Halloween recipe to benefit eye health: Frozen pumpkin cheesecake
29 October 2021
Try out this cheesecake for a Halloween treat that’s eye healthy!
Halloween 2021 is almost here! Since there are only 2 days to go, we thought we would share a frozen pumpkin cheesecake recipe that is sure to be the perfect dessert for your Halloween parties. What’s more, it’s great for your eyes too! As the cheesecake is made with lots of pumpkin goodness, it will ensure your eyes remain healthy since pumpkins are packed full of vitamins that nourish your vision and eye health.
How are pumpkins good for your eyes?
Pumpkins are known for being a Halloween staple and can appear in many Halloween and autumn-themed recipes, which is good news for both your taste buds and your eyes! Pumpkins are rich in vitamins and minerals such as vitamin A, vitamin C, zinc, lutein and zeaxanthin, and these are the components that are known to reduce your risk of eye diseases and vision loss.
So how do these vitamins support your vision and eye health?
- Vitamin A: Vitamin A is an essential vitamin for good vision. It contains the protein rhodopsin, which helps the eye to see in low lighting. This is one of the reasons why a deficiency in vitamin A can lead to night blindness, which you can read more about in our blog here. Vitamin A also supports the cornea in functioning properly, which is the clear outer layer at the front of the eye. If you have a vitamin A deficiency, your eyes may not be able to produce enough moisture to stay lubricated, which can lead to dry eyes.
- Vitamin C: Vitamin C is needed to create collagen, a protein that provides structure in the eye within the cornea and sclera. Many studies have proven that vitamin C can lower your risk of developing cataracts, a condition where the natural lens in your eye grows cloudy and starts to impair your vision. Vitamin C is also known to help prevent the progression of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), one of the leading causes of vision loss in adults.
- Lutein and zeaxanthin: These two nutrients are antioxidants that are found in many vegetables (including pumpkins!), but they are also found in your eyes – particularly within the lens, retina, and macula. Lutein and zeaxanthin can help protect your eyes from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays, and foods like pumpkins that are rich in these two nutrients can also prevent eye diseases from developing, such as cataracts and AMD.
- Zinc: Zinc is a mineral that is highly concentrated in the eye, and it helps maintain the health of the retina. Zinc allows vitamin A to travel to the retina from the liver to produce melanin – the pigment that protects the eyes from UV rays. Zinc is also known to reduce the loss of visual acuity and the risk of developing AMD.
Frozen pumpkin cheesecake recipe
Now that we know how all those vitamins and nutrients in pumpkins can benefit your vision and eye health, let’s get down to the recipe! Here is what you’ll need for this delicious Halloween treat:
- Food processor
- Springform tin
- Baking parchment
- 300g gingernut biscuits
- 350ml maple syrup, plus extra to serve
- 350g full-fat cream cheese
- 300g pumpkin purée
- 300ml double cream
- In a food processor, blend 250g of the biscuits with 125ml of the syrup until the biscuits turn into fine crumbs. Line a 20cm springform tin with baking parchment and then push the crumbs into the base. Transfer the tin to the fridge and let it chill for 30 minutes.
- Beat 100ml of the syrup with the cheese and pumpkin until it's smooth. Whip 200ml of the cream with 100ml of the syrup into soft peaks. Fold it into the cream cheese mixture, and then spoon it over the biscuit base and level the top. Cover the cheesecake and freeze it overnight.
- Lightly whip the remaining cream with the remaining syrup and dollop over the cheesecake. Crumble the remaining biscuits over the top and drizzle over some extra syrup to finish.
This sweet pumpkin recipe will be the most mouth-watering addition to any Halloween party this year, and it will take care of your vision and eye health too! No matter how you’re celebrating Halloween this weekend, we hope you have a lovely time and the chance to tuck into this cheesecake knowing your eyes will benefit from it.
Recipe adapted from BBC Good Food and Good Food magazine, October 2019.
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