We recently talked about how good pumpkin and pumpkin seeds can be for your hair. Pumpkin is high in vitamin A, vitamin C, niacin, zinc, iron, and contains cucurbitacin, a biochemical compound, shown in research to promote hair growth. Pumpkin seeds also have two things that are good for your hair: delta-7-sterine and several phytosterols including beta-sitosterol. Here's a few ways to easily add pumpkin into your diet.
Pumpkin comes in all shapes, sizes, and colors. The pumpkin we know the best in North America is the bright orange one. It’s really just a big fat squash, so, you can treat it and cook it like you would any squash. It can be roasted, baked, poached, grilled, boiled, mashed and sautéed, and once cooked, you can eat it hot or cold. The skin is edible, and so are the leaves. In cooking, a bright orange flesh is considered particularly appetizing. Raw pumpkin is pretty hard, so make sure your knife is sharp, and you have a sturdy cutting board. As the seasons change and temperatures cool you can warm up with this delicious Pumpkin soup.
1 kg pumpkin flesh, peeled and cut in cubes
1 liter + 1 C. full-fat milk
1 C. heavy cream
Salt and pepper to taste
Garnish with chopped chives and croutons. You can make homemade croutons if you feel ambitious.
Cook (poach) the pumpkin in the simmering milk until soft. Watch it carefully—this won’t take long. Let cool, then put the whole mixture either through a food mill or process it in a food processor or blender.
Reheat slowly and add cream and salt and pepper to taste.
Don’t boil it. Serve with some croutons and some fresh chopped chives.
You certainly can buy pumpkin seeds that are ready to eat, but you can also prepare them yourself, and pumpkins are available right now. Here’s how to do it.
Take your pumpkin, cut it open, and pull out all the seeds and the stringy bits. Put all of this in a colander. Under running water, try to separate the stringy stuff (the pulp) and discard it, leaving you with a colander full of seeds. It’s okay if some pulp remains. Put the seeds in a bowl and toss them with a little vegetable oil or melted butter, about 1 tablespoon. Spread them on a baking sheet, and bake them for 30 minutes at 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Take them out, stir them around, and bake for another 20-30 minutes. They will dry out and brown. It’s a messy job, but the fresh taste much better than the ones you buy.
If you like, add to the oil or butter any combination of the following:
Salt, pepper, Cajun spice, hot sauce, garlic powder, curry powder, sugar, cumin or oregano.
*The soup recipe given above is a French family recipe, and its origin is unknown.
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