High Altitude: A few decades ago, pumpkins were still considered a poor man’s food or relegated to animal feed. Today, it’s getting into the top chefs’ hate food.
His recipe for success? With only 25 kilocalories per 100 grams, the superfood is an ideal slimming aid, and at the same time it is bursting with healthy ingredients.
No wonder pumpkin production has doubled since 2016!
With us, orange-hued super vegetables are picked and sold in September and October: your chance to start the fall season well-armed.
Superfood pumpkin: species, origin and season
Botanically, the pumpkin is a berry, but what kind of berry! However, it is one of the largest berries in the world and is related to cucumber, melon and zucchini. In the year In 2016, a Belgian set a world record with 1.2 tons (!) of pumpkins.
The pumpkin family, which includes edible, ornamental, and oil pumpkins, includes about 800 species of pumpkins. Caution: decorative pumpkins are really only decorative, they contain the bitter cucuritanin, which can cause symptoms of poisoning.
With us, pumpkins are at the end of summer and autumn. You can find them in every supermarket from September to November. Winter cucumbers can be stored in a cool, dry place for a long time, so they can be used well until spring.
Tip: When you buy a ripe pumpkin, you can tell when you tap the shell because it looks empty.
Lesser-known summer squashes, such as patties and lemon squash, are harvested unripe and must be processed quickly – delicious as a raw vegetable in a salad.
These are the most popular pumpkin varieties
Foremost is the bright orange, versatile Hokkaido that you can eat by the skin. The most common edible pumpkins include giant pumpkins like the Yellow Hundred Weight, which are carved with Halloween ghosts.
Also, musk squash – like a fragrant nut squash – and pear-shaped butter.
With their firm flesh, they are suitable for soups, casseroles and cakes. Spaghetti squash produces an interesting result, the flesh breaks into strands as it cooks.
Pumpkin can be prepared easily and in many ways, boiled, fried, baked and fried, suitable as a soloist in a sweet soup, spicy in a chutney, filled in a vegetarian main course, as a side dish and finally sweet as a cake.
In the picture: the most popular pumpkin varieties
Ingredients: Pumpkin has a lot of good things to offer
For health, cucumbers offer a small burst of nutrients. Cucumber is a miracle cure for colds and flu because it is rich in vitamin C. The rich orange color indicates that there is more beta-carotene under the skin.
This is converted into vitamin A in the body, protects our cells, supports the immune system and is good for the eyes. But that’s not all: pulp results from mixing valuable minerals. Potassium and magnesium are good for the heart and strengthen the nerves – although avid pumpkin-growing fans fight over who has the biggest pumpkin.
Ingredients and nutritional values at a glance
|Average nutritional values||per 100 grams|
|Beta Carotene (µg)||580|
|Vitamin E (mg)||1.1|
|Folic Acid (µg)||35|
|Vitamin C (mg)||10|
Source: German Nutrition Association, Nutritional Value Table
The greatest benefits of pumpkin
- It is rich in vitamin C, beta-carotene, minerals, phytosterols and omegas.
- The part of the pumpkin covers one third of the vitamin A* needed per day
- Shelf life up to 3 months (stored cool and dry)
- The price is approximately 2 euros per kilogram
- Tip: A new pumpkin will feel hollow when you touch it.
* 200 g of Hokkaido pumpkin contains approximately 0.3 mg of vitamin A. Daily requirement men: 1 mg, women: 0.8 mg
Cucumbers are rich in vitamins
Sweet vegetables provide your body with many nutrients and have few calories.
Indians used to care for their wounds with porridge – today it cares for your skin as a homemade care mask.
- Slimming products; Depending on the variety, 100 grams of pulses have 23 to 27 calories – good for light cooking. At the same time, the vegetables provide many vitamins, including beta-carotene (as a precursor to vitamin A), vitamin C and vitamin E. Minerals such as potassium, magnesium, calcium and iron are included as well as filling fibers. Dietary fiber also supports digestion.
Antioxidant Hokkaido oranges have more beta-carotene than carrots. Antioxidants work against free radicals and are considered active cell protectors.
Its effectiveness as an anti-inflammatory should not be underestimated either: beta-carotene removes potential cancer cells and helps regenerate damaged skin cells.
- Ability to seeIn the body, beta-carotene is eventually converted to vitamin A – an important nutrient for our eyes.
Do not worry that healthy substances will be lost during cooking – on the contrary, beta-carotene can be easily used in the digestive tract when heated.
- Pumpkin seed oil for heart and prostate; Valuable oil is obtained from pumpkin seeds. Vitamin E and linoleic acid reduce cholesterol levels and prevent cardiovascular diseases. In addition, Taiwanese research shows that pumpkin seed oil can prevent prostate growth.
Pumpkin Seed Power Snack; When it gets dark early in the fall, your spirits drop. The amino acid tryptophan (or: L-tryptophan) found in pumpkin seeds is involved in the production of the happy hormone serotonin.
Just a handful a day is enough to boost your mood. In addition, the seeds contain omega-3 fatty acids, which have a positive effect on blood pressure, have an anti-inflammatory effect and improve heart and blood circulation. The little power packs also boast phytosterols and can ease your symptoms if you get a bladder infection on those chilly fall days.
Medicinal plant Indians used the plant externally, grinding the powder, mixing it with spring water, and spreading the cooled porridge over fires. They cured wounds and cracks by heating the leaves of the plant and placing them on painful areas.
Beauty Elixir; Vitamin A, vitamin C, beta-carotene – also acts as a mask for the skin. Simple recipe: Mix 2 teaspoons of ripe pumpkin with half a teaspoon of honey and ¼ teaspoon of milk and apply the mask on the face and décolleté in circular motions. Wash with warm water after 10 to 15 minutes.
Our 10 most delicious pumpkin recipes
Fortunately, local top flyers flock to every supermarket and garden stand. Our favorites: Hokkaido, spaghetti, nutmeg and butternut squash. The latter tastes good with cakes or desserts. Try our ideal recipes.