Pumpkin soup, pumpkin pie, pumpkin salad: Hardly any vegetables are as varied as pumpkin. However, not all pumpkin foods are equally healthy. What should be considered when preparing?
There are countless ways to prepare pumpkin. You can cook, grill, roast, bake, purée, eat raw (but, really!) Or sweet-sour. Process to soup, serve as a side dish, baked with cheese, filled with minced meat, sprinkle over the salad. Pumpkin is traditionally served as a sweet cake in the USA. All matter of taste. But which pumpkin recipe, which form of preparation is also healthy?
In principle, there is a lot of good and a little bad in the pumpkin. He supplies, for example, potassium, vitamin B6, Vitamin C, and beta carotene, the precursor of vitamin A, which gives the pumpkin its orange-yellow color. At the same time, squash is low in calories and low in fat and sugar – provided you do not pour butter over it, do not bake it with cheese and do not put it in sugar.
Rule 1: Pumpkin in the lead role
The first rule for a healthy preparation is, therefore: Choose a recipe in which the pumpkin may be completely himself (or is combined with friends and relatives from the vegetable patch.) Specifically, this means: pumpkin soup rather than pumpkin cream soup, pure rather than with Gratinate cheese and prefer it in salad or in the vegetable pan than in the cake. To prevent healthy autumn vegetables from becoming a calorie bomb.
Rule 2: Try raw first
Rule number two has to do with one of the few unhealthy substances in pumpkin: cucurbitacin. This bitter-tasting substance can cause nausea and vomiting, stomach cramps, diarrhea and mucosal irritation in humans. Pumpkin plants encase it to protect against predators. From the cultivated pumpkins cucurbitacin was bred out as far as possible. Because there are always exceptions, you should not eat pumpkin if it tastes bitter. It is best to try a small piece of raw pumpkin before preparation – this will save you a lot of work (if it actually tastes of cucurbitacin).
Rule 3: Cook as gently as possible
Now for the good in the pumpkin: How do you ensure that in the preparation – and eating – no valuable ingredients are lost? To answer that, one must first consider the properties of the vitamins and minerals contained in the pumpkin:
- Vitamin C and Vitamin B 6 are water-soluble and heat sensitive. The highest vitamin content is therefore fresh, raw pumpkin – about finely grated in a salad. Even cooked pumpkin still contains vitamins, unless you heat it too long and not too hot. Optimal is a baking temperature of 180 degrees Celsius. If you want to steam or steam pumpkin, you should use as little liquid as possible. Frying is never a good idea from a health perspective. You should only cook pumpkin if you consume the cooking water afterward – for example with a pumpkin soup. They should not cook longer than necessary and should not keep warm (rather warm up later).
- Beta-carotene is one of the fat-soluble vitamins. From pumpkin foods containing oil, the body can, therefore, gain more beta-carotene (and thus vitamin A) than from fat-free. However, as studies suggest, beta-carotene uptake in the gut is especially important because of the size of the pieces. The more the pumpkin is crushed, the more beta carotene the body can absorb. Accordingly, a lot of beta-carotene provides the pumpkin soup – preferably with a small shot of healthy vegetable oil.
Rule 4: Eating varied
Which recipe is the best from a nutritional point of view, can not be said all-inclusive – the preparation forms each have different advantages and disadvantages. The most important rule is: Eat varied. Sometimes pumpkin soup, sometimes pumpkin salad, sometimes baked pumpkin as a side dish. Until November – the end of the pumpkin season – you can try at least 80 different pumpkin recipes. Good Appetite!
Tip: Do not throw the seeds away. Pumpkin seeds are ideal as a filling for soup or salad and as a healthy snack. In contrast to the pulp, pumpkin seeds are very fatty and thus high in calories. But the pumpkin seed oil is a healthy fat. First, because it is rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids. Second, because it contains a lot of vitamin E.
- First, remove pulp and fibers.
- Allow the kernels to dry for one day and then heat them – along with the light peel – in the oven or pan until the peel bursts.
- Then you can spice and roast the seeds as you like.