Until recently, I never really regarded pumpkin as food. Perhaps this was because I distinctly remember hating the smell of raw pumpkin as a child; I would always ask Mum to remove the “brains” when carving a pumpkin for Halloween. Only after reading The Bulletproof Diet did I realise just how healthy pumpkins are! Dave Asprey titles it as “…easily the most Bulletproof source of carbs…”1.
Benefits of eating pumpkin
- Incredibly high in vitamins such as potassium, carotenoids and antioxidants2.
- Close to no anti-nutrients3.
- Low in fructose (sugar)4.
- It has insulin-regulating properties5.
- Contains a fair amount of vitamin C, vitamin K, zinc, magnesium, manganese…I could go on6.
- High in fibre to help nourish your gut7.
- Contains a large amount of folate which makes it an ideal choice for pregnant women as folate can help protect against neural tube defects8.
- The seeds contain healthy fats, protein and fibre, making them beneficial for heart health9.
Ways to eat pumpkin
- Soup – very simple and tasty. Steam flesh and then blend with a tablespoon of fat (ghee / coconut oil) and flavourings: I find that spices such as ginger and cumin work well.
- Pumpkin skin crisps – pumpkin skin doesn’t blend very well into soup or mash but don’t discard it! Dehydrating thin slices of skin with seasoning creates a healthy alternative to crisps. I roasted the pumpkin crisps you see in the photo which isn’t as beneficial as dehydrating due to the probable loss of nutrients but is far superior to discarding the skin all together!
- Roasted seeds. These are a great alternative to popcorn on film night.
- Pumpkin purée – I use this in my Paleo Pumpkin & Orange Loaf.
- Roasted pumpkin cubes – a lower carb alternative to roast potatoes, usually taking about 30-40 minutes to cook in the oven.
- Always eat with some fat to absorb maximum nutrients.
Top tip: Buy organic as squashes absorb toxins and heavy metals from soil10.
The Bulletproof Diet, Dave Asprey, 2014.
Neal’s Yard Remedies Healing Foods, 2013.