Enjoy the essence of autumn with our Homemade Pumpkin Ice Cream recipe. Creamy, delightful, and perfect for the season. Time to savour the flavours of autumn!
It’s that time of the year when the leaves turn golden, the air becomes crisp, and the scent of pumpkin spice fills the air.
Autumn has well and truly arrived, and with it comes the joy of seasonal treats. One such delicious treat is our Homemade Pumpkin Ice Cream, a creamy and indulgent dessert that captures the essence of the season.
In this article, we’ll share some background information on pumpkins and their various uses, show the amazing health benefits of these fruits, or are they vegetables? And of course, we’ll share with you how you can make your own homemade Pumpkin Ice Cream.
If you want you can skip right to the recipe and method shown at the bottom of this article, or you can read along and find out more about Pumpkins.
Pumpkin Pleasures: Beyond the Jack-o’-Lantern
Pumpkins are abundant in the autumn months, coming in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colours. From big orange pumpkins to small sugar pumpkins and unique heirloom types, there’s a pumpkin for every purpose.
Beyond their use in cooking, pumpkins are also known for the Halloween tradition of Pumpkin Carving.
‘It’s estimated that more than half of the 24 million pumpkins carved for Halloween in Britain won’t be eaten at all, according to food charity Hubbub.’ – Source BBC.co.uk/Newsround.
The same news report asks a valuable question: ‘What do you do with your leftover pumpkins?’ and goes on to encourage us all to find ways of using the flesh and seeds to reduce food waste.
We think this provides even more reason to add Homemade Pumpkin Ice Cream to your menus around this time of the year!
We’ve also shared information below on the nutritional goodness of pumpkin seeds. They make a great healthy snack and we’ve provided details on how you go about roasting them.
Pumpkins: A Fruit or Vegetable Conundrum?
Pumpkins are often linked to autumn and Halloween, and frequently used in savoury meals and therefore associated with vegetables, but is it a fruit or a vegetable?
Botanically speaking, pumpkins belong to the fruit category, as they develop from the flowering part of the pumpkin plant and contain seeds.
However, in culinary terms, they are frequently treated as vegetables due to their savoury applications in soups, stews, and, of course, delicious pumpkin ice cream.
Whichever way you view them, be that as a fruit or vegetable, pumpkins are a staple and valued ingredient, adding their distinct taste and appeal to various dishes all year round.
A Nutritional Powerhouse: Health Benefits of Pumpkins
In many of our articles, we often mention ‘nature’s powerhouses’, referring to fruits or vegetables that are loaded with nutritional goodness and you’ll be pleased to hear that Pumpkins are right up there in respect to the healthful goodness they have to offer.
Here are some health benefits of pumpkins:
- Rich in Nutrients: Pumpkins are packed with essential vitamins and minerals, including vitamin A, vitamin C, potassium, and folate. These nutrients are vital for overall health and well-being.
- High in Fibre: Pumpkin is a good source of dietary fibre, which can aid in digestion, promote a feeling of fullness, and help maintain healthy blood sugar levels.
- Supports Eye Health: The beta-carotene in pumpkins is converted into vitamin A in the body, which is crucial for maintaining good vision, especially in low-light conditions.
- Boosts Immunity: Pumpkins contain vitamin C, which is known to boost the immune system and help the body fight off infections and illnesses.
- Heart-Healthy: The potassium content in pumpkins may help regulate blood pressure and reduce the risk of heart disease.
- Weight Management: The fibre in pumpkins can aid in weight management by promoting a feeling of fullness and supporting healthy digestion.
- Skin Health: The antioxidants in pumpkins, such as beta-carotene, can help protect the skin from sun damage and maintain a youthful appearance.
- Anti-Inflammatory: Some compounds in pumpkins have anti-inflammatory properties, which may help reduce the risk of chronic diseases related to inflammation.
- Improved Sleep: Pumpkins contain tryptophan, an amino acid that can contribute to better sleep and mood regulation.
- Good for Pregnancy: The folate in pumpkins is essential for fetal development during pregnancy, making it a valuable addition to the diet for expectant mothers.
These are just some of the many health benefits that pumpkins offer. Including them in your diet, whether in savoury or sweet dishes like pumpkin ice cream, can be a great way to support your overall well-being.
Experience the joy of Pumpkin Ice Cream
Many people are surprised when we suggest pumpkin ice cream, perhaps because many see it as a vegetable or associate pumpkin with savoury dishes. It’s one of those ingredients that can easily go either way – sweet or savoury and we think it works brilliantly in ice cream.
Here’s our Homemade Spiced Pumpkin Ice Cream Recipe:
- 400g pumpkin puree (canned or homemade)
- 400ml double cream
- 200ml whole milk
- 200g granulated sugar
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 1/4 tsp ground cloves
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- A pinch of salt
- Begin by preparing your pumpkin puree. You can use canned pumpkin puree or make your own by steaming or roasting pumpkin pieces until they’re soft, then blending them until smooth. Allow the puree to cool before using (Please see below for tips for Roasting your Pumpkin to enhance its flavour).
- In a mixing bowl, combine the pumpkin puree, granulated sugar, ground cinnamon, ground nutmeg, ground ginger, ground cloves, vanilla extract, and a pinch of salt. Mix until the sugar has dissolved completely.
- In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together the double cream and whole milk until well combined.
- Gradually add the cream mixture to the pumpkin mixture, stirring continuously until everything is well incorporated.
- Pour the ice cream base into an ice cream maker and churn according to the manufacturer’s instructions. This typically takes about 20-25 minutes until the mixture reaches a soft-serve consistency.
- NB: If you don’t have an ice cream maker, you can still make this recipe. Pour the mixture into a freezer-safe container and freeze. Every 30 minutes, stir the mixture vigorously with a fork to break up ice crystals, repeating this process for about 3-4 hours or until the ice cream is firm. Please also check out our post – Homemade Ice Cream: Without an Ice Cream Maker to learn more.
- Transfer the churned ice cream to an airtight container, smoothing the top with a spatula. Cover the container and freeze the ice cream for at least 4 hours or until it becomes firm.
- Once the ice cream has set, scoop it into bowls or cones and enjoy the delicious taste of Homemade Spiced Pumpkin Ice Cream!
Perfect Pairings: Elevate Your Pumpkin Ice Cream
We love to add Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Ginger, and cloves to our Pumpkin Ice Cream as these spices add a warming sensation and flavour.
Here are a selection of other add-ons you might prefer to use:
- Toasted Pecans: The rich, nutty flavour of toasted pecans complements the earthy sweetness of pumpkin.
- Caramel Sauce: Drizzle some warm caramel sauce for a delicious contrast of flavours.
- Whipped Cream: A dollop of freshly whipped cream can elevate the creaminess of pumpkin ice cream.
- Candied Ginger: Chopped candied ginger provides a zesty, sweet-and-spicy kick.
- Maple Syrup: The earthy sweetness of maple syrup pairs perfectly with pumpkin’s flavour.
- Mini Chocolate Chips: For a crunchy textural contrast and a touch of chocolatey goodness.
- Toasted Marshmallows: Roasted marshmallows bring a campfire-inspired twist to your treat.
- Cinnamon Sugar: A sprinkle of cinnamon sugar adds warmth and a hint of spice.
- Crushed Ginger Snaps: Crushed ginger snap cookies provide a satisfying crunch and a gingery kick.
Homemade pumpkin ice cream offers endless opportunities to play with additional flavours. Feel free to get creative with toppings and add-ins to perfect to your taste preferences.
Nutrient Retention in Roasted Pumpkin: Maximising Health Benefits
Whilst roasting your pumpkin can enhance the flavour immensely, be aware that roasting pumpkin can cause some loss of its nutritional content. The extent of the loss depends on factors such as temperature, cooking time, and preparation methods. Here are a few things to consider:
- Temperature and Cooking Time: High temperatures and prolonged cooking times can lead to more nutrient loss. To minimise this, you can roast pumpkin at a lower temperature (around 180-200°C or 350-400°F) for a shorter duration. This helps retain more nutrients.
- Peel Thickness: Peeling the pumpkin before roasting may result in more nutrient loss, as some nutrients are found in or near the skin. If you consume the roasted pumpkin with its skin, you’ll retain more of these nutrients.
- Cooking Method: The method of roasting can also affect nutrient retention. Dry roasting (without added fats or oils) may cause fewer nutrient losses compared to roasting with added fats.
- Nutrients: Pumpkin is a good source of vitamins like vitamin A, vitamin C, and some B vitamins, as well as minerals like potassium and magnesium. These nutrients can be sensitive to heat and may degrade during cooking.
In summary, to minimise nutrient loss, consider using the following methods:
- Roast at lower temperatures for a shorter duration.
- Leave the skin on if it’s edible.
- Use minimal added fats or oils.
- Consume the roasted pumpkin along with other nutrient-rich foods to compensate for any losses.
Keep in mind that while roasting may cause some nutrient loss, pumpkin is still a nutritious choice, and the method you choose for preparing it can help preserve more of its goodness. Ultimately the choice is yours, however, the roasting element does enhance the pumpkin’s flavour, which in turn adds another layer of flavour to your Homemade Pumpkin Ice Cream.
Nutritional Benefits of Pumpkin Seeds
Pumpkin seeds, also known as pepitas, are packed with essential nutrients that can benefit your health and yet more often than not these are scooped out of the pumpkin and discarded.
With a little preparation and effort, these seeds can be transformed into a very tasty and incredibly nutritious snack.
Here are some key nutritional benefits:
- Rich in Nutrients: Pumpkin seeds are a good source of essential nutrients, including magnesium, zinc, iron, and copper. These minerals play vital roles in various bodily functions.
- High in Healthy Fats: They contain a balanced amount of healthy fats, including monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. These fats can support heart health.
- Protein Powerhouse: Pumpkin seeds are relatively high in protein, making them a great plant-based protein source.
- Fibre Boost: They are a good source of dietary fibre, which aids in digestion and can help with weight management.
- Antioxidant Properties: Pumpkin seeds contain antioxidants like vitamin E and carotenoids, which can help protect cells from damage caused by free radicals.
- Healthy Fats for the Brain: The omega-3 fatty acids in pumpkin seeds may support brain health and cognitive function.
- Mood and Sleep: Pumpkin seeds contain tryptophan, an amino acid that helps your body produce serotonin, which can improve mood and sleep.
Roasting Pumpkin Seeds:
Here’s a simple method to roast pumpkin seeds:
- Fresh pumpkin seeds (cleaned and dried)
- Olive oil or cooking spray
- Salt (optional)
- Seasonings of your choice (e.g., garlic powder, paprika, cayenne pepper)
- Clean the Seeds: After removing the seeds from a pumpkin, rinse them thoroughly under cold water to remove any pulp. Pat them dry with a clean kitchen towel or paper towel.
- Preheat the Oven: Preheat your oven to 300°F (150°C).
- Toss with Oil: In a bowl, toss the dried pumpkin seeds with a little olive oil or use cooking spray to lightly coat them. This helps the seasonings stick and makes the seeds crispy.
- Season: Add your preferred seasonings. You can keep it simple with just a sprinkle of salt or get creative with spices like garlic powder, paprika, or cayenne pepper for added flavour.
- Spread on a Baking Sheet: Spread the seasoned seeds in a single layer on a baking tray. Make sure they are not crowded to ensure even roasting.
- Roast: Place the baking sheet in the preheated oven and roast the seeds for about 20-30 minutes. Shake them occasionally to prevent burning. They are ready when they turn golden brown.
- Cool: Remove the roasted pumpkin seeds from the oven and let them cool completely before enjoying.
If you haven’t tried Roasted pumpkin seeds before, you may be quite surprised just how good they taste whilst providing essential nutrients. You can add a handful to your homemade pumpkin ice cream to provide a textural crunchy element and they are also great for adding to salads, or just as a snack. Hope you enjoy!
We hope you have enjoyed our article on Homemade Pumpkin Ice Cream, learning about the powerhouse that is Pumpkin and how you can turn goodness into deliciousness with our Homemade Pumpkin Ice Cream Recipe.
If you have any questions, please drop us a comment below, and as always we would love to hear from you regarding your experiences with your own Pumpkin Ice Creams!