Food / Health

Health Benefits of Pumpkin & “Pumpkin Ravioli” Recipe

Health Benefits:

Rich in Fiber – One cup of cooked, mashed pumpkin contains three grams of fiber – roughly 11 percent of your recommended daily intake.

Pumpkin seeds also contain some fiber (about 1.1 g in 28 gm of seeds).

You can consume boiled, roasted or baked pumpkin. You can also use pumpkin as a major ingredient in soup, breads and pies. Pumpkin is a great home remedy for constipation.

It’s an excellent source of vitamins A, K and C.

Vitamin A is a key nutrient for keeping our eyes healthy. Moreover, it also helps promote bone growth, keeps the Immune System strong and helps us to maintain a vigorous reproductive system.

Yet another reason why pumpkin is good for you is because it contains a lot of Vitamin K – about 40 percent of the recommended daily dose. Vitamin K is an overlooked bone builder and heart protector. In fact, one serving of pumpkin contains almost 20 per cent of your recommended daily dose of Vitamin C which is needed for the growth and repair of tissues in all parts of your body.

Loaded with Iron, Potassium and Magnesium – One small serving of pumpkin contains 250 milligrams of Potassium and the same small serving of pumpkin also contains a good amount of Iron. One cup has a little less than ten percent of your recommended daily allowance of Iron. Moreover, unlike other sources of Iron, pumpkin is fat-free.

Our body needs Magnesium for maintaining normal muscle function and for boosting our immune systems, among other things. Pumpkin seeds provide us with enough Magnesium to perform these functions well.

Selecting the right one – For cooking, you may want a pumpkin that is heavy for its size. The lighter ones are drier, with a bigger open space in the middle. For the most part, stay away from the large pumpkins when selecting one for eating.

Storage and Shelf Life – Pumpkins can keep for a long time in a cool dry place. Put newspapers underneath them for proper storage. Once the pumpkin has been cut open, you need to use it within a couple of days (or freeze it) as it may mold quickly. Cooked pumpkin is fine in the refrigerator for four to five days.

Pumpkin Ravioli

Ingredients:

1 cup of pumpkin
1/3 cup grated of Parmesan cheese
1/4 teaspoon of salt
1/8 teaspoon of black pepper
6 wonton wrappers
1 teaspoon of salt
1/2 cup of chicken broth
1 1/2 tablespoons of unsalted butter
chopped parsley

Method:

Combine pumpkin, Parmesan, ¼ teaspoon salt, and black pepper. Spoon about 2 teaspoons pumpkin mixture into center of each wonton wrapper. Moisten edges of dough with water; bring the two opposite sides together to form a triangle, pinching edges to seal. Place ravioli into a large saucepan of boiling water with one teaspoon salt; cook for seven minutes and drain in a colander. Place chicken broth and butter in pan; bring to a boil. Add ravioli, tossing to coat. Sprinkle with parsley.

Source: Indian Times Online Newspaper

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I purchased an “Indian pumpkin” (pictured above) from a local supermarket several months ago. I found the skin (sometimes referred to as pumpkin rind) extremely difficult to cut. After being able to carve in it, I made a hearty pot of chicken pumpkin soup. It was absolutely scrumptious. I’ll share photos and the recipe tomorrow.

I’m gonna try my hand at pumpkin ravioli in a day or so. I’m excited.

Enjoy!

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