The wonders of pumpkin

Quam ex eturior erferunt evendae

Pumpkin is such a versatile vegetable; it can be boiled, baked, mashed, roasted and made into a delicious soup. I even use it in a fruit cake to help make it moist. Not only does it taste great, this amazing vegetable is jammed packed with goodness.

Pumpkin is loaded with important antioxidants and beta-carotene, which then converts into Vitamin A in the body. Having a diet rich in foods containing beta-carotene may reduce the risk of developing certain types of cancer and offers protection against heart disease. Pumpkin also offers a good source of vitamin C, vitamin E, some folate, potassium, niacin and dietary fibre.

I am a huge fan of pumpkin and would rather have mashed pumpkin than potato. My favourite variety is Kent. If you find mashed pumpkin a bit boring, then add in some mashed potato to the mix. I also like mixing pumpkin with swede or parsnip or even a little sweet potato. You can add in some thinly sliced shallots for something a bit different as well.

Make salads more interesting by roasting chunks of pumpkin and tossing through the salad with a few roasted pine nuts. Add diced pumpkin to your home made pizzas for something a little different. Pumpkin is available all year round although is traditionally a winter vegetable.

To make a fabulous soup, add 500g of peeled diced pumpkin, 1 large carrot sliced, 1 large onion diced and 2 tsp chicken stock powder to a large saucepan. Add half a teaspoon of nutmeg for flavour and cover with water. Bring to boil, then slow boil until vegetables are cooked. Puree soup in a food processor or with stick blender. Add pepper to taste. Hardly any fat and a simple way to enjoy homemade soup. Serve with grain bread for a delicious lunch. This recipe serves 6 and only has 0.2g of fat per serve, enjoy! (from Symply Too Good To Be True Book 1).