What is a pumpkin's favorite sport?
Pumpkins are the most popular of the winter squashes. Most people just associate them with Halloween and making lanterns but pumpkins are "terror-ifically" high in vitamin A, fibre and flavonoid poly-phenolic antioxidants such as lutein, xanthin and carotenes.
Vitamin A and these other antioxidants are essential for good eyesight, glowing skin and healthy mucosa which are membranes that line many cells in our body including those in our respiratory and digestive tracts.
In addition the fibre in pumpkins helps to aid healthy digestion and weight management.
FUN FACT: Pumpkins are actually a fruit because they grow on a vine and have seeds!
Pumpkin seeds are loaded with protein, omega-3 fatty acids, iron, niacin, selenium and zinc.
This provides a colorful splash of energy and support for our immune systems especially as darker, colder, wetter weather sinks in.
Pumpkin seeds also contain beneficial amounts of the amino acid tryptophan which converts into serotonin, our "happy hormone" and so can have positive effects on mood, sleep and anxiety.
So don't throw out your patch of pumpkin goodness.....
Instead "squash" it up into some recipes like my soup below!!!!! (With a tasty thanks to Shane Halpin for the superb supply of local fresh produce)
Squashes into 4-6 mouths!!
-1 medium sized pumpkin (approx 1kg)
-3 cloves of garlic
-3 sticks of celery
-3 cooking apples
-Hard cheese to grate on top such as the flavorsome Coolea Farmhouse Cheese
-300ml hot water (use herbs and spices below for flavour rather than a salty stock cube)
- 3 tsp of a mix of whatever of the following you have in the kitchen/garden!:
Turmeric, cumin, coriander, cayenne pepper, ginger, fenugreek, mustard seed, cardamom, cinnamon
Of these flavours, try and combine something fiery to give the soup a kick such as cayenne pepper/ginger and something warm and gentle to soften the flavour such as cardamom, cinnamon.
Method to my madness!!
1. Prepare all the ingredients such as chopping the vegetables.
2. Sauté the onions and garlic in a little bit of butter and your desired herbs/spices.
3. Add the prepared veg and hot water, cover and simmer for 15 mins.
4. Add in the milk and apple for the last 10mins of cooking until vegetables are soft.
5. Blitz using a blender/food processor. Add more liquid if the consistency is too thick.
6. Serve with grated cheese on top. Add pumpkin seeds if you like a bit of a crunch!
-1 puimcín (timpeall 1kg)
-3 ionga ghairleoige
-3 meacan bán
-3 craobha shoilire
-3 úlla cócarála
- 300ml uisce te
-3 thaespúnóg aon measc de na blasanna seo atá sa chófra/gairdín:
tuirmiric, cuimín, lus an choire, piobar chéin, sinséar, fenugreek, síol mustard,
1. Ullmhaigh na comhábhair mar shampla glasraí a ghearradh.
2. Sótáil n'oinniúin agus an ghairleog le cnapán beaga im agus na blasanna a bhíonn fonn ort.
3. Cuir leis na glasraí mhionghearrtha agus an uisce te, clúdaigh é agus déan suanbhruith ar feadh 15 nóiméad.
4. Cuir leis an bainne agus úlla ar feadh 10 nóiméad go dtí na glasraí cócaráilte go hiomlán.
5. Déan blitz ar an meascán anraith le cumascóir/próiseálaí bia. Cuir le níos mó n-uisce go dtí go mbeidh tiús sásúil ann.
6. Cuir ar an mbord le cáis ghrátáilte agus síolla puimcín chun mungail a fháil!