By Annah Herbert-Graham, Nutritionist

Pumpkins are a variety of seasonal squash, known for their bright orange colour and fun faces around Halloween time. But did you know, pumpkins pack a powerful punch when it comes to nutrition? They are high in fibre, low in fat and rich in vital nutrients and antioxidants. What’s more, they can be used in sweet or savoury dishes, so why not make use of their abundance and incorporate some pumpkin power into your weekly meals! 

Pumpkin Lentil Dahl Recipe 

A simple, flavourful, budget-friendly family recipe that makes the most of seasonal squash or pumpkin and can be made in 30 minutes! This recipe will serve up to six people, so save any leftover dahl for another meal. It can be kept in an airtight container in the fridge for 3 days, and in the freezer for up to 6 months. 


  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil (for cooking)

  • 1 large onion, chopped 

  • 2-3 cloves of garlic, diced (or 1 tsp garlic granules) 

  • 1 inch cube of ginger, diced or grated (or 1 tsp ground ginger) 

  • 2 tsp ground cumin 

  • 4 tsp curry powder (mild, medium or hot, to taste) 

  • 300g pumpkin or butternut squash, peeled and chopped into cubes 

  • 300g red lentils (dry) 

  • 400ml (1 tin) coconut milk 

  • 400g (1 tin) chopped tomatoes 

  • 400ml vegetable stock 

  • Salt and pepper (to season) 

  • 80g (a few generous handfuls) of chopped spinach 

  • Handful of chopped coriander (to serve) 

  • Natural yoghurt (to serve) 

  • Cooked Basmati rice or naan bread (to serve) 

 How to make the dahl: 

  1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan or skillet. Add the chopped onion, garlic, ginger, curry powder and cumin.  

  1. Cook over medium heat until onions have softened. 

  1. Add the lentils and stir to coat in spice mix. 

  1. Add the pumpkin/squash, tomatoes, lentils and vegetable stock.  

  1. Cook until the stock is nearly absorbed (approx. 10-15 minutes), stirring occasionally.  

  1. Add the coconut milk and cook for a further 10-15 minutes, until the lentils and pumpkin/squash are soft but not mushy. You may need to add more hot water or stock. 

  1. Turn off the heat and season with salt and pepper to taste.  

  1. Add the spinach, stirring to wilt into the dahl. 

Serve with rice, naan bread or even jacket potatoes, adding a dollop of natural yoghurt and a scattering of coriander leaves. 

Sweet Spiced Pumpkin Porridge 

Adding pumpkin to your morning bowl of porridge is a game changer! It’s packed with nutrients, added fibre and tastes great paired with sweet, warming spices such as cinnamon and ginger. A perfect way to kickstart your day, while utilising fresh, seasonal produce. This recipe will serve four people, so adjust the quantities to feed more or less. 


  • 120g Quaker porridge oats 

  • 700ml milk of choice  

  • 1 cup (approx.. 10 tablespoons) of pumpkin puree (see steps below to make your own, or you could use a tinned variety if short on time). 

  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon 

  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger 

  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg 

  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamon (or 4 cardamon pods, crushed with shells removed) 

  • Honey, dried cranberries and pumpkin seeds as toppings (optional) 

How to make Spiced Pumpkin Porridge: 

  1. Place all the ingredients (except toppings) in a large pan, heat to a simmer and stir until thick and creamy (approx. 5 minutes). Add any extra milk to create your desired consistency. 

  1. Serve in bowls with a drizzle of honey, and a handful of cranberries and pumpkin seeds. Enjoy! 

Follow these simple steps to make your own home-made pumpkin puree: 

Smaller cooking pumpkins (or winter squash) are the best tasting varieties to use for pumpkin puree and are also easier to prepare. 

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees C. Line a baking sheet with greaseproof paper. 

  1. Cut the pumpkin in half, starting from the base of the stem and running a sharp knife down each side to the base. Pull the two halves apart from the base – the stem will be too tough to cut.  

  1. Scoop out the seeds and stringy bits, leaving behind the bright orange flesh. (Note: The seeds can be rinsed and baked alongside the pumpkin and added as a nutritious topping to your breakfast!) 

  1. Brush the flesh with vegetable oil (rapeseed oil is good for roasting) and place the pumpkin flesh-side down on the baking tray.  

  1. Bake until the flesh is soft when pierced with a knife and can be easily scooped out of the skin (approx. 30 – 45 minutes, depending on the size of the pumpkin). 

  1. Once the pumpkin is cool, scoop out the flesh, place in a food processor and blend until smooth (you can also use a hand-held blender in a deep bowl, adding a splash of water to blend easily).  

Pumpkin puree can be stored in the fridge 5 days, or in the freezer for 3 – 6 months.