The Benefits of Autumn’s Orange Plants 2: Pumpkin3 min read

Orange pumpkins of different sizes and shapes decorated the kitchen buffet of my parents home, every October. This signified for my family, the start of the winter season and a season of tasteful delights. My mother made amazing pumpkin soup, risotto and a sweet pie with white cheese and walnuts that my mouth palate will never forget. There are some tastes, smells and colours that travel you back in time with a dose of nostalgia. The orange pumpkin is one of them for me. Certainly its role in the fairytale of Cinderella, has placed it deep into my heart since I was a small girl.

The orange pumpkin is the trademark of Halloween nights that is celebrated tonight on the 31st of October, carved masterfully as a lantern. Beyond that, it has various uses into cookery and pastry making too, it is full of nutrients, its low on calories, and can be stored for almost a year in a cool place away from the sun as its hard exterior surface make it very resistant. It starts to appears in shops at the end of August till the end of March. The best time when its flesh is more rich and sweet is from October till November. It belongs to the same family as melons, cucumbers and watermelons but it is the least famous from its relatives especially in Greece.

It can be consumed in different ways & recipes such as: mixed winter variety of vegetables in the oven with potatoes, sweet potatoes and celeriac roots, accompanies legumes in the oven or in the pot, as puree, into pies or soups and for pastry making such as grilled in the oven with sugar and cinnamon, in homemade jams or spoon sweets, in cookies, cakes, tarts, smoothies or hot winter beverages.  It loves nutmeg, cumin, curry, grated allspice, ground cloves, ginger, cinnamon from spices, thyme from dry herbs and fresh herbs marjoram and fresh lemon -thyme too.

It is rich in beta-carotene that has exceptional antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, lowers the risk of different types of cancer mostly the cancer of intestine and lungs. It is high in fibre that always helps the intestine mobility and the people who suffer from gastric problems, in vitamins such as A, C and E, in potassium, magnesium and zinc. Moreover it contains protein and healthy fatty acids. All the above make pumpkin a precious food for our diet. 

In the meantime its seeds, the famous pumpkin seeds are full of inorganic salts, healthy fats and protein and are very rich in magnesium, very important for high energy levels, healthy bones and powerful nervous and cardiovascular system. They are eaten on top of soups or salads or as a snack.

Two superfoods into one package!!

We will share a few more recipes in following articles with some of the orange fall favourite plant.

 

Warm Spicy Pumpkin Drink

  • 1 tea cup diced pumpkin
  • 1 1/2 tea cup almond or dairy free milk
  • 1-2 tsp honey or maple or agave syrup
  • 1 tsp  gingerbread spice

 

Instructions:

  • Bake the diced pumpkin in a preheated oven for 15-20 minutes at 200 degrees until it is soft.
  • Mix all the ingredients in the blender.
  • Serve into your seasonal mug and add on top cinnamon or/and whipped cream with full fat coconut milk which you left overnight in the fridge.

Namaste

Irini Katrava

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