satisfying and easy to make
Spiced Pumpkin Porridge
I absolutely love pumpkins! At this time of year in the UK there are many varieties to choose from. All bursting with health benefits.
Perhaps you think of pumpkin as a carby type of vegetable without much in the way of health benefits. The science says differently (references below):
Pumpkin has been shown to help steady the release of sugar in our digestive tract and to a lesser extent our overall glycemic (GI) response to meals. GI is a ranking of carbohydrates in foods, on a scale from 0 to 100, according to the degree to which they raise blood sugar (glucose) levels after eating.
Pumpkins have an average GI of 51, which is low on the scale, meaning they are more slowly digested, absorbed and metabolised and cause a slower rise in blood glucose and, therefore insulin levels. This is because pumpkins contain great fibre. Pumpkins contain both soluble and insoluble fibre, both amazing for our gut health! Yet again, I just can’t understate the importance of fibre!
That bright orange colour in pumpkin flesh is due to a high concentration of carotenoids. Among these are beta-carotene, alpha-carotene and others that can be converted into active forms of vitamin A. On average, 1 cup of cooked pumpkin flesh yields well over double the recommended daily intake of beta-carotene (precursor to vitamin A).
A 2017 study showed that the concentration of carotenoids in blood serum was significantly lower in patients with Alzheimers than in cognitively normal control subjects. Perhaps carotenoids may potentially have a protective effect against neurodegenerative diseases. Other research is looking at carotenoids in food and their preventative effects on colorectal and breast cancer. Like all vegetables, pumpkin is another wonder food!
Try eating thin slices of raw pumpkin dipped into humus or baked with it’s skin and seeds left on, tossed with some extra virgin olive oil and herbs. And let’s not forget about a delicious pumpkin soup…….
Spiced Pumpkin Porridge
Whats In It
1 cup cooked pumpkin flesh (I leave the skin on)
1 tbs millet seeds
1.5 mugs/350mls water
1/2 cup whole rolled oats
1 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground star anise
1 tbs extra virgin olive oil
- Add the pumpkin into a saucepan with water, oil, oats, millet and spices.
- Bring the mixture to the boil then turn down.
- Cook on a low heat, stirring often, until the porridge is cooked and creamy.
- Add more water if the mixture becomes too thick.
- When cooked, take off the heat.
- Pour into your bowl.
Top with some healthy optional extras ….. stir through some ground flax meal, a dollop of yoghurt, some honey and crunchy toasted pumpkin seeds.