so, here I am back posting as I promised! I apologize again for the long summer break, will do my best to make it up to my audience from now on.
Guess, how I came up with the topic of pumpkin…yes, right, preparing pumpkins for Halloween you will have a loooot of delicious pumpkin meat left over. Throw it? Definitely not!
First of all let’s have a look into the goodnesses of pumpkin. What can the orange flesh do for me what others can’t?
- A cup of cooked, mashed pumpkin contains more than 200% of your recommended daily intake of vitamin A, which aids to preserve and improve vision.
- Nuts and seeds, including those of pumpkins, are naturally rich in certain plant-based chemicals called phytosterols that have been shown in studies to reduce LDL or “bad” cholesterol. Pumpkin seeds are additionally valuable for men as they can help against prostate enlargement and enhance libido at the same time.
- Like their orange comrades the sweet potato, the carrot and the butternut squash (to name a few), pumpkins boast the antioxidant beta-carotene. According to the National Cancer Institute food sources of beta-carotene seem to help more than a supplement, even more reason to scoop up some pumpkin today. And the plant sterols in pumpkin seeds have also been linked to fighting off certain cancers. Carotenoids are known to keep your skin wrinkle-free as well.
- Pumpkin seeds are rich in the amino acid tryptophan, the famed ingredient in turkey that many think brings on the need for that post-Thanksgiving feast snooze. While experts agree that it’s likely the overeating rather than the tryptophan lulling you to sleep, the amino acid is important for the production of serotonin, one of the major players when it comes to our mood. Make sure you have a handful of those little helpers everyday during autumn and winter time.
- After a hard workout, spreading pumpkin puree on your slice of wholegrain bread helps you to refuel on nutrient potassium with 564mg compared to 422mg in a banana.
- Last, but not least pumpkin contains a certain amount of the ever needed Vitamin C – I guess, now I gave you enough reasons to remember to include some pumpkin into your weekly diet.
You can make delicious pumpkin puree from the meat or bake pumpkin bread, roast pumpkin and add it to a nice bowl of mixed green leaf salads or prepare one of my favorite dishes, a hot, steamy, warming pumpkin soup. Here is how:
PUMPKIN SOUP (4 portions)
-some oil, 1 onion, 1 small pumpkin, 1 apple, 2 potatoes, 1 stalk of celery, 500ml vegetable broth, salt, pepper, nutmeg, chives, some lime juice, 150g Creme Fraiche
Peel pumpkin, apple and potatoes and cut all into cubes. Remove the seeds from apple and pumpkin (remember to save at least the latter…use them…). Peel the onion and chop it.
Meanwhile, heat some good quality oil in a pan and slowly fry the onion on medium heat until it turns transparent. Add pumpkin and increase the heat. Add apple and some salt and heat up for a minute. Wash and chop the celery and add it to the saucepan. Pour in the vegetable broth and add potatoes.
When the broth is coming to boil, add chives and simmer the soup for about 30 minutes on low heat, put the lid on the saucepan. After that you can puree all the ingredients, add the creme fraiche and season the soup with salt, pepper, some lime juice and a bit of nutmeg according to your likings.
Ginger and coconut (milk) can be added, I also like to spice the soup up with some chili (fresh or powdered). If you like to get really foolish 😉 add some oranges and carrot. Top of the top is a mouthwatering circle of organic pumpkin seed oil on top of your soup!
Have a spooky Halloween!!!