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Pumpkin things we love

26 October 2018 10:28

Posted in: Ingredient Focus


Many people perceive pumpkins, as little more than a spooky Halloween decoration to carve once a year. However, we want you to rethink this plump, nutritious plant and how, not only can they be carved at Halloween, but also help you detox your way through Halloween, whilst they are so abundantly available.

Pumpkins can often be overshadowed by Squashes, when we cook, due to the fact they are part of the same family. However, pumpkins really do have a huge range of health benefits, that perhaps are sometimes overlooked, including being one of the best sources of Beta-Carotene.
Beta-Carotene is a carotenoid, carotenoids are a naturally occurring pigment, found in plants and are largely responsible for the vivid colour in some fruits and vegetables. The Human body uses Beta-Carotene in a few different ways, it can act as an Anti-Oxidant, protecting cells from the damaging effects of harmful Free-Radicals. It is also converted by the body into Vitamin A, a precursor of Vitamin A it can sometimes be referred to as “Pro-Vitamin A”. We need Vitamin A, for healthy skin, our immune system and good eye health, all in all, we should definitely be feasting on this delicious vegetable this October.

To make things easier for you, we have been treated to a sneak peak of Wahacas famous Dia de lo Muertos (Day Of The Dead) festival menu created by chef and Wahaca’s Co-Founder Tommi Miers, who has given us her “Crown Prince Day Of The Dead” recipe, which is not only absolutely Devine, but also scarily healthy, with Roasted pumpkin, kale, and cashew mole, what’s not to love?

If you want to indulge in more of Tommi’s delicious dishes make sure you get tickets to one of her supper clubs in London or Manchester (Tickets here), you can expect to be treated to passion fruit cured Trout, traditional slow cooked game with picadillo, Marigold Margaritas, or ice-cold Coronas. Be quick or you’ll miss out!

Mole is a Mexican word for sauce and describes an umbrella of delectable sauces that they cook in this incredible country (think guaca-mole meaning avocado sauce). This is a vibrant, modern and extremely healthy one that takes very little time to throw together and is dairy free. I love it with pumpkin, but the sauce is also delicious with lamb chops, or a pork tenderloin if you are feeding meat lovers.

Serves 4
For the pumpkin

• 1 large Delica pumpkin (or other delicious variety of squash like Crown Prince or butternut), about 1.2kg
• 3-4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
• A small handful of chopped fresh thyme
• 1 tsp fennel SEEDS
• ½ tsp dried chilli flakes, optional

 For the kale and cashew nut mole
• 140g cashew nuts, soaked overnight then drained
• 300ml water, or as needed
• 50g baby kale
• 1 garlic clove, peeled
• A large handful each of coriander and parsley
• A small bunch of tarragon
• The juice of 2 limes
• 75ml extra virgin olive oil, or as needed
• 3 spring onions, roughly chopped
• 1 tbsp cider vinegar

To serve
• 2 tbsp toasted hazelnuts
• 2 tbsp pomegranate seeds
• 1 bag baby kale leaves (I use purple if I can get them)
• Aged pecorino to shave (optional)

  1. Preheat the oven to 200C/Gas 6.
  2. Halve the pumpkin and discard the seeds, then slice the flesh into wedges (you can peel them if you like). In a pestle and mortar or with a chopping knife, lightly crush the thyme, fennel seeds and dried chilli with salt and pepper and scatter over the pumpkin with the olive oil. Roast for 35-40 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, make the mole. Blitz the soaked cashew nuts in a blender, then add the rest of the mole ingredients and blend to a smooth puree. You want it to be the consistency of double cream, so thin it down with more water or olive oil if needed.
  4. Transfer to a pan and warm the mole gently, then pour a little onto each plate and serve with the roast pumpkin wedges on top, scattered with the hazelnuts, pomegranate seeds and baby kale. Shave with pecorino, if using.

You can also see more at: #wahacadotd, @wahaca, @thomasinamiers


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Last Updated: 31 October 2018 12:06

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