Sweet Pumpkin (Immune Booster) Porridge
Pumpkin and oats to boost your immune system? Ummm yes please!! Pumpkin Porridge is a deliciously warming recipe created with ginger, pumpkin and oats to help you give your immune system a boost or just some ongoing love (which is also really important).
Having a fully functioning immune system is a key aspect of good health and how many of you only start to think about upping the vitamin C ante when you feel unwell or run-down? I know I’ve been guilty of that over the years… that moment when your throat starts to get sore and you know a cold is on its way, I panic and head straight towards the nearest juice bar!
Did you know that more than 200 different viruses can cause colds!
Colds aside though, our immune system does so much more than protect against the sniffles. Cells in our body help to protect us from invading pathogens that are airborne, enter through wounds, parasitic infections or allergic reactions and all form part of an immune response. Vitamin C is a nutrient of huge importance in immune health, but there are so many more nutrients that form part of the process. ENTER immune boosting Pumpkin Porridge..
Sweet Pumpkin (Immune Booster) Porridge – Key Nutrients
Ginger – It’s not only got a wonderful pungent and warming flavour, but it contains two key elements gingerol and shogaol that are key to inhibiting reactions that cause pain, fever and inflammation.
Oats – An unlikely ingredient when you think of immune-boosting foods, but their important role in maintaining optimal gut health is a crucial part of the immunity process. Oats are a prebiotic food that produce short chain fatty acids (SCFAs) through a fermentation process in the gut. A really important mechanism of SCFAs is their ability to defend against infection and a bowl of oats for breakfast, makes for the perfect winter warmer.
Pumpkin – a double whammy because not only does fresh pumpkin have immune-boosting benefits as a rich source of vitamin A, pumpkin seeds are a good source of zinc. Vitamin A boosts antioxidant intake and together with zinc produces and activates immune-boosting lymphocytes (white blood cells).
Sweet Pumpkin (Immune Booster) Porridge
- 1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
- 1/2 cup pumpkin puree (see below)
- 1/2 cup oats
- 1 tsp fresh ginger (or 1 tsp ground ginger)
- 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract (optional)
- 1 tbsp pumpkin seeds
- 1 tsp maple syrup
- Using a saucepan add the coconut milk, pumpkin puree (see below) and stir on a medium heat until the mixture until blended together.
- Add the oats, ginger and vanilla extract, stirring thoroughly.
- Meanwhile, heat a frying pan and dry toast the pumpkin seeds until lightly browned and remove from the heat.
- Once your porridge mix is heated pour into a bowl, top with toasted pumpkin seeds and any other nuts/seeds you have in your cupboard (I also added some buckwheat, coconut and toasted hazelnuts).
- Drizzle with maple syrup and serve.
- Chop approx 1-2 cups of pumpkin into small cubes and steam for approx 20 mins until soft.
- Then place in a blender and blend until smooth (if you don't have a blender you can mash until smooth). The puree can easily be made in advance, so you have it ready to add to your porridge.
Essential EquipmentSaucepan Steaming pan
TipsI use a standard cup measure. If you don’t have one you can use a mug and substitute the amount for ¾ of a standard size mug.
Find your IngredientsUnsweetened coconut milk - long life milks aisle Pumpkin & ginger - fruit & vegetable aisle Oats - breakfast cereals or health food aisle Vanilla extract - baking aisle Pumpkin seeds - baking aisle or health food aisle Maple syrup - toppings or baking aisle
If you like this breakfast recipe, you might like to try these immune-boosting recipes;
Amy Savage is a qualified Nutritionist with a Bachelor of Health Science in Nutritional & Dietetic Medicine and is available for consultations online and in Sydney CBD. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for further details.