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It’s Halloween, a time for celebrations, tricks and treats! You can try cooking up several tasty treats made of pumpkin that could delight your kids. As you know, pumpkin has several health benefits. Preparing it in an interesting way may just end up attracting your kids.
Heath Shots reached out to nutritionist Avni Kaul, for some tasty and healthy pumpkin recipes for kids.
How are pumpkins linked to Halloween?
Pumpkins are an intrinsic part of Halloween celebrations – not just as carved jack-o’-lanterns to scare off evil spirit, but to make food goodies too.
Health benefits of pumpkin
Kids may end up making a face upon hearing pumpkin, but it can be a great addition to their diet. Here’s why:
1. Pumpkin is rich in vitamins and minerals
Pumpkin is packed with vitamins and minerals and has a low-calorie count since it has 94 percent water. Besides, it’s also very rich in beta-carotene, a carotenoid that turns into vitamin A in your body. Further, pumpkin seeds are highly nutritious, and edible and are known to boost several health benefits.
2. Rich in antioxidants
This quality of pumpkin helps to reduce the risk of chronic disease in people. Our body produces free radicals in our metabolic process. Even though they are unstable, they serve some useful purposes, such as curbing the growth of harmful bacteria. However, excess free radicals in your body create oxidative stress that can cause chronic illnesses like heart disease or cancer
Pumpkin is rich in antioxidants. It can neutralize free radicals and stops them from damaging your cells. Rich in nutrients and low in calories that promote weight loss
3. Pumpkin is low on calories
It has a high density of nutrients. It means that it is extremely low in calories despite being packed with nutrients. That makes pumpkin a weight-loss-friendly food that can be swapped with other carb sources like rice and potatoes. Alongside this, it is a good source of fiber that can help lower your appetite.
4. Promotes healthy skin
Pumpkin is packed with nutrients that are great for your skin. It is rich in carotenoids that are transported to various organs of your body including the skin. It guards the skin against harmful effect of UV rays. Pumpkin is also rich in vitamin C, which is very important for healthy skin. Our body uses this vitamin to make collagen, a protein that is responsible for keeping your skin strong and healthy.
Healthy pumpkin recipes for Halloween and beyond
1. Pumpkin hummus
* 2 cups of beans or chickpeas, rinsed and drained
* 1 pumpkin of 425 g
* 1/2 cup of olive oil
* 1/3 cup of tahini (til)
* 5 tbsp lemon juice
* 2 tsp hot pepper sauce
* 2 garlic cloves, minced
* 1 tsp salt
* Baked pita chips
* Fresh vegetables
Preparation: Keep the first set of ingredients in a food processor, cover and process till they are blended. Then serve along with baked pita chips and vegetables.
2. Pumpkin caramel cupcakes
* 1 packaged yellow cake
* 425 gm of pumpkin
* 2/3rd cup of water
* 1/4th cup of maple syrup
* 3 large eggs at room temperature
* 4 tsp of sugar
* 4 tsp of ground cinnamon
* A dash of salt
* 453 gm of caramel apple dip
* Chocolate frosting and decorating icing.
- Preheat oven to 350 degree celsius. Line 24 muffin cups with paper liners. Mix the first 8 ingredients. Beat it using low speed for around 30 seconds; then beat using the medium for 2 minutes.
- Fill prepared cups 3/4th full. Bake till a toothpick inserted in the center comes out well, 20-22 minutes. Cool in pans for 10 minutes before removing to wire racks to cool fully.
- Frost cupcakes using caramel apple dip. Decorate with frosting and decorating icing. Refrigerate the leftovers.
3. Pumpkin ice cream
* 1 pumpkin
* 1/4th tsp pumpkin pie size
* 950 gm vanilla ice cream, softened.
Preparation: Using a large bowl, combine the pumpkin and pie spice till it is properly blended. Stir in ice cream. Freeze until serving.
4. Butterscotch pumpkin puffs
* 2 packages of instant butterscotch pudding mix
* 340 g of evaporated milk (unsweetened condensed milk)
* 1/2 tsp of ground cinnamon
* 1/4th tsp of ground ginger
* 1 cup pumpkin
* Whipped cream
Also read: This healthy and lip-smacking pumpkin soup recipe is all about winter warmth
For cream puffs:
* 1.5 cups of water
* 3/4th cup butter
* 1/2 tsp of salt
* 1.5 cups of flour
* 6 eggs
* 1/3 cup of jaggery powder instead of sugar
* 1/3 semi-sweet chocolate chips melted.
- Using a bowl, mix pudding mix, milk and spices; beat using medium speed for 30 seconds. Mix in pumpkin and whipped topping if desired. Refrigerate for close to 1 hour or overnight.
- Using a medium saucepan, mix water, butter and salt; bring to a boil. Decrease the heat to low; add flour all at a go and stir until a smooth ball appears. Remove from the heat; add eggs, 1 each at a time, beating well post each addition with an electric mixer. Continue to beat it until the mixture is smooth and shiny. Drop by 2 tablespoonfuls apart onto greased baking sheets.
- Bake using 400° for 10 minutes. Decrease the heat to 350 degree celsius; bake for around 25 minutes longer or until turns golden brown. Remove from the oven; turn it off.
- Cut a slit halfway through every puff and return to the oven for 30 minutes having the oven door open. Cool on a wire rack. Just before serving, spoon about 1 tablespoon of filling into all the puff. Dust with jaggery powder and drizzle with melted chocolate.