This Baked Spiced Pumpkin recipe is not only utterly delicious but also comes with a funny story. We had friends over for dinner in the summer and had received some pumpkin in our local farmer’s box. Because we were doing a BBQ, my husband added some olive oil and spices to the pumpkin and put it on the grill. It was delicious – but I did not think much more of it.
Enter about three weeks later: I was on a plane and landed to about 10 messages from my friend asking me about the recipe for the pumpkin because she was craving it badly. By the end of the exchange I, also, was craving it super badly because she was describing it in mouth-watering detail. But, I was also none the wiser about the recipe because I had not added the spices to the pumpkin in the first place 🤷♀️.
So, back to the kitchen I went with the – might I add very loose – memory of my husband as to which spices he had used. It took a bit of playing and a few trials, but this version is amazing!! The spices are warming, comforting and perfectly complement the pumpkin. It is the highlight of the dish, which is the reason why I kept the other ingredients flavorful, complementary, but simple, in order to give the pumpkin its great opportunity to shine 💫. I also think it tastes even better this time of the year 😉.
Why is this Baked Spiced Pumpkin good for you?
Pumpkin is not only delicious but also a powerhouse when it comes to its nutrient content. It contains Vitamin A, which vital and essential in protecting your eyesight and keeps your immunity in check. Next to Vitamin C, E, and B2 it also contains quite a bit Potassium. Potassium helps the body with muscle strength, regulating your metabolism, water balance, and your nervous system. Potassium has been proven in some studies to help with managing both anxiety and feelings of stress. Pumpkin also contains some powerful antioxidants, which protect your body against damage from free radicals and may also protect from certain types of cancer.
Walnuts are a great source of Omega-3 fatty acids. This fat is essential, meaning our bodies cannot produce it ourselves, and we have to get it from our diet. Omega-3 fatty acids can lower your blood triglycerides, which essentially lowers your risk for heart disease and stroke. These fatty acids may also protect against dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Walnuts also contain antioxidants that help reduce inflammation in our bodies and brains (is it a coincidence that the walnut looks like a tiny brain?!).
One of my favorite lettuces (next to kale) now that the fall and winter times have arrived! This salad is full of beta-carotene, which your body converts into Vitamin A within the body. It also contains Vitamin B9, which helps to form both DNA and RNA and plays a vital role in protein metabolism for your body. Vitamin B9 is also particularly important for pregnant women and their fetus development. Additionally, lambs lettuce contains Potassium, which, again, helps your body to manage and calm your nervous system.
Cayenne is a type of chili pepper. They are said to have been used in cooking as a medicinal property for ages. Cayenne contains healthy amounts of Vitamin A, E, C, B6, and K. The capsaicin in Cayenne’s may even increase your metabolism. Cayenne peppers have also been shown to reduce signs in hunger and could potentially aid your digestive health.
How to adjust this recipe to your dietary requirements?
This Baked Spiced Pumpkin could easily be made vegan and paleo by omitting the feta cheese. You may have to add a bit of salt to the dressing though, which you would have otherwise gotten from the cheese. You can also make this recipe nut-free by simply swapping the walnuts for pumpkin seeds.
And there you have it for this week 🤗 I sincerely hope you enjoy this Baked Spiced Pumpkin as a lovely starter for four or main for only two people who are feeling super hungry 😉. As always, if you do make this recipe I would love to hear from you! Please tag me with your creations under @life_and_lemons_foodblog and with the #lifeandlemonsfoodblog. You can also leave me a comment below👇🏻.