; chop for 6 sec/spped 5. Transfer chopped pumpkin to simmering basket with quinoa. Pour 3 cups (750g) boiling water into mixing bowl. Insert simmering basket into mixing bowl. Cook for 15 min/100’C/reverse/speed 4, stirring once halfway through cooking time.
- Remove simmering basket and tip pumpkin mixture into a large bowl. Discard water in mixing bowl.
- Add onion, herbs and 1 teaspoon grated lemon rind to mixing bowl and blend for 5 sec/speed 6. Add eggs and flour to mixing bowl; blend for 5 sec/speed 5 until combined. Stir egg mixture into pumpkin mixture and season to taste.
- Spread pumpkin mixture evenly into greased pan. Top with chunks of feta and scatter with pepitas. Bake for 40 minutes or until just set in the centre. Cool in pan.
- Serve pie cut into eight wedges, topped with extra mint and dill dressed in lemon juice, if you like.
Nutrition info per serve:
Cals: 231 | Protein: 12.1g | Fat: 6.7g | Carbs: 28.2g | Fibre: 4.6g
I would love to know what you think of this recipe so leave a comment below!
You can find 80+ convenient, easy and whole-food recipes like this in my Everyday Thermo recipe book!