pumpkin

Five good ways to put your pumpkin to good use after Halloween

Sharnaz Shahid

Don't throw away your Halloween pumpkins - put them to good work! We've rounded up a slew of amazing ideas to put any leftovers to good use.

Purifying Pumpkin Facemask

pumpkin-2zVIEW GALLERY

This seasonal beauty trick is a winner! With a combination of pumpkin and oats (for gentle exfoliant properties) this can draw out any toxins and impurities. The super-duo of coconut oil and honey will provide an ultra-moisture injection for skin that's finding it hard to adjust to the colder weather.

What you need:
1 slice of pumpkin
1 tbsp. oats
1 tsp. honey
1 tsp. coconut oil

What to do:
1. Skin the pumpkin and blitz in the blender with the oats and coconut oil. Blend until it forms a smooth paste
2. Stir in the honey to the paste
3. Apply to face and neck and allow to sit for up to 20 minutes. Rinse well.

Clean Beauty Co. founders Dominika and Elsie, who are launching their debut book in January, claim pumpkins are high in vitamins and work a treat when it comes to beauty regimes – especially in autumnal climates where it can be used to brighten and freshen up tired-looking skin.

"Pumpkin is high in both vitamins A and C, as well as a number of natural enzymes and beta-carotene which can help brighten tired-looking, autumnal skin," they share. "The vitamin A soothes and softens the skin while vitamin C, an antioxidant, can help remedy damage caused by free radicals.

"Pumpkin is used in so many beauty products due to its high nutritional value and its ability to hydrate the skin. Bursting with essential fatty acids you can whip up face masks, scrubs, hair serums and even facial cleansers - mix a little pumpkin with honey and it acts as a natural cleanser to gently dissolve makeup and dead skin cells."

Grain-free Pumpkin Cake with Cashew Butter Cream

pumpkin-3zVIEW GALLERY

This superfood cake is packed with great nutritional and wholesome ingredients and is perfect for guilt-free indulgence. It's a delicious way to help get part of you five a day and also keeps fresh for 4-5 days.

Serves: 12
Preparation time: 60 minutes
Cooking time: 25 minutes
Soaking time – 6-8 hours or overnight

Ingredients:
8 large eggs
1 large carrot (peeled and grated)
200g canned pumpkin puree
200g The Groovy Food Company Coconut Sugar
40g The Groovy Food Company Organic Coconut Flour
50g Pecans (roughly chopped)
70g raisins or sultanas
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. vanilla bean paste or 1 vanilla pod (extract the vanilla seeds from the pod)
¼ tsp. sea salt

For the cashew butter cream:
400g raw cashews (soaked in water for 6-8 Hours)
120g The Groovy Food Company Coconut Oil (melted)
120g The Groovy Food Company Light Amber & Mild Agave Nectar
4. tsp. lemon juice
1 vanilla pod (extract the vanilla seeds from the pod)
¼ tsp. sea salt

Final touches:
30g desiccated coconut (toasted)
30g pumpkin seeds (toasted)

Method:

1. Place the cashew nuts in a bowl, cover with cold water and leave to soak for 6-8 hours. Then rinse off the cashews through a sieve and leave to dry on kitchen paper, or a clean tea towel.
2. Preheat the oven to 375°F, gas mark 5, 190°C (170°C fan-assisted).
3. Using three 20cm sandwich tins, line the base of each tin with parchment paper.
4. In a large mixing bowl beat the eggs by hand with a whisk or fork, add the baking powder, cinnamon, vanilla and salt. Add the grated carrot, pumpkin puree, coconut sugar and coconut flour. Mix until thoroughly combined. Fold in the chopped pecans and raisins or sultanas to the mixture.
5. Evenly divide the cake mixture between the three pre- lined cake tins.
6. Bake in the pre-heated oven for 25 minutes. Then remove from the oven to cool for 5-10 minutes.
7. Remove the cakes from the tin and leave to cool (you can make the cakes the day before. Place on separate plates and cover with foil until ready to decorate).
8. In a dry frying pan, toast the desiccated coconut and pumpkin seeds over a medium heat until the coconut is toasted, then leave to cool.
9. To make the cashew butter cream, in a food processor place the soaked cashew nuts, coconut oil, agave nectar, lemon juice, vanilla pod seeds and salt and blend until smooth for approximately 5-7 minutes.
10. To assemble the cake, remove the parchment paper from each cake. Using either a cake plate or stand, place the one layer of cake on the base, then divide the cashew butter cream into three sections and layer the cashew butter cream between the layers and on top of the cake, leaving the sides exposed.
11. Top the cake with the toasted desiccated coconut and pumpkin seeds.

Pumpkin Beetroot Soup

pumpkin-4zVIEW GALLERY

The Pumpkin Beet Soup is jam-packed with goodness that will keep you full throughout the day, and better still, it's very healthy!

Ingredients:
2 small beetroots
1 cup pumpkin puree
3 ½ small new potatoes
2 tsp. olive oil
¼ cup onions (chopped)
½ tsp. cinnamon
¼ tsp. nutmeg
¼ tsp. sea salt
½ cup light coconut milk
1 ½ cups water or vegetable stock
2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds
¼ tsp. pepper (black and white)

Method:
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Wash and roughly chop beets and potatoes.
2. Place on baking tray with chopped onion and drizzle lightly with oil and salt. Toss and bake for 35 minutes or until tender.
3. Allow to cool and then extract in your NutriBullet Rx Soup Pitcher on the 7-Minute Heated Cycle.

Pumpkin Spice Blast (smoothie)

This delicious recipe makes an amazing but healthy Halloween dessert and is packed with all the great flavours of autumn. Forget the pumpkin spice latte or preservative-packed frozen yogurt. Make this instead; it's fast, simple and made from natural, whole foods.

Ingredients:
½ cup pumpkin puree
1 banana
2 chunks carrots
1 splash vanilla
¼ tsp. cinnamon
¼ tsp. allspice
½ tsp. honey
1 cup almond milk

Method:
1. Add all ingredients to your short cup blender and extract for 20 seconds, or until smooth.
2. Simply enjoy!

Sleeping Beauty

pumpkin-6zVIEW GALLERY

According to the National Sleep foundation, everyone should have between 7 and 9 hours of sleep. And since pumpkin seeds contain really high levels of tryptophan – which not only helps you sleep but aides with relaxation – the brain can assist in converting tryptophan into serotonin. The superfood, which has been likened to the new "warm glass of milk" when it comes to sleep remedies, will definitely provide the body with enough magnesium.

What you need:
¼ cup of pumpkin seeds
2 tablespoons chia seeds
¾ cup of unsweetened Greek yogurt

Method:
1. Add all ingredients into a food blender and mix until smooth
2. Best enjoyed before bedtime

Shona Wilkinson, Nutritionist for wellbeing website SuperfoodUK, says: "Magnesium is known as 'nature's tranquiliser' and helps relax our muscles. Make an effort to include plenty of magnesium-rich foods in your diet such as buckwheat, pumpkin and sunflower seeds, fish and seafood, leafy green vegetables such as spinach and kale and dried fruits such as dried apricots or figs."

More on: