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Pumpkins are now arriving as we move into Autumn, and despite the famous connection this plant has with various festivities, pumpkins should not be forgotten for the large range of health benefits they offer!
Pumpkins are high in beta-carotene, a type of antioxidant responsible for the beautiful bright orange pigment. Foods which are high in beta-carotene may:
- Reduce the risk of certain types of cancer developing
- Provide protection against heart disease and respiratory conditions such as asthma
- Decrease the risk for age-related macular degeneration
On top of this, pumpkins are a great source of vitamin C, vitamin E, potassium and fibre, and can be incorporated into many different meals, sweet or savoury. Such as curries, pumpkin soup, brownies and energy balls (like our recipe below!).
RECIPE: Healthy, Low Sugar Pumpkin & Orange Energy Balls
Our brilliant in-house nutritionist, Lucy, has shared this great recipe, perfect for your toddler to help out in the kitchen with too!
This tasty autumnal snack includes pumpkin puree for a seasonal, Halloween theme! The vibrant colour and flavour is sure to be a hit with your little ones (and you!) – zesty and sweet with a lovely texture and even better – each ball contains less than 4g total sugar! This recipe is also suitable for children with nut, gluten and dairy allergies with simple adaptable ingredients.
8 soft prunes
1 cup rolled oats (GF if needed)
1/4 cup pumpkin puree (or butternut works)
1 tbsp maple syrup or other syrup
2 tbsp chia seeds
1 tbsp sunflower butter (for allergy-friendly option) or nut butter of choice such as peanut butter
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp valencian orange extract
1 orange (zest only)
1/4 cup desiccated coconut
- Blitz the soft prunes in a blender until the texture resembles small smooth pieces. Transfer to a mixing bowl.
- In the blender, add in the rolled oats, pumpkin puree, chia seeds, sunflower or nut butter, orange extract, cinnamon and maple syrup. Pulse everything together in the blender until everything clumps together and makes a squishy ‘dough’.
- Tip the mixture out into the bowl with the prunes and stir together well. With a spoon, scoop out the mixture bit by bit and roll into 10 balls.
- On a work surface/board, grate the zest of an orange on one side, and desiccated coconut on the other side. Roll the energy balls evenly through the orange zest and coconut to coat the outside of them, then pop the balls into a covered bowl and refrigerate them for 1 hr. These energy balls keep for around 7 days in the fridge or can be frozen for up to 2 months.
How did your energy balls turn out? We'd love to see! Please do share your photos on social media with the hashtag #ZebedeesRecipes...
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