Pumpkin is a favorite food in the fall and year-round.
But be careful—don’t settle for the pumpkin-flavored, pumpkin-spiced, pumpkin-infused commercially available products to get your pumpkin fix. Instead, take advantage of the squash-fest and make homemade pumpkin recipes instead.
Why? You ask.
Well, turns out there’s good reason to reach for the real stuff. Fresh pumpkin is an incredibly nutritious food with many essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
Pumpkins are rich in carotenoids, the pigments which give them their bright orange color. This includes beta carotene—a precursor to vitamin A, and an important eye-protecting antioxidant.
One cup of mashed pumpkin contains 245% of your recommended daily intake (RDI) of vitamin A. It also contains:
- Vitamin C (19% of your RDI)
- Vitamin E (10% of your RDI)
- Thiamin (5% of your RDI)
- Riboflavin (11% of your RDI)
- Niacin (5% of your RDI)
- Vitamin B6 (5% of your RDI)
- Folate (6% of your RDI)
- Vitamin B5 (5% of your RDI)
And essential minerals:
- Calcium (4% of your RDI)
- Iron (8% of your RDI)
- Magnesium (6% of your RDI)
- Phosphorus (7% of your RDI)
- Potassium (16% of your RDI)
- Copper (11% of your RDI)
- Manganese (11% of your RDI)
All these important pumpkin nutrients help to maintain a healthy body. Pumpkin has been shown to provide many health benefits including: protecting and maintaining healthy eyesight; fighting cancer; protecting the skin from aging and light damage; providing electrolytes for rehydration; and boosting immune function.
Now that we understand the benefits of using real, fresh pumpkin over the pumpkin-flavored stuff, let’s get back to talk of those homemade pumpkin recipes. It’s not hard to whip up a delicious dish with such a sweet main ingredient. This family-friendly pumpkin recipe will delight adults and children alike—so prepare for requests for seconds!
Savory Pumpkin Soup
There is nothing more comforting than thick, savory pumpkin soup. A bowl of orange soup will warm your heart, soul, and—most importantly—your belly. Pumpkin soup is filling and satisfying enough to stand alone as a main course, but you can certainly serve it as an appetizer instead.
Preparation: 15 minutes
Cook time: 45 minutes
Ready in: One hour
- 4 cups cubed pumpkin
- 1 large sweet potato, peeled and cubed
- 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
- 2 medium-sized onions, roughly chopped
- 4-5 cloves garlic
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 4-5 cups vegetable broth or water
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F or 200 degrees C. Heat olive oil in a large pot over a low flame.
- Once the oil is hot, add the onion to the pot and lightly sprinkle with salt. While the onion is sautéing, finely chop 2 cloves of garlic.
- Take the remaining whole cloves and drizzle them with olive oil. Wrap them loosely in aluminum foil, or place them in a clay garlic roasting pot. Place them in the oven.
- Once the onion is translucent, add the chopped garlic to the pot and stir. Let sit for one minute. Then add the pumpkin, sweet potato, and carrot to the pot with some salt and pepper, stir, and cover. Let the vegetables sweat for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Once the vegetables are soft, add the broth or water to the pot and bring to a simmer. Remove the roasted garlic from the oven and add it to the pot. Let simmer for 10 minutes, then remove the pot from the stove.
- Using a hand blender, blend until smooth.
- Add salt or pepper if needed.
Serve and enjoy!