We love seasonal squashes and pumpkins of all shapes and sizes. Not only do they look and taste good, but they are also great for giving your immune system a boost! Get that oven on and tuck into a tasty pumpkin squash recipe…
Sugar pumpkin gnocchi recipe with sage
Gnocchi is the perfect recipe for showing off the delicate flavour of sugar pumpkin. Look for one that is firm and brightly coloured for this pumpkin squash recipe…
Preparation and cooking time: 1 hour
272kcal, 16.2g fat – 4.6g saturates – 22.4g carbs, 1.1g sugars, 9.5g protein, 4.8g fibre, 0.5g salt
- Sugar pumpkin 400g, cubed
- Unbleached plain flour 140g, plus extra for dusting
- Almond flour 70g
- Small eggs 2
- Salt ½tsp
- Raw coconut oil 1tbsp
- Olive oil 1tbsp
- Fresh sage leaves 20
- Place the pumpkin in a steaming basket. Cover and steam over a half-filled saucepan of simmering water until just tender, about 10 mins. Remove from the heat and let cool for 10 mins.
- Tip into a bowl and mash until smooth. Line a colander with kitchen paper, spreading the mashed pumpkin across it, and let drain in the sink for
- Scoop about 100g of the pumpkin purée into a mixing bowl and add the remaining ingredients for the dough. Mix well with a wooden spoon until a soft, even dough forms; add a little more flour if it is too sticky.
- Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Pat down the dough into a log shape with floured hands.
- Cut into six even pieces, rolling each into 2cm thick ropes using lightly floured hands. Cut each rope into gnocchi, pressing the tines of a fork into them to leave an imprint.
- Transfer gnocchi to a large baking tray lined with greaseproof paper that’s been dusted with a little flour. Freeze for 10 mins.
- When ready to cook, bring a large saucepan of salted water to a steady boil. Remove the gnocchi from the freezer and brush off any excess flour with a pastry brush.
- Carefully drop the gnocchi into the water, cooking until they float, about 1 min. Drain well.
For the sage oil:
- Melt the coconut oil with the olive oil in a large frying or sauté pan set over a moderate heat until hot.
- Add the sage leaves and gnocchi, cooking and gently stirring until gnocchi are glistening, about 2-3 mins. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Divide between plates and serve immediately for best results.
HEALTH BENEFITS: Vitamin A plays a vital role in supporting immunity. A 2016 study showed that beta-carotene (a type of vitamin A) levels in sugar pumpkins may have an immune-enhancing effect, making them perfect for flu season!
Patty pan squash fritters
Patty pan squash, sometimes known as scalloped squash, can come in varying sizes. If needed, buy two or three to make up the weight needed.
Preparation and cooking time: 30 mins
172kcal, 9.5g fat – 1.8g saturates – 15.5g carbs, 2.7g sugars, 6.1g protein, 3.0g fibre, 0.6g salt
- Patty pan squash 750g, peeled
- Unbleached plain flour 80g
- Large eggs 2, lightly beaten
- Basil leaves large handful, finely sliced
- Salt ½tsp
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Olive oil 2tbsp, for frying
- Cut the squash into large chunks. Grate on a mandoline with a julienne setting or on a box grater; you should aim to have at least 450-500g grated squash.
- Mix the grated squash with the flour, eggs, basil, salt, and pepper in a large mixing bowl, stirring until evenly combined.
- Working in two batches, heat 1tbsp oil in a large frying or sauté pan set over a medium heat until hot.
- For each fritter, add 3tbsp of the mixture to the pan in mounds, flattening and shaping them into fritters with the back of a spatula; cook four at a time.
- Cook for 2-3 mins until golden underneath before flipping and cooking for another 2-3 mins until golden brown on the other side.
- Slide out onto a plate lined with kitchen paper and cover loosely with aluminium foil to keep warm. Repeat steps 3-5 for the remaining fritters. Serve warm for best results.
HEALTH BENEFIT: Squash are loaded with vitamin C – a well-researched nutrient when it comes to fighting off seasonal colds and flu. According to a 2013 Finnish study, patients with pneumonia tend to have low vitamin C levels.
Kobocha squash soup recipe with coriander
Kobocha squash is worth hunting down for this recipe and can be found at some farmer’s markets or in Asian food markets. It has a sweet flavour similar to butternut squash.
Preparation and cooking time: 1 hour 15 mins
193kcal, 13.6g fat – 6.7g saturates – 16.0g carbs, 6.5g sugars, 4.4g protein, 2.1g fibre, 0.8g salt
- Kobocha squash 1kg, peeled, seeded, and diced
- Olive oil 2tbsp
- Large shallots 2, diced
- Garlic 3 cloves, minced
- Fresh ginger 1tbsp, peeled and minced
- Ground coriander 2tsp
- Ground cumin 1tsp
- Low-sodium vegetable stock 750ml
- Low-fat coconut milk 200ml
- Lemon ½, juiced
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Coriander handful, roughly chopped
- Reduced-fat feta 3tbsp, crumbled, optional
- Pomegranate seeds 50g
- Preheat the oven to 180C /gas 4. Toss the squash with 1tbsp olive oil ¼tsp salt and ¼tsp pepper in a roasting tin.
- Roast for 35-45 mins until coloured at the edges and tender to the tip of a knife. Remove from the oven and set to one side.
- Heat the remaining olive oil in a large saucepan set over a medium heat. Add the shallots and garlic, frying for 3-4 mins until softened. Stir in the ginger and continue to fry for 1 min.
- Stir in the spices, cook for 1 min, and then stir in the roasted squash, stock, coconut milk, and 500ml water.
- Bring to the boil before reducing to a simmer for 10 mins. Purée with an immersion blender or in batches using a food processor.
- Return the soup to the saucepan and warm over a medium heat, seasoning to taste with lemon juice, salt, and pepper.
- Ladle the soup into warm bowls. Garnish with chopped coriander, feta, and pomegranate seeds.
HEALTH BENEFIT: Kabocha squash is packed with immune system-boosting copper, a nutrient we need to source from our diets. A 2017 study published in Medical News Today noted that dietary copper is essential in sustaining healthy levels of infection-fighting white blood cells.
Acorn squash lasagne recipe
Acorn squash has a buttery, mildly sweet flavour that complements the mixture of herbs in this recipe.
Preparation and cooking time: 2 hours 30 min
360kcal, 12.5g fat – 3.1g saturates – 45.1g carbs, 9.8g sugars, 12.7g protein, 2.5g fibre, 0.5g salt
Ingredients for the béchamel:
- Olive oil 3tbsp
- Cornflour 3tbsp
- Semi-skimmed milk 700ml
- Fresh nutmeg ¼tsp, grated
- Salt and black pepper
Ingredients for the filling:
- Olive oil 2tbsp
- Onion 1, finely chopped
- Garlic 3 cloves, finely chopped
- Canned chopped tomatoes 800g
- Acorn squash 600g, peeled, seeded, and cut into 2.5cm cubes
- Oregano leaves 2tbsp, chopped
- Basil leaves 2tbsp, finely chopped
Ingredients to assemble:
- Lasagne sheets 12-16
- Mozzarella 100g, grated
- Sage leaves 4-5
- For the béchamel: Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan on a medium heat.
- Sprinkle over the cornflour, whisking well, and cook until bubbling, about 3 mins.
- Gradually whisk in the milk until incorporated. Cook until thickened, about 10 mins, stirring frequently. Stir in the nutmeg and season. Remove from the heat and cover.
- For the filling: Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan set over a medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, and a pinch of salt, sweating until softened, about 6-8 mins.
- Stir in the chopped tomatoes, squash, a generous splash of water, chopped herbs, and some salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a rapid simmer and then reduce to a gentle simmer until the squash is just tender, about 20-25 mins. When ready, remove from the heat and adjust seasoning to taste. Preheat the oven to 180C/gas 4.
- Blanch the lasagne sheets in a large saucepan of salted, boiling water until just malleable, 30-45 seconds.
- Drain well and refresh in a bowl of iced water. Drain again and pat dry with kitchen paper. Give the béchamel a quick stir to loosen it.
- Cover the base of a rectangular baking dish with lasagne sheets. Top with spoonfuls of béchamel and some of the squash filling.
- Build another two layers in the same way, reserving about one quarter of the béchamel for the topping. Top the lasagne with the reserved béchamel and scatter with grated mozzarella.
- Cover with foil and bake for about 1 hour until the lasagne sheets are ‘al dente’. Remove the foil and bake until the topping is golden brown, about 10-15 mins longer.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 5-10 mins before serving with a garnish of sage leaves.
HEALTH BENEFIT: Acorn squash contains high levels of the mineral potassium, according to a 2005 study. This useful mineral helps bolster immune function.
Brownie recipe with butternut squash
Butternut squash is the ideal variety for use in desserts and baked goods. Its sweet, pure flavour and soft flesh can be incorporated into cakes, pies and even brownies, like in this squash brownie recipe.
Preparation and cooking time: 1 hour 45 mins
185kcal, 13.7g fat – 6.1g saturates – 11.0g carbs, 1.6g sugars, 5.7g protein, 4.0g fibre, 0.2g salt
- Butternut squash 600g, peeled and cut into four pieces
- Almond flour 120g
- Granulated stevia 60g
- Cacao powder, or cocoa powder 60g
- Baking powder 1tsp
- Ground cinnamon ½tsp
- Ground ginger ¼tsp
- Salt ½tsp
- Large eggs 2
- Raw coconut oil 60g, melted
- Almond milk 100ml, plus extra as needed
- Preheat oven to 190C/gas 5. Place the squash in a roasting tray and add about 1cm water. Cover with aluminium foil and roast until tender, about 1 hour.
- Remove the squash, drain, and purée; you’ll need 300g purée.
- Reduce the oven to 180C/gas 4. Grease and line a 20cm square baking tin with greaseproof paper.
- Stir together the almond flour, stevia, cacao powder, baking powder, spices, and salt in a mixing bowl. Beat in the eggs, coconut oil, almond milk, and about one-third of the purée until a batter forms.
- Spoon the batter into the tin, dropping the remaining squash purée on top. Swirl together with a chopstick and gently rap the tin on a flat surface to help settle it.
- Bake until set and a knife comes out virtually clean from the centre (about 25-30 mins).
Remove from the oven and let cool in the tin before turning out and cutting into 9 portions.
HEALTH BENEFIT: One of butternut squash’s most important nutrients is magnesium. Deficiency in this mineral can lead to being more susceptible to winter bugs. It’s also good for fighting inflammation and helping your body relax.