It’s that time of year again; with familiar orange orbs appearing all around. From your front porch to your local market, pumpkins are by far the trendiest gourds of the season. Their popularity is even reflected in seasonal latte offerings – be honest, were you in line the first day PSLs were back at Starbucks? I was. Beyond spooky jack-o-lanterns and Thanksgiving pies, pumpkins are delicious roasted, sautéed, added to soups, stews and smoothies; they can even be lacto-fermented and used as a crisp salad topper! 

Originally cultivated in North America, “pumpkin” refers to a particular variety of winter squash, identified by its distinctly round, orange, and somewhat ribbed nature. The brilliant orange color is autumnal, beautiful and a sign of the phytochemicals and beta carotene pumpkins contain. Beta carotene is a powerful antioxidant that is converted to vitamin A in our bodies. Even the seeds of this fine squash have tons to offer including zinc, magnesium, unsaturated fats, and protein. 

So, how to best use this seasonally abundant squash? We figure most folks already have their favorite roasted pumpkin seed recipe locked in. But how about a yummy, hearty, pumpkin quinoa dish? Read on for the full recipe. 


Pumpkin with Quinoa, Spinach, and Walnuts


1 tablespoon olive oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 medium leek, white and light green parts only, cleaned and thinly sliced

2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth

2 cups peeled and diced pumpkin

1 cup quinoa

1/3 cup raisins

2 cups golden spinach

2 tablespoons toasted walnuts, chopped 


  1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. 
  2. Add the garlic and leeks and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes
  3. Add the broth, squash, quinoa, and raisins and bring to a boil. 
  4. Reduce heat and simmer, covered until the liquid is absorbed and the squash and quinoa are tender 15-20 minutes
  5. Gently stir in the spinach and cook until it just begins to wilt, 2-3 minutes.
  6. Remove from heat
  7. Sprinkle with walnuts

Per Serving: 345 Cal; 14g Protein; 8g Total Fat; 1g Sat Fat; 3g Mono Fat; 60g Carb; 9g Fiber; 11g Sugar; 239mg Calcium; 7mg iron; 147mg Sodium; 0mg Cholesterol

Interested in learning more? Schedule an appointment with us to get support on your journey to holistic and kind health.

Edited by Starkel Nutrition Marketing Assistant, Mairin McCurdy

Recipe from