Roast the Perfect Pumpkin
Pumpkin is one of my favourite vegetables that I love to cook with and the best way to prepare it is to roast it! Simplicity is the secret to preparing pumpkin – the roasting enhances flavour whilst adding a hint of cinnamon and sea salt adds depth and takes it into another dimension. By perfecting the roasted pumpkin you are able to create and explore new possibilities with healthy meals that will just blow you away. A luscious bowl of soup topped with a green goddess pesto - A glorious salad scented with goats feta and roasted walnuts or a spice kissed pumpkin pie made from coconut and vanilla bean.
You can roast pumpkin with or without the skin – depending on the purpose of the final dish. I love cutting Jap pumpkin into large wholesome chunks and generously drizzling with quality olive oil before sprinkling with celtic sea salt and a decent amount ground cinnamon. I massage all the ingredients into the pumpkin making sure it’s evenly coated by spice. A preheated hot oven is essential, so make sure to preheat your oven at 180 C / 356 F. Spread your pumpkin evenly onto 2 baking trays that are lined with a quality baking paper to prevent sticking. Stick to one layer – don’t pile it high otherwise you won’t get that caramelised rich complexity that is so purely delicious. Pumpkin cooks quickly and it normally takes about 40 – 45 minutes before it is ready to remove from the oven. Serve as a side to your favourites such as green burgers, steamed white fish, the perfect kale salad or smash into the ultimate pumpkin soup or moorish pumpkin scones.
What’s great about it:
Pumpkin is a great source of carotenoid antioxidants that are anti-inflammatory to the body and help to support a healthy immune system. Pumpkin is low GI, a good source of fibre that will fill you up without blowing you out. The potassium content of pumpkin ROCKS ! so it makes a perfect pre and post workout recovery fuel for the body. Potassium helps restore the body’s balance of electrolytes and supports heart and muscle function. A touch of cinnamon helps stabilise blood sugar levels as well as helps to boost brain function.
1 kg / 2 1/4 pounds pumpkin (I love using Jap / kent pumpkin)
2 tablespoons cold pressed olive oil or your choice macadamia nut or coconut oil
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon sea salt
Preheat your oven to 180 C / 356 F.
Cut pumpkin into chunks (with or without skin)
Drizzle with olive oil.
Add cinnamon and sea salt.
Massage well with your fingers, coating all the pumpkin.
Spread in a single layer onto 1 or 2 prepared baking trays.
Roast for 40 – 45 minutes or until the pumpkin is soft and caramelised.
Enjoy and use as required.
It’s a great idea to double the recipe and use for yummy portable salads and winter warming soups.
Pumpkin marries perfectly with other aromatics such as ginger, coriander, sage, orange, nutmeg, vanilla, cloves, cinnamon.
Nutritional info per 100 g / 3 1/2 oz.
Protein: 2.2 g
Total fat: 3.2 g
Saturated: 0.5 g
Carbs: 7 g