• Louise Appel

5 health benefits of eating pumpkin and my recipe for pumpkin soup.


Halloween is drawing near so I thought I'd take the opportunity to fill you in on some of the health benefits of adding pumpkin to your diet.

1. Pumpkin is high in dietary fibre which helps keep you fuller as well as being low in calories; a perfect combination to help us shed those extra pounds.

2. Pumpkins are full of Vitamin A which is great for our eyesight. As well as supporting vision, Vitamin A helps the immune system and promotes healthy looking skin too!

3. Pumpkin is one of the best-known sources of potassium, which makes it a perfect addition to your post-workout snack or meal, aiding rehydration after exercise.

4. A pumpkin’s seeds are full of fibre, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. High in good fats and protein these are a great addition to a healthy diet.

5. Pumpkins are high in beta-carotene and other antioxidants which may help reduce the risk of developing certain types of cancer particularly prostate cancer. It can also offer protection again the risk of heart disease.

Pumpkin Soup Recipe

One of my favourite foods to make when the weather gets colder is soup. There are so many seasonal varieties to choose from and you can be as creative as you like with ingredients and seasoning to add interesting flavours giving your soup it's own distinctive taste.

This week I tried my hand at creamy pumpkin soup and I wasn't disappointed. When I make soup I try not to follow a strict recipe and instead shop around for different ideas and suggestions.

Here's how I made mine:

Ingredients

1 pumpkin (approx 1kg)

1 onion

3 cloves garlic

75ml double or single cream or creme fraiche (depends how indulgent you want to be)

20g grated parmesan

Couple of sprigs of rosemary

Salt and pepper

A pinch of freshly ground nutmeg

500ml chicken stock

Method

1. Slice the pumpkin in half and scoop out the seeds (these can be roasted separately) and remove the stringy fibres.

2. Chop the pumpkin into wedges with the skin still on. Place in a roasting dish with the cloves of garlic and rosemary sprigs. Season and lightly oil. Bake in a pre-heated

oven at 200C/gas 7 for 45 mins.

3. Remove the roasted pumpkin from the oven and peel the skin off .

4. Blend the pumpkin wedges and the garlic to make a puree.

5. Chop the onion and fry in a saucepan at a low-moderate heat until soft, scoop the flesh from roasted garlic and stir in along with the nutmeg.

6. Stir in the puree and parmesan then pour in the stock. Bring to the boil then simmer for 10 minutes. Add the cream and cook for one minute.

7. Use an electric blender to blend until smooth. Re-heat the soup and toast some pumpkin seeds under a low heat for about half a minute. Transfer soup to a warmed bowl and sprinkle the toasted seeds on top.

Louise Appel, Personal Trainer

LLouise Appel Personal Trainer, St John's Wood & Personal Trainer Maida Vale offers customised, individual Personal Training and Pilates at Lords Cricket Ground, St John's Wood. Personal Trainer Harpenden & Personal Trainer St Albans is located at EsTR Fitness.

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