Pumpkin … the great all-rounder
Winter is pumpkin season, when this brilliant all-rounder is at its best. Pumpkin’s sweet, nutty flavour and vibrant colour makes it a lovely addition to a range of savoury and sweet dishes. Pumpkins belong to a category of plants called Curcurbita, which includes zucchini and cucumber. It’s a healthy dietary option and is packed with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Pumpkin is one of the densest sources of vitamin A, essential for eyesight and skin. Low in carbohydrates, pumpkin has no saturated fat or cholesterol, which makes it a great choice if you are watching your weight. As well as the delicious orange flesh, the seeds and leaves of pumpkin are edible, with the seeds being an excellent source of protein and omega-3.
Pumpkin also features heavily in culture, from Cinderella and her beautiful carriage made from a pumpkin, to Halloween and the American Thanksgiving staple Pumpkin Pie. Historically pumpkins gained popularity as a crop because they last a very long time, even after harvesting. To get the best from a pumpkin, keep it at room temperature and away from moisture. Once cut, they will last for a few days stored in the fridge.
Use pumpkin for all kinds of dishes both sweet and savoury, think pumpkin scones, pasta, soup, bread, cakes, salads, pies, quiches and curries.