Pumpkin season

During the month of October we are all busy prepping for the Halloween celebrations from planning any parties we are attending and what costume we might wear and what decorations to put up in our homes. Pumpkins have been a firm favourite in our homes and our interior style, where more than one pumpkin usually adorns the windowsill or doorstop.

With this in mind we need to think about how to make the most of the all this delicious pumpkin we have. I thought I would share my favourite ways to make use of pumpkins once Halloween comes to an end…

Pumpkin soup

Try this simple recipe here

Try replacing the croutons with roasted pumpkin seeds. Follow the instructions below on how to do this.

Pumpkin risotto

Simply roast your peeled pumpkin cubes and add to your cooked risotto.

To roast your pumpkin cut into 1.5cm cubes and place it on a baking tray, drizzle over some oil, then roast for 30 mins.

Pumpkin loaf

A nice seasonal alternative to banana bread. Try this pumpkin and ginger tea loaf here

Pumpkin seed salad

Add your pumpkin seeds to a lightly greased baking tray with olive oil. Bake until the seeds are toasted and crunchy, about 12 to 15 minutes. Add to a salad of your choice for extra crunch

Nutritional facts

Pumpkins have a great nutritional value providing fibre, Vitamin C and Vitamin E as well as the mineral potassium. An 80g portion of pumpkin also counts towards one of your 5 A Day.

Don’t forget that the seeds of a pumpkin are also a valuable source of nutrients. These little seeds are a great source of protein and unsaturated fats, including omega-3 and omega-6. They also contain a good range of nutrients including iron, zinc, selenium, calcium, B vitamins and beta-carotene.

What are your favourite pumpkin recipes?

The sunshine vitamin…Vitamin D

As the summer months have come to an end and we enter the autumn months, our minds might turn to the change in daylight hours but have you considered what these changes might also mean in terms of our levels of Vitamin D?

What is Vitamin D?

Vitamin D is an important vitamin for the health of our bones and teeth. Vitamin D also helps regulate the amount of calcium and phopshate in our body.

What happens if we do not get enough Vitamin D?

If our bodies don’t get enough Vitamin D we are at risk of developing Osteomalacia. This condition results in weakening of our bones causing bone pain and muscle weakness.

What foods contain Vitamin D?

There are a few foods that contain a small amount of Vitamin D, such as:

  • egg yolks
  • oily fish
  • liver
  • fortified foods (most fat spreads, yogurts and some breakfast cereals)

However, our body creates vitamin D from direct sunlight on the skin when outdoors, therefore, during the summer months we should be able to get all our vitamin D from the sunshine and a balanced diet.

Do we need a Vitamin D supplement?

The NHS advice is that it is difficult for people to get enough vitamin D from food alone during the autumn and winter months, therefore everyone (including pregnant and breastfeeding women) should consider taking a daily supplement containing 10 micrograms of vitamin D.

Welcome to our new website!

My passion for diet and nutrition is driven by anything food related, whether that is trying out new recipes and restaurants or visiting supermarkets/food markets in other countries to learn more about different food cultures.

As I start out on my freelance career in diet and nutrition consultancy I will share my adventure with regular blog posts and updates on relevant topics in the field of diet and nutrition.

Watch this space for further information about a collaboration with a chef and speech and language therapist on the new IDDSI framework