I have to say, I struggled with writing this blog on Halloween. I personally find the whole festivities weird! The obsessive intake of sugar foods that go with this time of the year really doesn’t sit comfortably with me. And for babies and younger children we really don't want to be giving them any added sugar in their diet, as we want to discourage an overly sweet tooth which will develop at this stage.
But, I do love a pumpkin!! And I love it, not only because you can make some amazing faces from them, illuminated by candles, but because they are actually a really great fruit (yes, scientifically, it is actually a fruit) with some amazing health benefits. Did you know that pumpkin contains lots of lovely vitamin A which is essential for eye health? It is also a great source of anti-oxidants which we need within our body to protect us from many chronic health conditions.
I also love that we can use the whole pumpkin is so many recipes. This especially includes the seeds.
The seeds of a pumpkin are full of amazing minerals such as iron, magnesium, zinc and potassium and they are very versatile. They can be toasted and used for snacking. They can be added to muffins and bread to add flavour and texture. They are lovely tossed in a salad or sprinkled over your porridge or used in granola. A flapjack recipe would always benefit from some pumpkin seeds. The list is endless.
Pumpkin flesh should not be thrown away after carving your pumpkin face. It can be used for so many savoury dishes. It can be treated in exactly the same way as any root veg, so it can be roasted, mashed, steamed, made into soup or pureed. It is an amazing addition to a curry, as
part of your Sunday roast or as part of a muffin recipe.
One of the ways I love to use the leftover pumpkin is to make my mum’s Pumpkin and Cinnamon Soup. This, on a winter’s day, is so warming and heady with spices.
So, when the 30th of October comes along and everyone is indulging in many a sweet treat, why not try to make use of the wonderful pumpkin which is readily available and create some fantastic, healthy dishes for your family.
We'll be sharing some more Halloween inspired foods in the run up to the spookiest night of the year so make sure you're following us on Facebook and Instagram. Don’t forget, we love to see your attempts so please tag us in your posts (and we love seeing all the babies dressed up too)!