Billabong Retreat Head Chef Adam Lord shares his famous baked pumpkin recipe.  Pumpkins offer a variety of health benefits due to their nutritional content and unique phytochemicals.

Health benefits of consuming pumpkin incude:

  • Nutrient-Rich: Pumpkins are low in calories but rich in essential nutrients like vitamins and minerals. They are a good source of vitamins A, C, and E, as well as B vitamins like folate, niacin, and riboflavin.
  • High in Fiber: Pumpkin contains dietary fiber, which aids in digestion, promotes a feeling of fullness, and helps regulate blood sugar levels.
  • Eye Health: The high vitamin A content in pumpkin is essential for good vision and may help reduce the risk of age-related macular degeneration and cataracts.
  • Immune Support: The vitamins and antioxidants in pumpkin can boost the immune system and help the body defend against illnesses.
  • Heart Health: The potassium and fiber in pumpkin may contribute to heart health by helping to lower blood pressure.
  • Skin Health: Vitamin A in pumpkin is known for promoting healthy skin by preventing acne, reducing wrinkles, and promoting overall skin radiance.
  • Antioxidant Properties: Pumpkin is rich in antioxidants, such as beta-carotene and other carotenoids.
  • Anti-Inflammatory: Some compounds in pumpkin have anti-inflammatory properties, which can be beneficial for reducing inflammation in the body.
  • Post-Exercise Recovery: The potassium content in pumpkin can help with muscle recovery and reduce the risk of muscle cramps after exercise.


– 1/2 bunch rosemary

– 1/2 bunch sage

– 1 bulb garlic

– 1 medium jap pumpkin

– Salt

– Black pepper

– 2 bay leaf

– Olive oil


⁃ Pre-heat oven to 155-160°C fan forced.

⁃ Thoroughly wash the pumpkin in cold water to remove any dirt or soil.

⁃ With a large sharp knife, cut the pumpkin in half through the center.

⁃ Remove the pumpkin seeds

⁃ With a small sharp knife score the pumpkin into eight wedges.

⁃ Place in a baking dish lined with baking paper and drizzle liberally with olive oil.

⁃ Cut the bulb of garlic in half and rub each half pumpkin with a half garlic bulb.

⁃ Place the garlic face up in the middle of each pumpkin half.

⁃ Season with salt and pepper

⁃ Pick the leaves of sage and rosemary, roughly chop and sprinkle evenly over each pumpkin.

⁃ Place bay leaves in the tray and add 200ml approx of water.

⁃ Place in the preheated oven for 2 hours checking occasionally that it is not colouring to quickly. ⁃ With a small knife check the pumpkin is soft and the knife moves freely through the flesh.

Note: If the pumpkin hasn’t caramelised on top after 2 hours, increase the temperature to 180•c for another 15 minutes.

Serving suggestions 

Great as a center piece of a meal or as a side dish for a roast. Also lends itself well to steamed and baked fish.