Its Pumpkin season and you'd be surprised how versatile this vegetable is!
During pumpkin season, its a good idea to batch freeze pumpkin puree. Cut pumpkin in half and place face down on a baking tray. Roast in oven for 30-60 minutes depending on the size, until it begins to deflate from the top and the flesh turns soft. Remove from the oven and leave to cool. Scoop out all the pumpkin and blend it to a pulp. Drain as much water as you can from it and freeze in batches of 1 or 2 cups.
I've compiled some of my favourite pumpkin recipes that might come in handy this Autumn. These make excellent lunches or after school snacks, but most can be used in a packed lunch (links in titles).
A highly nutritious dip which can either be used as a spread in sandwiches and wraps or as a dip in the lunchbox or part of a platter
This soup is the perfect recipe to cosy up when days start turning chilly. Pumpkin soup always tastes better when the pumpkin has been roasted before. If you are making it from scratch, add some herbs while you are roasting it.
This is very easy to prepare, just like a regular risotto, but with added pumpkin for that warm autumn feel. If you are preparing form scratch, add the herbs while roasting.
These easy yet nutritious muffins can be made in one bowl and are perfect for using up any extra pumpkin
Warm salads are my favourite, especially at this time of the year. This has warm roasted veg plus grilled halloumi which makes it super tasty.
These pumpkin pancakes have no added sugar. I really enjoyed them warm, topped with some apple sauce. But dipped in Greek yoghurt (sweetened with vanilla and honey) they tasted just as great. Great as breakfast, snack or lunchbox filler, and suitable also during baby led weaning
A protein loaded meal with extra benefits of the pumpkin. Best served warm, and also suitable for inside an insulated food jar
8. Pumpkin Oatmeal
Also suitable as overnight oats (put less milk), but best served warm.
- 1/3 cup oats
- 2/3 cup unsweetened almond milk
- 2 tbsp pumpkin puree
- 1 tsp chia seeds
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp pumpkin spice
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Warm for 2 minutes in the microwave and top with chopped pecans if desired
9. Pumpkin Energy Balls
These turned out to be quite addictive, and we were nibbling at them like treats throught the day. They contain nuts, so couldn't be taken to school but they were great for an after school or anytime snack. Healthy and nutritious with just the right amount of sweetness
- 9 dates
- 3/4 cups oats
- 1/2 cup flax seed
- 1/2 cup peanut or almond butter
- 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
- 1 tsp pumpkin spice
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp vanilla
Mix all ingredients in a blender and roll into balls. Store in the fridge, especially in humid weather.
Sweetly speckled bananas and earthy squash give each warmly spiced slice a moist texture and natural sweetness. When slathered with salted butter and paired with a hot drink, it makes the best autumn breakfast.