North East Post
A Voice of the Free Press
4:05 AM 30th October 2021

Heart Research UK Healthy Tip - Pumpkin Potential This Halloween

Heart Research UK Healthy Heart Tip, written by the Health Promotion and Education Team at Heart Research UK

Halloween happens every year on 31st October and is a day filled with various traditions around the theme of scary stuff! One key ingredient of a great Halloween celebration is a carved pumpkin. Yet in-fact, pumpkins not only look great in your window, but are a versatile veg, full of fibre and vitamins.

Here are some ways you can use your left-over pumpkin this Halloween:

Make a soup

Find the Pumpkin Soup recipe at the bottom of the page. This recipe contains plenty of heart-healthy fats, is low in salt to improve blood pressure and contains two of your 5-a-day!

Roast it

Roasting is a quick, healthy, and easy way to cook pumpkin. Simply peel, deseed, and slice into 1cm slices, then add a little olive or rapeseed oil and place in a heated oven at 200oC for approximately 40 minutes.

Swap it out

A great way to use up left-over pumpkin from Halloween is to make some swaps. You can use roasted pumpkin as a great side-dish or substitute it for potato, pasta or rice for a more vegetable-filled plate with a flavour twist

Use the seeds

Pumpkin seeds are a great source of protein and fibre and are low in saturated fat. To cook, run water over the seeds to remove any excess pulp, boil for 5-10 minutes, drain and spread over a baking tray, adding a little oil, then roast at 180oC for 8-10 minutes.

Hearty Pumpkin Soup


Light spray + 1 tsp of rapeseed oil
2 white onions, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
Finely chopped parsley
100g chopped tomatoes
800g chopped pumpkin
100g split red lentils
½ tbsp dried thyme
1 litre hot vegetable stock (go heart healthy with a low salt variety)
50g half fat or reduced fat crème fraiche
4 slices of wholemeal bread (toasted)
Optional black pepper for seasoning


1: Heat the oil in a large casserole dish and fry the onions over a medium heat until translucent and turning golden brown. Add the garlic (keep the pumpkins to one side), lentils and dried thyme. Fry together for a minute.
2: Add the vegetable stock then season with pepper and then cover. Let this simmer for 20- 25 minutes until the vegetables are cooked.
3: Wash and dry the pumpkin seeds before heating up the teaspoon of oil. Add the seeds and fry them until they start to pop and jump. Cover and stir frequently. When the seeds look toasted, remove them from the heat.
4: Blend the cooked lentils and pumpkin mixture with a hand blender until smooth. Add the crème fraiche and give it one last blend. Taste the soup and season with pepper if needed.
5: Toast the bread and slice into croutons.
6: Serve the soup in a jar or a mug with toasted seeds, parsley, and croutons on top.

Recipe by Simon Taylor

To help keep your heart healthy, why not try some other Healthy Heart recipes from the website:
Or have a look through the Healthy Heart cookbook filled with recipes from top chefs, celebrities and food bloggers: