It’s the one and only time of year where we see hundreds of pumpkins lining supermarket shelves and garden paths, often with a rather wicked smile grinning back at you. But don’t be fooled, they’re actually one of the greatest superfoods out there. Pumpkin seeds are one of the best plant-based sources of zinc, which works wonders for the human body by improving the immune system, preventing osteoporosis and reducing cholesterol. Pumpkin seeds are also a fantastic source of protein, fibre and magnesium. They help with weight loss, relaxation and increased fertility in both men and women, and their high levels of L-tryptophan make them an effective mood booster – particularly useful as the cold weather sets in!
Extracted from her book, Love Your Bones, Max Tuck provides two delicious recipes to help you make the most of this Halloween superfood:
Pumpkin seed pesto
In this recipe pumpkin seeds replace the traditional pine nuts that can be so very expensive. For optimum nutrition and digestibility it is important to soak the pumpkin seeds for a few hours beforehand.
- In a food processor mix all of the following to a smooth paste:
½ cup soaked pumpkin seeds
¼ cup water
The juice of ½ lemon
Optional: splashes of tamari or Bragg’s Liquid Aminos to taste
A medium clove of garlic
¼ cup of cold-pressed olive oil
- Separately, chop a medium-sized bunch of fresh basil leaves very finely. Stir them into the pumpkin seed mixture or pulse for a second.
- Serve the pesto stirred into pasta, preferably into ‘courgette pasta’ made from thin shavings of courgette cut with a potato peeler.
Pumpkin seed and walnut loaf
2 cups pumpkin seeds, soaked for six to eight hours
2 cups walnuts, soaked overnight
1 cup carrot, chopped
1 cup red pepper, deseeded and chopped
1 cup onion, diced
1 cup parsley, chopped
1 cup dried mushrooms
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tablespoon raw tahini (optional)
Sprig of parsley to garnish
- Process the pumpkin seeds, walnuts and carrot in a food processor until smooth. Remove and place in a bowl.
- Pulse the remaining ingredients except the parsley together in a food processor until they are of a chunky consistency. Place in the bowl with the pumpkin seed mixture and combine thoroughly.
- Place on a serving dish and mould into the desired shape. Garnish with parsley.
These recipes were taken from Love Your Bones by Max Tuck.