Nutritionist reveals the most popular pumpkin recipe ideas to try for a Halloween health kick
Pumpkins are a great low-cost, low-calorie option packed with vitamins and minerals to boost your health
While they make a great Halloween decoration, pumpkins are so much more than just a spooky ornament, as they also come packed with a huge number of health benefits.
In the last 90 days, there’s been a surge of internet searches for ‘pumpkin recipes’ with the term increasing by 192% on Google Trends, suggesting people are starting to experiment with this seasonal superfood.
To help you find out more about the pumpkin powerhouse, sports nutrition experts Bulk.com have revealed why you should add it to your diet this October and what recipes are trending in 2022.
Bulk.com Sports Nutritionist, Abigail Roberts, said: “Pumpkin is incredibly nutritious, so it’s no surprise to see so many people searching for innovative recipe ideas this year.
“Pumpkin is rich in beta carotene and vitamin C, which can both help to boost immunity and fight infections during the colder months. Not only that, but it is a great low-calorie option, with just 26 calories per 100 grams.
“Cooking your own pumpkin recipes from scratch can help ensure you’re getting the most out of this seasonal superfood, too, as many ready-made options only contain pumpkin spice, which doesn’t add any nutritional value to your diet.”
The most popular pumpkin recipes
Pumpkin hummus – Google searches for ‘pumpkin hummus recipe’ have exploded in the last 12 months, increasing by 453% globally. Thanks to chickpeas, hummus is already packed with protein and fibre, so adding pumpkin to this easy dip is a juicy bonus.
To make pumpkin hummus, cut a small pumpkin into chunks (removing the flesh and seeds) and roast in the oven for 45 minutes before cooling and adding to the food processor with your usual ingredients – chickpeas, tahini, garlic, olive oil, and lemon juice.
Pumpkin spice latte recipe – It’s the season of the pumpkin spice latte, so it’s no surprise to see global searches soar by 285% in the last three months. However, if you are trying to boost your health, coffee shop variations often contain lots of hidden sugar, with a small pumpkin spice latte at Starbucks containing a staggering 37 grams.
Making your own homemade version is definitely a better option, as you have more control over the ingredients. Our expert recommends ditching the syrup and using sweetener or honey instead. Using unsweetened almond milk will also help to cut calories, whilst making your own pumpkin puree will ensure you get all the health benefits.
Pumpkin pie – A traditional autumn treat, pumpkin pie is always popular during this time of year, and Google Trends shows 2022 is no exception with searches increasing by 250% in the last 90 days.
When it comes to American pies, pumpkin pie reigns supreme. In terms of fat and calories, one slice (1/8 of a 9-inch pie) contains about 260 calories and 10 grams of fat. It will also deliver around 250% of your daily vitamin A intake, which is important for maintaining eye, bone, and skin health.
Pumpkin curry – For those who thought pumpkin was limited, think again as searches for ‘pumpkin curry recipe’ have also increased by a whopping 192% in the last 90 days.
But why should you add pumpkin to your curry? If you’re following a plant-based diet or trying to cut back on meat, pumpkin is a great healthy alternative. The sweetness of the pumpkin also helps to balance the spicy flavours, if you’re not a fan of super-hot foods.
Flavoured with onions, garlic, coconut milk, pumpkin, red curry paste and Thai chilli pepper, this popular TikTok recipe is sure to warm you up on those cold nights.
Stuffed Pumpkin recipe – Stuffed peppers have always been popular, but it seems a growing number of foodies are experimenting with stuffed pumpkin recipes as data shows searches have increased by 548% in the last 90 days.
For a well-balanced dinner, packed with nutritional value, stuff a small roasted pumpkin with wild brown rice, seasonal veggies, and delicious herbs and spices. You can also add lean chicken or mince for a meatier option.
Pumpkin cake recipe – Another sweet treat, searches for pumpkin cake recipe ideas have also soared by 250% in the last 90 days, as pumpkin makes a tasty and healthy addition, giving your dessert a dose of vitamins.
Low fat cream cheese is a great alternative to sugary icing often found on sponge cakes, and it seems health-conscious bakers are already whipping up a storm as Google searches for ‘Pumpkin cheesecake recipe’ have also increased by 204%.
What are the key benefits of eating pumpkin?
Help to fight infection – As the winter weather draws closer, boosting your immunity is key to fighting off nasty colds and flu. Pumpkin is high in beta carotene (vitamin A) and vitamin C which both play key roles.
Eye Health – Another benefit of beta carotene is that it is reported to contributed to eye health. It helps the retina absorb light, which keeps your vision sharp.
Glowing skin – If you thought you needed expensive face serums to achieve healthy skin, you may be surprised to hear pumpkin can also help, as the antioxidants (vitamin C and E) found in pumpkin are often used in skincare products.
Beta carotene can also protect the skin from harmful UV rays and may also help improve the appearance and texture of your skin.
Strong bones – Pumpkins are a wonderful source of magnesium which can help strengthen the formation of teeth and bones.
Magnesium is also great for heart health as it helps to stabilise the rhythm of your heart and can prevent abnormal blood clotting.