Pumpkin: not only for decoration.

Pumpkin: not only for decoration.

Did your teacher ever teach you this Halloween poem when you were a little kid?:

Happy little pumpkin,

Growing big and thick,

Wondering which ones,

Will they choose to pick.

Happy little pumpkins

Wondering what they will be,

Pie or bread or cookies,

Or a Jack-O-Lantern so scary?

pumpkin

If not, you can teach it to your kids after reading the health benefits of pumpkin and of course you can recite the poem it together when eating the following dish. But first, a few goodies that you probably didn’t know about pumpkin:

Pumpkins Protect The Skin. The free-radical-neutralizing powers of the carotenoids in pumpkin help to keep your skin wrinkle-free

Pumpkins Seeds Can Boost Your Mood. Pumpkin seeds are rich in the amino acid tryptophan, the famed ingredient in turkey that many think brings on the need for that post-Thanksgiving feast snooze.

Pumpkins Can Help After A Hard Workout. A cup of cooked pumpkin has more of the refueling nutrient potassium in it.

Pumpkins Can Boost Your Immune System. One cup of cooked pumpkin contains nearly 20 percent of the 60 milligrams of Vitamin B complex, recommended amount which women need daily.

Has your child  asked you for pumpkin pie? Well, don’t wait for Halloween to cook it. This is all you need is:

  • 750 g pumpkin or butternut squash, peeled, deseeded and cut into chunks
  • 350 g sweet shortcrust pastry
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 140g caster sugar
  • 175ml milk
  • ½ tsp fresh nutmeg, grated
  • 25g butter, melted
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • plain flour, for dusting
  • ½ tsp salt

How to cook it:

-Place the pumpkin in a large saucepan, cover with water and bring to the boil. Cover with a lid and simmer for 15 mins or until tender. Drain pumpkin; let cool.

-Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface and use it to line a 22cm loose-bottomed tart tin. Chill for 15 mins. Line the pastry with baking parchment and baking beans, then bake for 15 mins. Remove the beans and paper, and cook for a further 10 mins until the base is pale golden and biscuity. Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly.

-Increase oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 7. Push the cooled pumpkin through a sieve into a large bowl. In a separate bowl, combine the sugar, salt, nutmeg and half the cinnamon. Mix in the beaten eggs, melted butter and milk, then add to the pumpkin purée and stir to combine. Pour into the tart shell and cook for 10 mins, then reduce the temperature to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Continue to bake for 35-40 mins until the filling has just set.

-Leave to cool, then remove the pie from the tin. Mix the remaining cinnamon with the icing sugar and dust over the pie. Serve chilled.

pmpkin pie kids

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