Halloween is a time for our kids to let loose, have some fun and gorge on a bucket full of sweets and chocolate. We don’t want to burst anyone’s sweet, delicious bubble – imagine your little one’s reaction? That really would be horrifying. However, we do understand that watching how much sugar we eat is important and Halloween in particular can be a spooky time of year for parents.
The real horror of Halloween
The real horror is, this yearly event lasts for almost a month! Schools, clubs and societies plan social events and dress-ups with sweets galore! It’s hard to escape the sugary madness. We all know a parent that’s found half-eaten, lonely leftover treats tucked away in the back of wardrobes and underneath beds a year later!
It’s ok to satisfy our sweet tooth and treat ourselves now and again. But there are also many ways to enjoy the festivities with some healthier options – it just takes a little bit of creativity.
Pumpkins can be used for so much more than just decoration! Pumpkin is a type of winter squash native to North America. It is scientifically a fruit because it contains seeds, however, it is nutritionally more similar to vegetables. Beyond it’s delicious taste, pumpkin is highly nutritious and low in calories. It is particularly high in vitamin C which is important for vision, the immune system and reproduction. Pumpkins contain antioxidants which help combat many diseases. It is a food that isn’t given enough credit for it’s tastiness, versatility and health benefits.
Healthy Halloween recipe
Lockdown number 2 means more time for some fun recipe creation. We at Blendi, would love to share some of our favourites with you:
- Did someone say muffins? Yum! Children are always attracted towards the amazing texture of muffins. The only difference in this one is that they are healthy for kids. The Pumpkin Muffin is an easy recipe and a great one to get the kids to help with mixing and filling the muffin cases.
- Catriona Redmond has shared a savoury pumpkin pie recipe on her food blog which we love.
- This is the perfect heart-warming winter pumpkin soup to try out. It’s quick and easy to make too – only 20 minutes and is great to have for those dark winter evenings.
- Here is one recipe we tried out ourselves with the addition of Blendi on top. The Happy Pear created this gorgeous pumpkin salad with green lentils and goats cheese. The flavours in this salad complement each other beautifully. We decided to sprinkle some Blendi on top for that added crunch. The pumpkin for this salad can be roasted in the oven or even barbecued.
Lentils, goats cheese and roasted pumpkin salad with Blendi on top
|1/2 TSP||Freshly ground black pepper|
|250g||Green/brown/speckled blue dried lentils|
|1 Litre||Vegetable stock|
|Leaves from a few sprigs of fresh thyme|
|3 TBSP||Tamari/Soy sauce|
|200g||Crumbly goat’s cheese/feta cheese|
- Preheat the oven to 180°C/350ºF/gas mark 4.
- Cut the pumpkin in half and remove the seeds. Leaving its skin on, chop the pumpkin into wedges and put on to a baking tray. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of oil and 1 teaspoon of salt and mix, coating the pumpkin wedges evenly. Bake in the preheated oven for 30–40 minutes, until they start to brown and become tender and caramelized.
- Peel and finely slice your onion and garlic. Deseed the red pepper and chop into bite-size pieces. Slice the courgette into rounds and chop the mushrooms into quarters.
- Pour 2 tablespoons of oil into a medium-sized pot and put on a high heat. Add the onions and garlic and cook for 5 minutes, stirring regularly. Add the courgettes, red pepper, mushrooms, 2 teaspoons of salt and black pepper, and cook for another 5 minutes, stirring regularly.
- Add the lentils, stock, thyme leaves, bay leaf, paprika and tamari and give it all a good mix. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook until all the liquid has been absorbed. The lentils should be soft and tender and still moist, not dried out – if they are, add a little more liquid and cook until they are ready.
- Put half the rocket leaves into a large salad bowl, spreading them right around the edges of the bowl. Pour the hot lentil mix into the centre of the bowl.
- Top with the baked pumpkin wedges and the rest of the rocket leaves and sprinkle over the goat’s/feta cheese. Give a little mix before serving.
- Lovely eaten warm or cold.