October has crept up on us and we can’t help thinking about Halloween, spooky films and pumpkins! With various Halloween events happening around our 4 centres, from a Roller Disco at the Andover Leisure Centre, a Halloween pool party at The Rapids and a Halloween party at Knightwood, we couldn’t help getting into the Halloween spirit.
After browsing the internet on ‘how to carve a pumpkin’ for tips and creative ideas, we found endless possibilities of things to make, from food to beauty products and even exercises!
If you decide to be creative this year, here are our top 3 things to do with pumpkins.
1. Pumpkin facial mask
Firstly, a DIY pumpkin facial mask. Pumpkins are rich in Vitamins A and C, they also provide various enzymes that help nourish and brighten the skin. Follow this recipe for soft, clean and bright skin!
-2 cups of pureed, cooked fresh pumpkin
-4 tablespoons of natural yoghurt
-4 tablespoons of honey
-1/3 cup of ground almonds
-1/4 cup of olive oil
2. Pumpkin Pie
Pumpkins are healthy, versatile and very tasty! With thousands of recipes available, we decided to stick with the all time classic American Pumpkin pie.
Pumpkin is one of the lowest calorie vegetables, It contains 0 saturated fats and is rich in dietary fiber, anti-oxidants, vitamins and minerals.
Preparation time: 40min
Cooking time: 1hour and 30mins
• 750g pumpkin peeled, deseeded and cut into chunks
• 350g shortcrust pastry
• Plain flour, for dusting
• 140g caster sugar
• ½ tsp salt
• ½ tsp fresh nutmeg
• 1 tsp cinnamon
• 2 eggs beaten
• 25g butter
• 175ml milk
• 1 tbsp icing sugar
1. Place the pumpkin in a large saucepan, cover with water and bring to the boil. Cover with a lid and simmer for 15 mins or until tender. Drain pumpkin; let cool.
2. Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface and use it to line a 22cm loose-bottomed tart tin. Chill for 15 mins. Line the pastry with baking parchment and baking beans, then bake for 15 mins. Remove the beans and paper, and cook for a further 10 mins until the base is pale golden and biscuity. Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly.
3. Increase oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 7. Push the cooled pumpkin through a sieve into a large bowl. In a separate bowl, combine the sugar, salt, nutmeg and half the cinnamon. Mix in the beaten eggs, melted butter and milk, then add to the pumpkin purée and stir to combine. Pour into the tart shell and cook for 10 mins, then reduce the temperature to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Continue to bake for 35-40 mins until the filling has just set.
4. Leave to cool then remove the pie from the tin. Mix the remaining cinnamon with the icing sugar and dust over the pie. Serve chilled.
5. EAT AND ENJOY!
3. Pumpkin Exercises
Before you start carving your pumpkin, why not try using your pumpkin as a medicine ball? You can practice these exercises in the gym or in the garden on a sunny afternoon. Here are 3 examples of exercises you can do:
1. Standing triceps extension
This exercise works your shoulders, abs and obliques.
Method: Hold the pumpkin with both hands behind your head. Extend your arms upward keeping your arms straight. Flex your triceps and lower your arms back to the starting position. Repeat 12 times.
This exercise works your abs.
Method: Lie back with your arms straight, holding the pumpkin firmly. Then perform a classic sit-up. Repeat 20 times
This exercise works the triceps and pectoral muscles.
Start in a traditional push-up position, with both hands on the pumpkin and in a plank position. Keep your head aligned with your spine and lower your chest towards the pumpkin. Consequently, extend the arms until they are completely straight. Repeat 12 times.
Why not have a go yourself and let us know how you get on!