Whether as soup, on the grill or carved into a face: as many different pumpkins there are, their uses are as varied. Pumpkins also have a lot to offer in terms of healthy ingredients.
With only 27 calories per 100 grams of flesh, autumn vegetables are not just a healthy source of satiety. Also beta Carotin (protective substance for the cells, antioxidativ), mineral materials (above all potassium, magnesium, iron, calcium) and satisfying ballast materials are contained in large quantities.
Pumpkin seeds, which are used to make oil, among other things, can also be used as a healthy snack for in between meals. They are rich in unsaturated omega-6 fatty acids and anti-inflammatory. To roast them yourself, the seeds must first be separated from the fibrous flesh and then dried for a few hours. Afterwards they are roasted in the oven (approx. 10 min at 160°C circulating air, turn every 5 min) or in the frying pan (mix with olive oil and spices, cover the bottom of the pan completely with olive oil and then cover it with a lid at high heat until the light peels pop open).
There are no limits to your imagination with pumpkins! While decorative pumpkins in all colours are used for decoration, the several weeks durable pumpkins fit into almost every dish – from soup to main course to dessert. The following pumpkins are the most common of the 800 or so species worldwide: Muscat pumpkin, butternut, hokkaido pumpkin, yellow quintal.
There is not THE pumpkin for THE dish. Depending on taste preference and recipe, different types can be processed. For a pumpkin soup, for example, butter groove (nutty, buttery, slightly sweet) or Hokkaido pumpkins (aromatic, slightly nutty) are often chosen.
There are countless recipes for pumpkin soups and the preparation times vary accordingly. If it has to be quick, the following very simple recipe (as a main course for 2-3 people) can be used:
- 2 onions
- 3 cloves of garlic
- 1 butternut pumpkin
The onions and garlic cloves are finely chopped and fried in olive oil. Then add the pumpkin cut into small pieces (unlike the Hokkaido pumpkin, the butternut is peeled beforehand). Leave everything in the pan for about 10 minutes until the pumpkin is soft enough for the blender. After pureeing the mixture, add water (the more liquid, the less creamy), vegetable stock and spices (e.g. curry) to the pan. The soup can then be tasted with a little cream or coconut milk.
The next recipe requires a little more ingredients and time (gives approx. 2 litres of soup):
- 2 onions
- 3 cloves of garlic
- 4 carrots
- 1 butternut pumpkin
- 3 cm ginger
- 1/2 apple
- water with buoillon and 1 tablespoon curry powder
- juice of 3 oranges
Finely chop onions and garlic and sauté in olive oil. Then add the finely chopped carrots and pumpkin and sauté, deglaze with a little water and then add the ginger and apple. Continue cooking at medium heat until everything is soft enough for the blender. After pureeing, dilute with water, bouillon and curry. Add the orange juice and bring to the boil. Ready 🙂
Facts about Halloween
Halloween or All Hallows Eve has its origin in Ireland. With the Celtic New Year festival “Samhain” (end of summer) the harvest and the beginning of winter were celebrated. The Celts believed that the gates to the underworld were open on the eve of 1 November. To this day it is unclear what exactly happened that night. The stories range from people dressed like dead people to huge fires that were lit to drive away evil spirits. However, the version with the pumpkin lantern and the sweets has prevailed: The dead who walked the earth that night to visit their relatives were welcomed with sweets and lights. By the way, Halloween only arrived in the USA in the 19th century with the Irish immigrants who brought their customs with them and cared for them.
And those who wonder how the carved pumpkin became the symbol of Halloween should read the legend of Jack oLantern, an Irish blacksmith and drunkard. Because they didn’t want to take Jack into heaven or hell after his death, he received a piece of coal from the devil to wander between the worlds with this light forever. Jack placed the coal in a hollowed out beet, which now accompanies him as a lantern on his eternal journey. But because there were only a few turnips in the USA, the emigrated Irish used pumpkins instead.
Pumpkins can easily be carved with a sharp and pointed knife. First remove the top cover with a round cut and hollow out the pumpkin with a spoon. Then you can paint the face on the outside with a felt-tip pen and then cut along the line with the knife. By the way, there are special pumpkin carving knives available for this purpose.
To make pumpkin carving a special experience for the whole family, many farms now also offer carving courses. At the Bächlihof in Jona SG or the Juckerhof in Seegräben ZH, the month of October is all about pumpkins: from the carving festival to the Swiss Pumpkin Weighing Championships to tastings, everything is there.
And remember: autumn is pumpkin season. And during the season they not only taste better, but are also healthier for people and the environment.