The amount of culinary delights that pop up during this time of the year are truly exciting, and absolutely FUN for all of us who love to cook.
Autumn is harvest time and with it comes many wonderful food items we don’t see at any other time of the year; pumpkins are most definitely one of them.
Autumn and pumpkins are inseparable. These orange barrels of fun are full of healthy nutrients that we can benefit from by eating them while they’re in season.
I was taught that pumpkins are packed with disease-fighting nutrients, and this is something that should EXCITE us all! Vitamin C & E are found in high amounts in pumpkins, along with alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, magnesium, and fiber just to name a few. This list alone should open one’s eyes to the wonderful health benefits of pumpkins.
Below is a recipe for a Pumpkin Hummus. Yes, why not? It’s delicious, different, and easy to make.
- 850 g ( 1.75 lbs)- Pumpkin, or butternut squash, peeled and cut into 5cm/2 in chunks
- 2 tablespoon – olive 0il
- 400 g ( 0.88 lbs) – chickpeas, (canned) drained
- 1 clove – garlic, finely chopped
- 1/4 teaspoon – cumin seeds
- 1/4 teaspoon – allspice (ground)
- 1/2- fresh red chili pepper, thinly sliced
- 2 1/2 tablespoon – lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon – tahini
- 70 ml – Extra Virgin Olive Oil, plus extra for drizzling
- 1 teaspoon – cayenne pepper, plus extra for sprinkling
- 2 tablespoons -Toasted pumpkin seeds, for garnish.
- Preheat the oven to 400ºF or 200ºC
- Put the pumpkin chunks into a roasting tray with the olive oil, cumin, allspice and chili, then season with salt and pepper.
- Roast for 45 minutes to 1 hour, turning and stirring regularly until softened and golden brown on the edges.
- Remove from the oven and reserve a few chunks for garnish.
- In a food processor, blitz the chick peas for a couple of seconds then add the garlic and pumpkin chunks.
- Blitz again, then transfer the smooth purée to a large bowl.
- Add the rest of the hummus ingredients, except the garnishes, and mix well with a spatula, adding salt and pepper to taste.
- Transfer to a serving bowl. Garnish with the reserved pumpkin chunks, the pumpkin seeds, a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkling of cayenne (if desired).
Tip: This is a perfect appetizer or healthy snack. Typically hummus is served with pita bread, but your favorite type of cracker or bread will do just fine. Hey, try is as a crudité dip too.
Just remember that we should be incorporating these orange barrels of fun into our diet this time of the year. There’s nothing like a Powerful Punch of Pumpkin health benefits while they’re in season.
Have a wonderful, productive and healthy autumn.