Let’s face the cool air coming our way in the fall season has many of us craving a hot beverage and a sweet treat. This season I invite you to think au-natural.
Pumpkin is the perfect way to treat that sweet tooth. Pumpkin is rich in antioxidants. Filled with beta-carotene, potassium, zinc, fiber, vitamin C and E and magnesium as well. The mixture of these health filled nutrients promotes a strong immune system, helps lower cholesterol levels and regulate blood sugar. They also help prevent the on- set of cardiovascular diseases, improve reproductive health, strong bones & teeth and much more.
And don’t throw out the seeds! This high protein food can be tossed with oil and salt and roasted in the oven. Pumpkin seeds are a rich source of essential fatty acids. EFA help promote healthy skin and balance certain neurotransmitters in the brain to promote a sense of well being, regulate mood and promote high quality sleep.
Are you wondering what you can do with a pumpkin?
I personally love to put the whole pumpkin, sweet cooking kind, into the oven at about 375 degrees for 45 minutes or until soft. You don’t even have to slice it up just bake it off whole. Sometimes I coat it first with olive oil but you can bake it off with out the oil as well.
Then I scoop out the insides and eat it with greens, grains, high quality animal foods or beans.
Another creative way to use pumpkin is to put the cooked insides right into the blender with some broth and herbs and make a soup.
Other times I dice the raw pumpkin, put it into a pot of water with a steaming basket and cook it up that way,
As you can see its very versatile and so simple to use.
Try it out, play with it and think outside the box. Here are a few more ideas: pumpkin pudding, pumpkin butter, pumpkin pie, etc.
AND how about a scrumptious pumpkin bread recipe? I have included that recipe as well.
Here are some special tips for baking the bread too.
First if you can, GRIND YOUR OWN FLOUR. With that said you do need a special blade in order to break up the whole grain. I use the grain-mixing blender from my Vitamix. I highly recommend investing in a Vitamix. Now I know they are pricey, but SO worth it. I blend everything in mine: soups, dressings, smoothies, dips, etcÉ You do need a different container for grinding grains and nuts. Again worth it.
Flour bought in the store can go rancid quickly. The advantage of grinding your own grain is the security that you are eating the freshest food possible.
Then choose your sweeteners mindfully. Lately I use raw honey. Although higher on the glycemic index list than some sweeteners I find honey a wonderful way to eat local and there are so many healthy benefits. When choosing honey Ð GO RAW and LOCAL. When we use the honey from local bees it helps with many seasonal allergies. The raw honey has not been heated. This is essential because nothing has been “killed off”. Some benefits are it’s anti-bacterial, anti-viral, and anti-fungal properties, which can help with ones immune system, and some digestive issues.
The other unusual ingredient below is kudzu. It’s a thickener (like corn starch). To be perfectly honest we put it in by mistake but I think it added a nice “bounce” to the bread. It also has healing properties, unlike cornstarch, in aiding digestive issues.
I hope you enjoy the bread recipe as much as my family did. Share the loaves- this makes a lot of food. And have a very happy October.
WHAT YOU NEED
3-1/4 cup flour (spelt, whole wheat, rice) * Try using the whole grain and making your own flour.
3/4 cup of honey
2-1/4 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons kudzu
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
2 cups pumpkin puree
2/3 cup water
1-cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup chopped walnuts and/ or raisins (optional)
WHAT TO DO
Grease pans (two- three) loaf pans or 24 muffin pans.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Measure flour, balking soda, kudzu, salt and spices together in a large bowl. Stir.
Add pumpkin, water, honey, vegetable oil and eggs.
Beat until well combined. Fold in nuts and/ or raisons if using.
Pour batter in well-greased pans.
Bake 45 minutes to 1 hour for loafs and 20-25 minutes for muffins.
* For information on a Vitamix you can contact darshana. Contact info below.
Darshana Weill is a Food Freedom Coach and yoga teacher. She founded Fruition Women’s Health; a way of life that supports women to become liberated from emotional eating and live nourished lives. She works with individual and groups. She also teaches a variety of health related workshops around the Bay Area, Santa Cruz and nationally.
WORKSHOPS DARSHANA TEACHES AT THE YOGA TREE
The Yoga of Food: How is life feeding you? Yoga and Food for Emotional Eating, Cleanse and renew; a 3- week springtime cleanse, Nutrition 101, Sugar can be Medicine, Women’s Wellness: Treat PMS Naturally, To Be or Not To Be a Vegetarian and Love the Skin Your In! Transforming Body Image
FREE COACHING WITH DARSHANA
6 call series to end emotional eating.
Sign up at: http://liberationfromemotionaleating.com/
To contact Darshana directly call 510-423-0603 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org
Want more recipes? Check out Darshana’s 50 quick and easy recipes Ecookbook