Halloween is nearly here, and while that would normally have us thinking about sweets and treats, we’ve got something else on our minds: pumpkin!
It may be a symbol of Halloween, but pumpkin is useful for a lot of things other than being hollowed out and turned into a monstrous makeshift lantern.
With its bright orange colour and sweet taste, there’s a lot to like about pumpkin. But the reported health benefits of this fruit (yes, its seeds make pumpkin a fruit, not a vegetable!) will make you love it even more than you did before. And, if you’re anything like us, you’ll instantly want to Google creative ways to add pumpkin into your favourite meals, breakfast, lunch or dinner. But read on – we’ve even done that part for you!
According to various scientific studies, pumpkin is rich in beta-carotene – which our bodies convert to vitamin A, helping our eyesight, immune systems and skin – and has useful antioxidants and potassium which can allegedly have positive effects on issues like high blood pressure and heart disease.
Pumpkin is also a great veggie fruit to get fussy kids into eating whole foods. Pureed pumpkin is an easy, healthy food for babies and toddlers, while some kids prefer it over other (read: greener) fruits and veggies because of its appealing colour and taste. Add to that pumpkins versatility and ability to taste great in a number of ways – some you might not have expected – and you’ve got yourself a certified superfood.
Need more pumpkin in your life? Check out these nutritious, delicious recipes – and let us know if you give them a whirl! Then, read our tips for ways you can pack pumpkin into your favourite lunch products.
Baked parmesan pumpkin fries // Make them here
Super pumpkin-y lasagne // Make it here
Pumpkin pie green smoothie // Make it here
Pumpkin scones with a cheesy twist // Make them here
Pumpkin brownies // Make them here
10 ways to include pumpkin in your family’s lunches:
- Pumpkin, feta, rocket and chickpea salad
- Slices of roast pumpkin
- Pumpkin seeds are said to be packed with protein, so they’re a healthy, easy snack
- Pumpkin puree, perfect for dipping crackers
- Large cooked pumpkin slices, topped with natural yoghurt and spices like cumin or cinnamon
- Pumpkin scones taste great hot or cold, making them perfect for lunchbox packing!
- Savoury pumpkin muffins are easy to sneak a load of veggies into and, like scones, taste delicious at whatever temperature
- Pumpkin soup in an insulated flask
- Pumpkin-loaded pasta salad
- Mini pumpkin pies, for a little sweet treat!