A highly, nutrient-dense food. It is rich in vitamins and minerals but low in calories. Pumpkin seeds, leaves, and juices all pack a powerful nutritional punch.
There are many ways pumpkin can be incorporated into desserts, soups, salads, preserves, and even as a substitute for butter.
Yes...Pumpkin butter which in all honesty is really just a pumpkin puree combined with cinnamon and other spices for flavour and maple syrup for sweetness…It is lovely in a dessert ravioli or pizza…also it is lovely on a slice of homemade bread…
Of course ..those who know me …also know that I love a cocktail and yes it can be used to make a lovely autumnal cocktail all you need is some lovely aged golden rum (2 oz) ish, orange juice (1/2 oz), angostura bitters( 3)dashes, 1/4 in ginger and some pumpkin butter (2tsp)for sweetness …Muddle the ginger add the other ingredients plus ice…Give it a shake and strain over some ice…add a cinnamon stick or two and a grating of nutmeg…Maybe a twist of orange…There you have it…Cheers x
Not only it also makes a great Halloween decoration doesn’t it??
Healthwise the potassium contained within pumpkins can have a positive effect on blood pressure and the antioxidants in pumpkin could help prevent degenerative damage to the eyes. Pumpkins are also a fantastic source of fibre.
Fresh is best though so please avoid canned pumpkin pie mix, as it typically contains added sugars and syrups so check the label and look for that 100% sign…Then that’s good, isn’t it? Actually, it isn’t …Many tins of canned pumpkin puree are actually squash.
Here is a little article from Snopes which is interesting as the Pumpkins you carve are not the ones used for pumpkin pie…
Note:…Any uncut pumpkins should be stored in a cool, dark place for up to 2 months.
Pumpkin puree or canned pumpkin can be used as a replacement for butter or oil in baking recipes. I myself have not tried this as I don’t bake often but Weight Watchers recommends using pumpkin puree for one-third of the amount of butter; so if the recipe calls for one cup of butter, plan to use 1/3 cup of pumpkin puree and 2/3 cup of butter.
The proportions may vary with what you are making. You may have to experiment with the exact amount of pumpkin to use until you get the exact consistency you want.
Sounds simple, doesn’t it? If anyone has tried this please let us know.
My recipe for pumpkin or squash soup …with of course some lovely fresh from the oven crockpot bread...one of the best ways to cook bread as the dutch oven/crockpot mimics a commercial oven which often uses steam to produce that lovely crust and on a smaller scale the heated crockpot does the same …once that dough hits the heated pot and the lid is on the magic begins…
The squash I always make into a vegetable soup and freeze in portions. When I reheat the soup, I then add chilli (of course) and a little coconut milk and gently warm through.
- 1 small squash/ pumpkin, peeled and deseeded. Cut into pieces or a mixture of the two…
- 1 brown onion, peeled and cut up
- 1 carrot washed and cut
- 4 cloves of garlic finely chopped
- Piece fresh ginger finely chopped
- 3 Broccoli stalks, peeled and cubed (I always save the broccoli stalks) for when I make soup. Waste not, want not and I think ideal for soups for flavour.
- 1-1½ litres of fresh chicken stock or stock cubes.
- Salt & Pepper to season
- A glug of olive Oil
Heat a glug of olive oil and gently cook garlic ginger and onion to just soften and not colour.
Add other vegetables gradually and cook while stirring for about 5 minutes, then add stock and seasoning.
Simmer gently for about an hour or until vegetables are lovely and soft and remove from heat. I let it cool down before I blend.
This makes a lovely vegetable soup but I also use it as a base and freeze in portions.
When I reheat I add little-dried chilli flakes and 1 or 2 tbsp of coconut milk.
It just gives it a creamy flavour.
Sometimes I add crushed lemongrass stalk and a little fish sauce, it depends on how I feel, it is a versatile soup base so play with it, have fun.
Add some curry powder, a squeeze or 2 of lime juice or coriander, whatever you fancy. Enjoy!
Pumpkin Seeds...Raw are roasted are classed as one of the worlds healthiest foods with many health benefits.
For more information on the health benefits of Pumpkin seeds here is a very good article from Sally over @ Smorgasbord Magazine…
Pumpkin Pie Muffins:
- 1 1/2 cups of whole wheat flour
- 1 1/2 cups of unbleached all-purpose flour
- 5 tsp of pumpkin spice mix ( see recipe below to make own spice)
- 2 tsp Baking soda
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 30 ounces of pumpkin puree
- 2 cups of sugar
- 1 cup of sultanas or chopped walnuts
- 1/2 cup of coconut oil
- 1/2 cup of water
- 3 large eggs
Set the oven to preheat on 330 F or 166 C
Mix the dry goods together sieving the flours and whisk the wet ingredients together and then add the dry ingredients a little at a time gently stirring to combine.
Fill muffin tins to just below the top and bake for about 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the centre of a muffin comes out clean.
Allow to cool down on a wire rack.
Pumpkin Spice Mix.
- 4 tsp ground cinnamon
- 2 tsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp ground cloves
- 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
Mix all the spices together and keep in a lidded pot and use as required for muffins, pies or a nice spiced latte..
That’s all on the versatile Pumpkin for today …Be well and take care…Observe social distancing…xx
Thank you for reading I hope you all have a great weekend xxx