Autumn is officially here, which means it’s time to indulge in everything pumpkin. Good thing this signature fall vegetable is packed with vitamins and minerals including B vitamins, vitamin C, E and beta-carotene—just to name a few. Among its numerous health benefits, pumpkin also helps promote glowing skin and healthy hair. If you’re looking to improve the appearance of your skin , then adding pumpkin to your diet can help.
Vitamin C: Pumpkin is a good source of vitamin C, which helps protect skin from free radical damage, such as wrinkles and even skin cancer. Eating vitamin C rich foods also helps promote collagen production, which over time can improve skin tone and elasticity.
Carotenoids: Alpha-carotene, beta-carotene and other carotenoids are the protective antioxidants that are also responsible for giving pumpkins their bright orange hue. Eating foods that are a good source of carotenoids can help to reverse UV damage and improve skin texture.
Minerals: Potassium, copper, magnesium, manganese, and iron are just a few of the minerals found in pumpkin. Potassium helps promote healthy hair and regrowth. Pumpkins are also rich in copper and zinc, which play a big part in healthy skin and hair. Zinc helps protect cell membranes, maintain collagen, fight acne, and promotes skin renewal. Pumpkin seeds are high in zinc and easy to add into your diet. Try sprinkling them in soups, salads, or adding them to yogurt and oatmeal.
B Vitamins: Pumpkin is a good source of most of the B vitamins, including niacin, riboflavin, B6 and folate. Niacin helps treat acne and improve circulation. Folate also helps to improve circulation, which increases cell turn over and renewal.
I am sharing a Very Simple Pumpkin Soup recipe with you. I have made it several times and it's so yummy. I like to have mine with organic white rice which adds extra benefit.
Please, post photo's of your bowl of soup and tell me if you have changed the recipe at all. I am learning cooking is very creative, we can change a recipe to our very own taste.
1 large pumpkin (about 3 pounds), or 3 cups canned pumpkin (preferably organic) They will be marked pie pumpkin or sweet pumpkin
1 ½ cups water
1 teaspoon ghee or olive oil
1 cup chopped leeks or onions (I used organic leeks)
½ teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon curry powder
½ teaspoon cloves, ground
2 to 3 cups vegetable stock or water
1 tablespoon Braggs Liquid Aminos or tamari sauce (I use Braggs Liquid Aminos (healthier for you/you can find it at Earth Fare or Whole Foods) I am sure there are other places but that is where I have found it.
1 cup Organic Coconut Milk
Nutmeg for garnish
If using fresh pumpkin, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Wash pumpkin, cut in half, remove seeds. Place the pumpkin halves face down in a baking pan. Pour in the water and cover pan with foil. Bake for 30 min. or until a knife inserted in the pumpkin pulls out easily.
Let cool: then remove the pumpkin pulp from the rind with a spoon. Place into a bowl and set aside. You should have about 3 cups of pumpkin pulp.
Heat a soup pot over medium heat and add the oil. Add the leeks and spices. Saute for 4 or 5 min. or until the leeks are translucent. Add some stock or water if the mixture begins to dry.
Add the pumpkin pulp and continue to saute for another 3 or 4 min. Add the aminos or tamari and brown the pumpkin pulp slightly.
Add the vegetable stock or water to cover the pumpkin and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 10 min.
Using a hand blender or feel processor, puree the soup to a smooth and creamy consistency, adding the milk as you puree the soup. Return the soup to the pot and reheat if necessary.
Garnish with a sprinkle of nutmeg if you like.
Tip: Don't throw away the pumpkin seeds. You can make a tasty snack by roasting these hearty seeds, which are a good source of protein and zinc,mentioned above. Wash and clean the seeds well. Place on a paper towel and let dry and or pat them dry. Spread out on cookie sheet. Put in the oven for 20 min. Oven at 175 degrees. If you need to add salt, use sea salt. They are very tasty without salt. Remember, salt is not good for the skin or other organs. Our skin is our largest organ so we need to treat it well.
How to choose a Pumpkin:
Look for varieties specifically grown for consumption, such as the sugar pumpkin.
Choose a pumpkin that is brightly colored, blemish-free, and heavy for its size.
Smaller pumpkins have more succulent, tasty flesh. Don't use large pumpkins intended for jack-o lanterns as the pulp is watery and stringy.
A ripe pumpkin will have tough skin. Test it by gently pressing with your fingernail; if you can leave a mark on the skin, the pumpkin isn't ready for cooking.
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