In addition to being healthy, pumpkin also contains another healthy ingredient, that is pepitas, or pumpkin seeds. Pepitas are very rich in minerals such as zinc, magnesium and iron. They are also high in protein content, about 20%. Unfortunately, like many other nuts and seeds, pepitas contain anti-nutrients like phytic acid, or phytate, that can make all the previously discussed important nutrients less bioavailable when you consume them. These anti-nutrients bind to minerals, especially zinc and iron, and the minerals cannot be absorbed.
I found a study that was specifically designed to research this factor in pumpkin seeds. It concluded, ‘The subsequent digestion under intestinal conditions showed that Zn becomes less accessible, indicating that antinutrients like naturally present phytate may be responsible for complex formation in the small intestines, thus reducing the potential for Zn bioavailability.’ (Food Chemistry, Volume 128, Issue 4, 15 October 2011, Pages 839-846)
So, if you plan on consuming seeds or nuts on a regular basis, it would be wise to soak or sprout them, that is what doctors advise. Unfortunately, ‘the soaking of whole seeds for 24 h can lead to leaching of iron and, to a lesser extent, of zinc ions into the soaking medium.’ The same applies to all legumes and grains. The good news, it was also proved that fermentation can completely hydrolyze the phytic acid. (Food Chemistry, Volume 138, Issue 1, 1 May 2013, Pages 430-436) And by the way, the heating also causes phytic acid reduction.
500g roasted pumpkin
2 eggs (alternative: 2 tablespoons of white chia seeds for Vegan)
1/2 cup oil
1/2 teaspoon himalayan salt
1 teaspoon Bi-Carb soda
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup almond flour
1/4 cup teff flour
1/2 cup quinoa flour
3/4 cup amaranth flour
100g pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
*1 standard size silicone bread form or 3 mini bread forms
1. Bake the whole pumpkin at 195C for an hour then check for readiness by pressing onto the pumpkin. If it is not soft, reduce the temperature to 160C and keep for another 30 minutes. Let it cool down.
2. Cut the pumpkin in half and remove the seeds. Using a large spoon scoop out the pumpkin flesh and measure 500g for the bread. The rest can be frozen, or stored for 3 days in the refrigerator if placed into the dry clean glass container.
3. Save about 20g of pumpkin seeds for topping the bread later. Crush the rest of seeds in the coffee grinder for a few seconds or mortar.
4. Mix all the ingredients except those saved pumpkin seeds for topping. Transfer the dough into a silicone bread form and sprinkle with the rest of pumpkin seeds.
5. Bake standard size bread at 180c for 35 minutes. If needed switch off the fan. Bake mini breads for 25 minutes.
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