View the attached photo for an infographic from the WildAlchemist blog
Since it’s Halloween, I thought I’d post this. For the recipe, I wouldn’t add the coconut milk due to the saturated fat. I’d add almond milk, unsweetened. Laura
Pumpkin is considerably rich in vital antioxidants and vitamins. It is a very low calorie fruit; it contains no saturated fats or Cholesterol, and very low in Sodium; it is rich in dietary fibre, anti-oxidants, minerals, and vitamins, such as vitamin A, Vitamin E, Vitamin C, Thiamine, Niacin, Vitamin B6, Folate, Iron, Magnesium and Phosphorus, Riboflavin, Potassium, Copper and Manganese.
The pumpkin is bright orange because of its high levels of carotenoids, this fights off free radicals which cause premature ageing, cardiovascular diseases and certain infections.As mentioned, pumpkin contains high levels of the anti-oxidant vitamin A. Research studies suggest that natural foods rich in vitamin A, helps protect against lung and oral cavity cancers; it is also an essential vitamin for good visual sight and skin.
The fibre helps with lowering LDL cholesterol levels in the blood and also regulates the blood sugar levels, which helps weight control and those with diabetes. Pumpkin is great for improving HDL, (the good cholesterol), it may also help lower your risk of developing Type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
Pumpkin seeds contain the essential mineral zinc, which plays a role in preventing Osteoporosis. The seeds also contain alpha-linolenic acid, a type of omega-3 fatty acid. Eating a diet rich in ALA may help prevent cardiovascular disease and its risk factors including hypertension and high cholesterol. They contain phytosterols that lower cholesterol; phytosterols can also protect against many cancers. The L-tryptophan found in the seeds, is a compound naturally effective against depression. Tryptophan is converted into serotonin, a beneficial neuro-chemical often labelled as nature’s sleeping pill.
I could continually write about the benefits of pumpkin and its seeds, it is a fantastic healthy food that can be used in many different recipes. Here is a pumpkin soup recipe you could try-
Pumpkin, chilli and coconut soup
1 medium pumpkin,
1 large onion, chopped
2.5cm piece of root ginger, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
½ chilli, seeds removed, chopped
4 sprigs thyme
400ml coconut milk
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
sweet potato chunks, to taste (optional)
- Cut the pumpkin in half, then into wedges. Peel and deseed each wedge and cut the pumpkin flesh into 2.5cm Put the pumpkin in a large pan with the onion, ginger, garlic and chilli. Strip the leaves from the thyme and add to the pan.
- Pour in about 400ml of water, bring to the boil and cook until the pumpkin has turned to a pulp.
- Add the coconut milk and season to taste with salt, then reduce the heat and leave the soup to simmer for another 5–10 minutes.
- If you like, add chunks of sweet potato towards the end of the cooking.