October 13, 2022
It’s finally fall and that means pumpkin season! Not only are pumpkins a Halloween staple and an amazing ingredient for tasty recipes, but pumpkins can help improve your eye health. Pumpkin is full of nutrients connected to cataracts and age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Pumpkin contains zinc, lutein, zeaxanthin, and vitamins A, C, and E. Incorporating pumpkin into your diet, even if only seasonally, will increase your intake of these nutrients which naturally supports eye health. The National Eye Institute's Age-Related Eye Disease Studies (AREDS) established the connection between nutrition and eye health. According to the study, taking 40–80 mg/day of zinc coupled with antioxidants will help people at high risk for AMD decrease the onset of severe AMD by roughly 25% and reduce visual acuity loss by 19%.
There are many healthy ways to incorporate pumpkins into your diet, but first, you need to know that not all pumpkins are equal. The pumpkins we see carved on the front porch are less edible than the smaller pumpkins called “pie pumpkins” that can be bought in the grocery store. Also, canned pumpkin is loaded with sugar, for maximum health benefit, you will want to use a fresh pumpkin. Below we have included healthy recipes including fresh pumpkin!
Recipe by Sonja Overhiser
Total time: 10 minutes
Equipment needed: food processor
- 1 small garlic clove
- 15-ounce can chickpeas (or 1 ½ cups cooked)
- ¾ cup pumpkin puree
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 ¼ teaspoons ground cumin
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Peel the garlic clove. Place it in the bowl of a food processor and process until finely chopped.
- Drain the chickpeas. Add chickpeas, pumpkin puree, salt, cumin, lemon juice, maple syrup and olive oil. (If desired, add a pinch of cayenne for some spice.) Blend thoroughly to combine. Stores refrigerated for up to 5 days.
Roasted Pumpkin Spaghetti
Recipe by Karuna Kumar
Total time: 65 minutes
Equipment needed: saucepan with handle (tea/sauces), hard anodised kadai (wok)
For the pumpkin sauce
- 2 cups Kaddu (Parangikai/ Pumpkin)
- 1 cup Homemade tomato puree
- 1/2 cup Fresh cream
- 1 Onion , chopped
- 1 tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 6 cloves Garlic , minced
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese , grated
- 2 sprig Basil leaves , roughly torn
- Salt , to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon Black pepper powder
For the pasta
- 2 cups Spaghetti Pasta , cooked
- 1/2 teaspoon Red Chilli flakes
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- Parmesan cheese , for garnish
- To begin making the Spaghetti Pasta Recipe In Roasted Pumpkin Sauce, we will first make the sauce for the pasta.
- Heat olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and sauté till the onions are soft and tender, add the minced garlic and sauté for a minute.
- Next add the diced pumpkin and roast the pumpkin until it is soft and gets a roasted texture.
- Once the pumpkin is roasted, turn off the heat and allow it to cool
- Into a blender, add the roasted pumpkin, tomato puree, cream, salt, pepper. Blend to make a smooth puree.
- Once done, keep the roasted pumpkin pasta sauce aside.
- In a large pot, add water and bring it to a boil. Once the water has boiled, add a teaspoon of salt.
- Add the spaghetti pasta to the boiling water and let it cook in the boiling water until it is al dente. This process should take a good 12-15 minutes.
- Once the spaghetti pasta has cooked till al dente (just cooked), drain the water and run the cooked pasta under running water to stop the cooking process.
- Drizzle some oil on top of spaghetti pasta and make sure to coat all of the pasta with the oil so that the pasta doesn't stick to each other.
- The final step is to bring the roasted pumpkin and the pasta sauce together.
- Heat oil in a pan, chilli flakes, Italian seasoning and the roasted pumpkin sauce.
- Add the spaghetti pasta and toss well till well coated with the roasted pumpkin sauce. Sprinkle grated parmesan and the basil leaves on top and serve hot.
- Serve Spaghetti Pasta Recipe In Roasted Pumpkin Sauce along with Pizza Margherita and a glass of wine for your weekend night dinner with friends or family.
Recipe by Nagi
Total time: 15 minutes
Equipment needed: soup pot and blender
- 1.2 kg / 2.4 lb pumpkin (any type) OR butternut squash , unpeeled weight (Note 1)
- 1 onion, sliced (white, brown, yellow)
- 2 garlic cloves , peeled whole
- 3 cups (750ml) vegetable or chicken broth/stock , low sodium
- 1 cup (250 ml) water
- Salt and pepper
- Cut the pumpkin into 3cm / 2.25" slices. Cut the skin off and scrape seeds out (video is helpful). Cut into 4cm / 1.5" chunks.
- Place the pumpkin, onion, garlic, broth and water in a pot - liquid won't quite cover all the pumpkin. Bring to a boil, uncovered, then reduce heat and let simmer rapidly until pumpkin is tender (check with butter knife) - about 10 minutes.
- Remove from heat and use a stick blender to blend until smooth (Note 3 for blender).
- Season to taste with salt and pepper, stir through cream (never boil soup after adding soup, cream will split).
- Ladle soup into bowls, drizzle over a bit of cream, sprinkle with pepper and parsley if desired. Serve with crusty bread!
Pumpkin Breakfast Sausages
Recipe by Physical Kitchness
Total time: 20 minutes
Equipment needed: large bowl and medium or large skillet
- 1 pound lean ground pork
- 3/4 cup pumpkin puree
- 1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
- 4 medjool dates, pitted and finely chopped
- Combine the pork, pumpkin puree, pumpkin pie spice, and chopped medjool dates in a large bowl
- Form in to 6-8 patties
- Heat a medium or large skillet over medium high and spray or lightly coat with oil of choice. Place the patties into the pan and sear 3-4 minutes per side, until cooked through
- If freezing, allow patties to cool completely, then cover individually in plastic wrap and freeze for up to 4 months
Pumpkin and Apple Grilled Cheese
Recipes by Anjali Lalani
Total time: 20 minutes
Equipment needed: non-stick pan or panini press
- 8 slices sandwich bread (sourdough or rosemary bread)
- 8 slices vegan cheese
- 2 green apples , thinly sliced
- 3-4 tbsp pumpkin butter , (optional, see notes below)
- 3-4 tbsp pure maple syrup
- pumpkin spice mix
- vegan butter
- Work with two slices of bread at a time.
- Add one slice of cheese to one bread (you may need to cut it in half and arrange depending on the shape and size of your bread slice).
- Top with a drizzle of pumpkin butter (if using), maple syrup, and a few pinches of pumpkin spice mix.
- Layer on the thinly sliced green apples.
- Top with an additional slice of cheese (again, you may need to cut it in half and arrange depending on the shape and size of your bread slice).
- Close the sandwich with your other slice of bread.
- Spread a layer of vegan butter on both sides of the sandwich. Grill both sides on a non-stick pan on medium heat or using a panini press. If you're using a pan, make sure to push down on the sandwich as it's grilling, flipping half way through to grill the other side. When you are done, the cheese inside should be fully melted. Turn down the heat while grilling if you need more time to melt the cheese slices.
- Repeat with the remaining slices of bread to make 4 sandwiches and serve hot. Store any leftover pumpkin butter in the fridge and enjoy the next day!
Roasted Thai Curry Pumpkin Seeds
Recipe by Denise Wright
Total time: 35 minutes
Equipment needed: oven, microwave and cookie sheet
- ½ cup fresh pumpkin seeds
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 1 teaspoon red curry paste I use Mae Ploy
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon brown sugar sweetener
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Melt your coconut oil in the microwave. it should take about 30 seconds or so.
- Add the curry paste and sweetener and mix well.
- Place pumpkin seeds on a sprayed cookie sheet and the pour the oil mixture over top.
- Try to incorporate the oil with the seeds as best you can using a spoon.
- Sprinkle salt over seeds.
- Roast for 30 minutes or until the seeds are crispy brown.
- *** If you don’t care about net carbs, you can use brown sugar or coconut sugar. If you care about the net carbs but don’t have brown sugar sweetener, you can use Swerve sweetener or Splenda.
Recipe by Whitney Bond
Total time: 35 minutes
Equipment needed: oven, large skillet, blender or food processor, and 9 inch x 13 inch baking dish
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- ½ red onion, diced
- ½ green bell pepper, diced
- 12 oz pork chorizo or soyrizo
- ½ lb tomatoes, chopped
- 15 oz pumpkin puree
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 jalapeños, de-seeded and sliced
- 8 oz can tomato sauce
- 4 oz can diced green chilies
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp nutmeg
- ½ tsp cayenne pepper
- ½ tsp cocoa powder
- ½ tsp dried oregano
- 6 large flour tortillas
- 2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
- Optional Toppings
- sour cream
- sliced jalapenos
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Add the olive oil to a large skillet over medium-high heat.
- Once warm, add the onions and bell peppers.
- Cook for 5-7 minutes then add the chorizo, or soyrizo, and cook for an additional 4-6 minutes, then set aside.
- Prepare the sauce by adding the chopped tomato, pumpkin puree, garlic, jalapeños, tomato sauce, green chilies, cumin, chili powder, oregano, cayenne pepper, cocoa powder and nutmeg to a blender or food processor and puree.
- Now get everything lined up on your countertop, the sauce, chorizo, tortillas and cheese.
- Cover the bottom of a 9 inch x 13 inch baking dish with a thin layer of sauce.
- Lay one tortilla in the sauce, then ladle 2 large spoonfuls from the blender of sauce onto the top of the tortilla.
- Spoon a small amount of the chorizo mixture into the middle and top with a sprinkle of cheddar cheese.
- Roll the tortilla up, then repeat the above 5 more times.
- Take any remaining sauce and pour it over the top.
- Top the enchiladas with the remaining cheddar cheese.
- Place in the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and top with the optional toppings of your choice.
Explore more pumpkin recipes at https://www.brit.co/savory-pumpkin-recipes/
But remember although a healthy diet with superfoods like pumpkin can be helpful, the best way to maintain vision and overall eye health is regular eye exams with an optometrist!