Sweet, savory, earthy, almost nutty with a mouthfeel that is dense but smooth and creamy, I love pumpkin!!
It is one of my absolute favorite foods. Today in honor of fall and the supermoon, (as if I really need a reason), it has made its way into my latte, and also into some deliciously easy pumpkin pancakes.
The pumpkin is a member of the curcubito pepo squash family. It’s a winter squash, so is typically, when left to its own devices a seasonal food. It’s one that sort of sums up the onset of fall and symbolizes abundance and harvest in many cultures and it also calls to mind the mystical, magical world and have been part of Samhain celebrations for hundreds of years. Pumpkins and winter squash relatives can be found all over the world, although it appears they originated on the North American continent.
From a culinary perspective, pumpkin is awesome and easy to add to both sweet and savory dishes or drinks. I love pumpkin in my coffee but I am not a fan of sweet, flavored syrups, so instead I add the real thing. A teaspoon or two of pumpkin mixed with a tiny bit of coconut oil and cream... makes a to-die-for latte that is also good for you.
Next easy, peasy way to use pumpkin?? You guessed it, pancakes. This morning I took one half cup of pumpkin, one egg, ¼ c. chestnut flour and a pinch of baking soda...mixed them all up and griddled some delicious pumpkin pancakes for breakfast.
Pumpkin is delicious in soups, stews, casseroles, on its own, as a side, as a main, in baked goods and puddings; you name it, you can probably add pumpkin to it.
From a nutritional perspective, Pumpkin has all the same great benefits as other winter squash. It is very similar to the kabocha squash, although just slightly less nutrient dense. It is high in fiber and a great source of vitamins and minerals. It is especially rich in vitamin A. It is also full of phytonutrients that help lower cholesterol, manage blood sugar, and inhibit the oxidative stressors that contribute to cancer. It is packed with beta-carotene and zea-xanthine, which helps reduce the risk of certain cancers and other ailments like macular degeneration. It is another one of those foods that induces apoptosis in mutated cells while helping the healthy cells get even healthier.