September is a fertile season for harvesting. And if we find apples and pears, a variety of nuts and the same root crops, how to use them in the kitchen, then pumpkins are often overlooked.
Pumpkin is an incredibly useful and with the right approach tasty fruit that not every hostess can cook. What do we know about pumpkins? What of them can make porridge? And the soup is mashed. And what is the use of pumpkin? How to choose the most delicious and healthy? And what else besides porridge and pumpkin soup can be cooked?
The chemical composition and properties of pumpkin
Few people think about it, but pumpkin is an incredibly useful product, it is a diet product. Due to the composition, arranged in a unique way, pumpkins improve overall health, are good for digestion and are incredibly rich in vitamins and minerals. September and October are the season of pumpkins, and in no case should you miss this time.
Pumpkin seeds deserve special attention, and freshly squeezed pumpkin juice is used in home cosmetology – in it vitamin E, which is opposed to aging processes. Pumpkin seeds differ in their antihelminthic properties. The very same pumpkin is relevant for diseases of the kidneys, heart, cholecystitis, constipation, hypertension, obesity.
What is the use of pumpkin and why is the chemical composition of its pulp so interesting?
Studies have confirmed the content in the pulp of pumpkin such nutrients:
- salts of potassium, magnesium, calcium, sodium,
- macronutrients – phosphorus, chlorine, sulfur,
- trace elements – iron, zinc, copper, manganese, fluorine,
- easily digestible vegetable protein,
- plant fiber (cellulose polysaccharides),
- beta carotene and vitamin A,
- vitamins C, PP, B, B2, E,
- rare vitamin T (or B17), which allows you to use pumpkin as a side dish for fatty dishes without the risk of getting better,
- pectic substances,
- bacteria symbiotes, which ensures the effect of detoxification of formaldehydes, plant poisons, heavy metals and even suppresses the development of tubercle bacilli.
The benefits of pumpkin manifests itself in a variety of ways. Each useful property of this product is provided by its individual component or combination thereof:
- thanks to vitamin E and carotene, the pumpkin prevents the aging process, the same vitamin facilitates menopause and menstrual pain, eliminates the feeling of hunger;
- riboflavin (B2), carotene and vitamin A have a positive effect on eye health, are involved in the formation of immunity and resistance to viruses and bacteria;
- vitamin C in a pumpkin is traditionally a component that provides strong immunity and resistance to colds, because on the eve of cold weather the pumpkin is especially appropriate for the place;
- pumpkin diet product due to the content of vitamin T, which prevents obesity and promotes the absorption of heavy foods(fatty meat, beans, etc.);
- pumpkin rich in fiber and pectin substances prevents constipation, cleans the digestive tract, removes all slags and toxins from the body;
- simple carbohydrates contained in the pumpkin, provide a quick rush of strength and energy; along with them in the pumpkin, all are also fiber, and therefore polysaccharides – their cleavage will provide energy with time; as a result, a portion of the pumpkin dish quickly and for a long time satisfies hunger;
- the content of plant fibers in the pumpkin allows it to prevent the development of colitis, diabetes and even malignant tumors in the same intestine in the diet;
- due to the content of potassium salts, the pumpkin has a diuretic effect, removes salts accumulating in it from the body without irritating the kidney tissue; Actual pumpkin for chronic constipation, hemorrhoids, renal failure, inflammation of the urinary system;
- due to the content of calcium and vitamins B and C, pumpkin normalizes blood pressure;
- because of the balanced content of organic acids, pumpkin helps to normalize the processes of regulation of the metabolism of salts, cholesterol, bile acids;
- due to the iron content in the pumpkin, the blood of its lovers is saturated with hemoglobin, the mood rises, the complexion improves;
- thanks to folic acid, a portion of pumpkin stimulates the formation of red blood cells, which carry oxygen, and white blood cells, which are responsible for the immune system;
- manganese in the composition of the pumpkin ensures the normal functioning of muscle tissue, prevents liver obesity and helps the development of bone tissue, and also blocks free radicals;
- calcium and phosphorus from pumpkin are necessary for bone tissue, because they contribute to its normal development, and also form part of the essential amino acids.
The uniqueness of such a product as a pumpkin is that its flesh has practically no contraindications – does not cause allergic reactions, it can be used even in patients with increased acidity of the stomach, which the same radish, tomato, orange, apples, plums, cabbage, tangerines, carrot.
How to choose a tasty pumpkin?
Very often, a dislike for a pumpkin is born because they simply buy and cook an unappetizing variety of pumpkin. It happens after all, and feed pumpkin, it is not suitable for human consumption, and if it is eaten, then the body will not receive the maximum benefit from it.
Let’s find out which pumpkins are the most delicious and how to distinguish them from the rest.
First of all, it is recommended to buy a whole pumpkin, and not half, a quarter, or even completely chopped into pieces and peeled. On the one hand, such a purchase is convenient – the goods are sold by weight, you can buy the pulp as much as you need, you can see its color and ripeness, but you cannot be sure about the pumpkin variety and that bacteria did not start in the pulp. This is similar to sliced watermelon or melon.
When you go to the market to pick a pumpkin or choose seeds for self-growing the fruit, give preference to such varieties.
Nutmeg. Its flesh is juicy, sweet, bright saturated color, with a nutty flavor. Ideal for baking and cooking desserts. Its distinguishing feature is an elongated shape – oval, cylindrical, like a guitar or a zucchini overgrown. Thickening closer to the flower, here are the seeds. In the nutmeg pumpkins, the seeds are the least, and they are not chosen because of the seeds, but because of the incredibly useful pulp.
Hardened. Just such a pumpkin is the choice of those who are interested not so much in the pulp of the fruit as in its seeds. Its flesh is almost tasteless, even slightly bitter. This pumpkin is stored for long. Therefore, it is better to extract the seeds from such pumpkins, and make blanks from the pulp. The pulp can also be suitable for cooking meat dishes and side dishes. Pumpkins of the hard-to-see species have an egg-like shape, a very, very hard peel, which is often very difficult to cut. The stalk of a pumpkin has a very large grooves, faces, and at the cut it looks like an asterisk.
Large fruit. The most versatile pumpkin option. In large pumpkins, the shape is round, flattened. The stem is cylindrical, rounded, without edges. On the cut, it will turn out just a circle, and occasionally – a hexagon. It is stored for a very long time, and over time it only gets tastier. Freshly harvested fruits are usually tasteless, but by winter, when the starch in the pulp turns into sugar, the large-fruited pumpkin will be extremely appropriate.
Do not buy a pumpkin without a tail, if you buy it for the future. The pumpkin begins to deteriorate from the tail, and if it is not there, then it will not lie for more than a week.
If you bought a large pumpkin, be sure to leave it in the sun for a couple of days. Then the peel will dry out and harden, which will create a barrier that reduces moisture loss. So the pumpkin will lie as long as possible. Then it is better to store the pumpkin in a dry room that is well ventilated, for example, in the kitchen under the table or on the balcony. If you wrap the pumpkin in paper, it will protect it from sudden changes in temperature and only prolong the shelf life.
What to cook pumpkin?
Pumpkin – a versatile product from which you can cook a lot of different dishes. These include side dishes, desserts, soups, and smoothies.
The most popular way to beat a pumpkin is to make porridge. Most often, these are sweet cereals, which are complemented by spices, dried fruits, honey, and milk. Millet or rice is added to the pumpkin pulp from the cereals, oatmeal can be added.
Another way to cook pumpkin is to bake. Pumpkin pulp is baked in the oven, then it can be pureed and supplemented with other ingredients, or it can be seasoned with spices and served in this form to the table. Baked pumpkin is added to cheesecakes, muffins and other baked goods. In the desserts pumpkin can be stuffed. You can also make salty pie from pumpkin.
You can boil pumpkin and boiled, then you get soup. In this case, the pulp of the pumpkin combined with other root vegetables, milk, cheese. Taste is supplemented with fresh vegetables, spices, crackers, fried bacon.
Maximum good contains pumpkin juice or smoothies. For this juicy fresh pumpkin is ground in a blender and consumed with pulp or filtered. Such juice can be drunk in its pure form, diluted with drinking water or other fresh juices.
Folk remedies with pumpkin in the composition
The benefits of pumpkin are so multifaceted and obvious that traditional medicine could not use the pumpkin in their recipes. On the basis of a pumpkin or with its addition to other ingredients, preparations are prepared for various diseases. Simply just including pumpkin in the diet on a regular basis allows you to improve your health or prevent diseases such as pyelonephritis and nephritis, hypertension, diabetes and obesity, cancer, gastritis and ulceration of the stomach and duodenum, cholecystitis, kidney and heart diseases.
Note that you can take these original and very effective recipes of folk remedies from pumpkin:
- for insomnia – 50 grams of pumpkin porridge or 1/3 cup of pumpkin broth with honey twice a day;
- for liver diseases or metabolic disorders – up to two glasses of freshly squeezed pumpkin juice per day;
- for edema and heart disease – ½ cup pumpkin juice per day;
- with different forms of helminthiasis, preparations are made from pumpkin seeds or simply eat them in large quantities;
- for burns, wipe damaged skin with pumpkin juice.
Freshly pressed pumpkin juice is recommended to be added to different homemade masks, lotions, tonics, or simply to wipe the face with a cotton swab dipped in the juice. However, note that the enthusiasm for such a popular method, as in the case of carrot juice, can turn into an “unhealthy” orange skin color, which, however, is washed out.