The perfect roast pumpkin

So after many months of wondering what to do as a blog post I thought it would be easiest to start with something that I make almost every week that goes with pretty much everything I eat. I like to roast up a big batch of pumpkin at the start of the week and then add it to salads throughout the week. It can also be blended with some veggie stock to make a quick and easy pumpkin soup or with cashews to make a moreish chunky dip.

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I like to use Butternut squash because it’s cheap and available almost all year round but you can use any pumpkin (or even sweet potato) you like. Just try to choose the most orange pumpkin you can find so you have a sweet pumpkin with good levels of beta carotene. Beta carotene is a carotenoid (type of antioxidant) found in yellow and orange fruits and vegetables and is converted into vitamin A in the body. It is an important antioxidant that can help neutralise free radicals in the body and support good health. With a Butternut pumpkin there’s no need to peel the skin when you roast it which means there’s extra fibre and the skin allows the pieces to hold their shape better and stops it turning to mush.

I love to add fresh herbs and dried spices to any roast veg mix as I have a huge rosemary bush and lots of fresh thyme at my house. If you don’t have these fresh herbs you can just leave them out of the recipe because buying a packet of herbs for a single sprig in a recipe is annoying. It’s cheaper to get a plant. In fact, if you don’t have a rosemary or thyme plant and you plan on making this recipe, don’t go to the shops and get the herbs, go and buy a plant. You’ll thank me in the long run.

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I like to double the recipe as these roasted morsels are incredibly tasty and even though I make them specifically to add to my salads during the week, I often find myself snacking on them straight from the oven so the more the merrier.

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Ingredients:

– 1/2 Butternut squash or any pumpkin you like that weighs about 500g

– 1 tbsp olive oil

– 1 clove of garlic, crushed or chopped finely

– 1 tsp cumin powder

– 1 tsp coriander powder

– 1 tsp smoked paprika

– 1 tsp dried chilli flakes (you can add more or less of this as you like)

– 1 tsp salt

– 1/2 tsp black pepper

– 1 sprig of fresh rosemary, finely chopped

– 5 sprigs of fresh thyme, finely chopped

Method:

1. Preheat oven to 200C degrees.

2. Cut pumpkin into small even sized pieces and place on a baking sheet. Try to keep them the same size so they cook evenly and you don’t end up with burnt ones and raw ones.

3. Coat pumpkin pieces in olive oil and then sprinkle over garlic, herbs, spices, salt and pepper.

4. Bake for 40 minutes until golden and crispy. Turn pumpkin pieces after 30 minutes to ensure they brown evenly.

Enjoy x

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