Golden Goblins – Pumpkins Herald the Taste of FallVitality Magazine October 1, 2006
We have pumpkin at morning and pumpkin at noon
If it were not for pumpkins, we would be undone
(old American pioneer folk song)
As ambassadors of fall, pumpkins greet us at every country roadside stand, urban supermarket and farmer’s field. They are late bloomers, radiating the warmth of summer sun even as nights turn cold and winter’s icy grip begins to tighten.
New World explorers called the pumpkin pompion meaning melon ‘cooked’ by the sun, and early settlers soon learned that the tasty flesh wrapped in its own thick packaging would keep all winter long if picked after the first frost. They emulated Native Americans by roasting pumpkin strips to eat hot or to dry for traveling, thus using it as a staple food source.
But the pumpkin’s value is more than skin deep. Rich in two forms of vitamin A (alpha and beta-carotene), lutein, vitamin C, and fibre, pumpkin flesh fights free radicals, protects the heart, and guards against cancer of the lung, mouth, throat, gastrointestinal tract and the prostate. In fact, one-half cup pumpkin (average serving) delivers more beta-carotene than any other food after sweet potatoes and carrots.
The seeds contain “pacifarins, an antibiotic resistance factor that increases man’s natural resistance to disease”, according to Dr. Paavo Airola, N.D., PhD. Used to treat and prevent parasites as well as to nourish and restore the prostate gland, pumpkin seeds are high in zinc and essential fatty acids, so this year, be a Jack-o-Lantern seed saver.
Even better, this autumn, take your pumpkin off the porch and let it light up your plate. Use the cubed, shredded or puréed flesh in stir-fry dishes, stews, soups, and salads; the cold pressed pumpkin seed oil on salads and cold dishes; and grind the seeds with almonds, sesame seeds and peanuts for a nutritious morning spread.
This recipe offers an easy way to keep pumpkin (or other squashes) ready to add to soups, stews, muffins, breads, sauces and casseroles, this method intensifies the flavour and sweetness of the flesh by roasting.
- 1 cooking pumpkin
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
Substitute sweet potatoes or squash for the pumpkin, if desired. Use any cooked legume: chickpeas, soybeans, lentils, and beans in this nutritious meat alternative dish.
(Makes: 4 – 6 servings)
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 red pepper, chopped
- 2 cups cubed pumpkin flesh
- 1-1/2 cups cooked black beans
- 2 Tbsp chopped fresh savory or oregano
- 1 Tbsp each: minced ginger root, lemon juice, soy sauce
This is a healthy alternative to the sweet yam and marshmallow side dish traditionally served at Thanksgiving.
(Makes: 6 servings)
- 2 cups pumpkin cubes
- 2 Tbsp butter
- 1/2 onion, finely chopped
- 2 Tbsp brown rice syrup
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries
- 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
- salt and pepper to taste
Two ounces, taken daily, of this spread provides a therapeutic dose of the amino acids alanine, glycine and glutamic acid. These substances were proven in one study to reduce the major symptoms of prostate enlargement.
- 1 cup hull-less pumpkin seeds
- 1/2 cup sesame seeds
- 1/4 cup almonds
- 3 Tbsp honey
- 2 Tbsp flaxseed