Beyond Thanksgiving dessert and carving jack-o’-lanterns, this autumn gourd has a host of health benefits. Here are five ways pumpkins can improve your diet, sleep and skin, plus five easy and nutritious pumpkin recipes.
1. Healthy eyes
Pumpkin is a rich source of beta-carotene—it’s what gives it that rich, vibrant colour. Packed with potent antioxidants, it helps protect your vision from degeneration. Bonus: You’ll also see stronger nails and healthier hair.
2. Glowing skin
Pumpkins are rich in a host of skin-healthy vitamins: the properties from antioxidant-rich vitamin A (retinol) act as a shield for your skin, protecting you from the damaging affects of free radicals; vitamin C helps promote collagen production and renew the skin for a glowing face; and vitamin E improves skin tone.
3. Energy boost
The daily recommended iron intake for women is higher than for men, and as women age or become pregnant, the necessary dose increases. Pumpkins are full of iron, an immunity-boosting mineral that can help ward of illness and fatigue and keep your energy high.
4. Better diet
High in fibre (7 grams per one cup of canned pumpkin) and low in calories (26 calories for 100g), pumpkins can help you stay full longer and keep your digestion on track. The Heart & Stroke association recommends 21 to 38 grams of fibre a day, however most people don’t quite reach half that amount.
5. Improved sleep and mood
Don’t toss the seeds. Raw pepitas (hulled pumpkin seeds) are rich in tryptophan (yes, the same snooze-inducing amino acid that kicks in post-turkey dinner) and can help you get more Zs. This compound also supports serotonin, which not only helps you sleep better, but boosts your mood, too.
Whether you use the whole pumpkin, the pulp or the seeds, here are five must-try recipes, ranging from savoury to sweet.
Thai Pumpkin Coconut Soup
This silky soup is a mix of traditional sweet and sour Thai flavours and has only 159 calories per serving. It’s guaranteed to be your go-to winter warm-up soup.
Pumpkin Spice Muffins
A muffin is a great grab-and-go treat. Skip the maple cream cheese spread to keep the calorie count (250 calories) low.
Arugula and Pepita Pesto
Add this pesto to salad, soups or over meat. Keeps in the freezer for up to six months.
Almond Pepita Butter
This fragrant nut butter with a mix of almond and pepita is a super-satisfying topper.
Pumpkin Pie Granola
A mix of pepitas, pecans, flaxseeds, puffed rice cereal and a medley of aromatic spices, such as cinnamon, ginger and cloves gives this granola loads of flavour.
Carrot, Ginger and Quinoa Pepper Jacks Credits: spabettie
Who says you have to carve a pumpkin for Halloween? We squash that idea with these creative alternatives.
These little guys are the perfect hiding spot for Halloween treats.
Find instructions at Just Putzing Around the Kitchen.
Pineapples have been a hot trend in decor for awhile now so why not make them a part of your Halloween display too?!
Find out how at A Subtle Reverie.
Line your front steps with these fun-shaped alternatives to pumpkins.
Find out how from Martha Stewart.
Carve an avocado skull inspired by this creative DIY from Katherine Sabbath.
Serve these carrot, ginger and quinoa stuffed peppers at a Halloween feast.
See the recipe at spabettie.
Halloween is just around the corner and even if you're not planning on dressing up, you still can get in on the festivities. Here are 10 stylish Halloween-inspired manicures that will get you in the spirit of Halloween—no wig or face paint necessary.
Sometimes one single colour can do the justice. Keep it easy by applying dark burgundy that really sets the mood for Halloween.
Ombre-ing with a mix of two dark sultry colours will give your nails some sexy eerie vibes.
Keep it simple but a little spooky with clean black french tips.
Give your nails a cute twist by matching them to candy corn candies that are given out during Halloween.
Challenge yourself by recreating the simple black french tip to something a little more cute and spooky, like Black Cat tips to your nails.
Spider webs have been a Halloween theme for as long as we can remember, add a little spook to your nails with a web detailing.
If you don't want spooky or 'in-your-face' Halloween nails, keep it modern by adding glitter to your nails on top of a dark beige brown base colour.
Keep the Halloween spirit on your nails by applying simple Jack o' Lantern nail art at the tip of your nails.
If you are dressing up as an animal for Halloween you can make it look more convincing by adding animal prints to your nails to match your costume.
After all, Halloween is about anything bloody and gory. Keep your nails consistent with your costume by splattering red nail polish over your nails to create that bloody look.
Cardamom Rice Pudding With Ginger Mango Salad</br>Photography by Jeff Coulson Credits: Cardamom Rice Pudding With Ginger Mango Salad</br>Photography by Jeff Coulson