I absolutely adore winter squash (in some countries known as pumpkin) and roast at least one every week this time of year. They’re delicious in curries, stews, on salads, blended into soups and, of course, in baked goods, where they add a rich sweetness along with great nutrition.
Nutritionally, winter squash offers antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-diabetic benefits, and have also been found to help promote good heart health. The simplest way to prepare winter squash is by roasting them in the oven. I love this method as I hate spending time peeling the squash beforehand. I simply cut the squash in half, and put it straight into the oven and roast it for 30-40 minutes until it’s soft enough. Then I scoop out the seeds using a spoon, and cut the flesh into cubes, or, in this case, scoop it straight into a blender.
Winter squash are, however, one of the vegetables you may want to prioritise buying organic, as recent agricultural research have shown that winter squash are particularly good at absorbing unwanted contaminants from the soil. So much so that they are being used as an intercrop to get rid of soil contaminants in order to prepare and “clean” the soil for future crops! (yikes). Right now, farmers markets are bursting with all sorts of varieties of winter squash, making it super easy and affordable to stock up on some amazing organic squash.
These oat scones are incredibly easy and quick to make and make a great breakfast or mid morning snack. Sweetened with only dates, they are satisfying and nutritious and, being nut free, make a great lunch box goodie for kids.
|Pumpkin Spice Oat Scones|| |
- 120 gm soft pitted dates
- 2 free range organic eggs
- 200 gm roasted winter squash or pumpkin (200 gm is about ½ medium butternut squash. You can also use canned pumpkin)
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp ground ginger
- ¼ tsp nutmeg
- 150 gm (1½ cups) rolled oats (gluten free if needed)
- 75 gm (1/2 cup) sunflower seeds (chopped hazelnuts or almonds are delicious alternatives!)
- 1 tsp baking powder
- pinch salt
- Preheat the oven to 160 C (320 F)
- Place eggs, pumpkin/squash and dates in a high speed blender and blend until completely smooth.
- In a separate bowl, mix together all the remaining ingredients. Pour the pumpkin mixture over the dry ingredients and combine well using a spoon.
- Leave to set for 10 mins (this will allow the oats absorb some the moisture)
- Line a baking tray with non-stick parchment paper and scoop the dough onto the baking tray using a tablespoon. Use your hands or the spoon to make them round and flatten the top if you like.
- Once all the dough is on the baking tray, place in the oven and bake for 15 minutes (I used fan force) until golden brown and slightly soft.
- Leave to cool for a few minutes before serving.