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Halloween Fitness

Halloween Fitness

It’s nearly Halloween, how about using that pumpkin to make a healthy meal instead of throwing it away. Save some money and some calories with this healthy dish. If you save the seeds that you take out when carving your pumpkin, these can be spiced and used in the recipe.

  • 1 large pumpkin
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 100ml red wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp clear honey
  • 100g dried sour cherries
  • 2 tbsp toasted sesame oil
  • bunch mint, leaves leaves only
  • 100g feta, crumbled


  • 100g pumpkin seeds (either from your pumpkin or from s packet)
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp cilantro
  • 2 tsp olive oil

Heat oven to 200C and line a large baking tray with baking parchment. Peel and chop the pumpkin into chunks and arrange them on the tray drizzled with oil. Season well, put in the oven and roast for 35-45 mins or until tender.

Meanwhile, prepare the spiced seeds. If using the seeds from the pumpkin, wash and dry them removing any stringy bits. Mix the seeds, spices and oil on another baking tray lined with baking parchment, season well and toss together. Put on the shelf below the squash and roast together for the final 10 mins, until evenly toasted.

Put the vinegar, honey and cherries in a small pan. Simmer gently for 2-3 mins until the cherries are plump and the dressing has reduced by half. Stir in a pinch of salt and the sesame oil, remove from the heat and leave to cool for 10 mins.

To serve, arrange a layer of warm wedges on a platter. Drizzle over the dressing and cherries, the seeds and mint leaves, scatter with feta.


Halloween Pumpkin Cake


First use your pumpkin to make your pumpkin purée.

Heat oven to 200C. Cut your pumpkin in half and scrape out seeds if not already done. Place on roasting tray cut side up and roast for about an hour until flesh is tender. Leave to cool. Scrap out all flesh with spoon and liquidise until smooth.

  • 110g margarine
  • 110g dark brown soft sugar
  • 100g chopped Medjool dates
  • 135g gluten free flour
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 175g pumpkin puree
  • 2 eggs, beaten

Grease and line with baking parchment a 23x33cm baking dish. Heat oven to 180C.

In a large bowl combine margarine, dark brown soft sugar, chopped dates, flour, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, vanilla, pumpkin puree and eggs. Mix until smooth.

Spread evenly in dish and bake for 25 minutes.

Once cool cake can be covered with cream cheese frosting if liked.