Yet another Pumpkin recipe!
If you’ve managed to quit the sugar or trying to, but craving for a jam, try this recipe. You will love it!
Maybe you have some baked pumpkin left from Pumpkin Bread recipe, then this will be a great use for it.
This recipe also contains chia seeds; such a good source of calcium, protein, magnesium and phosphorus. Enjoy and stay healthy.
Pumpkin and Chia Jam
500 g ripe sweet pumpkin, alternatively roasted ready-to-use pumpkin
2 tablespoon black Chia seeds
3 tablespoon honey, for diabetic version use 1 teaspoon of Stevia sugar or add no sweetener at all
1. Preheat oven to 185C. If using ready-to-use pumpkin go to step 3.
2. Remove the pumpkin seeds, cover and bake for 50 minutes or until soft.
3. Transfer all the soft pumpkin including any liquid collected in the pumpkin into a food processor, add chia seeds and honey. Process until smooth and put into a glass jar to refrigerate.
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This is a very simple and easy way to enjoy a fresh, high quality piece of tuna. I find, it is a perfect entrée meal to share or a snack for two on the weekend.
I was served a similar dish in one of the Melbourne’s restaurants years ago and since, I have been using this idea to experiment with different coatings and sauces. This method is so versatile. So, next time you see a beautiful piece of tuna in the shop, get it and have a try.
I created Teff cookies and I found them magical. First, one cookie keeps you going for a few hours and also, they are great for weight management.
Besides Teff’s high-fibre and high-protein qualities, which were mentioned in the previous posts for Teff recipes, this super grain also contains vitamins K, B1, B2, B3, B6 and C, which is unique for a grain. Combination of minerals is also admirable, just a few to mention: copper, zinc, magnesium, iron (which is easily absorbed), and what is the most attractive for me is high amounts of calcium. If your body, like mine, doesn’t agree with dairy products, Teff is a very good option for calcium consumption. This array of vitamins and minerals found in Teff makes it a healthy, weight-managing and bone-strengthening food.
There is also a nut butter ingredient in my recipe. My choice is a cashew nut butter, which I love using for my desserts. However, a similar result can be achieved by using peanut butter. Peanuts have more protein than any of the other nuts. Also, peanuts champion the other nuts with plant Sterols, which can help lower bad cholesterol in your body and reduce the risk of heart disease. Cashews have the lowest fat content (the same as pistachios), although peanuts aren’t far behind.
1.5 cups Teff flour
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.
In this recipe I suggest to bake the whole pumpkin. But don’t worry the baked pumpkin can be stored very well and there are other recipes where the baked pumpkin can be used. See the links:
The pumpkin is a large fruit that is so versatile that it can be used in many sweet and savoury dishes. Pumpkin is packed with vitamins and minerals. Of note, it is very high in vitamin A and C, potassium and the minerals copper and phosphorous. Pumpkin is also very low in calories.
NPK fertilizer is often used to grow pumpkin. NPK stands for Nitrogen, Phosphorous and Potassium. One study from 2012 evaluated the influence of NPK fertilizer on protein, fibre, fat and carbohydrates, which collectively are called proximate content. The main focus of the study was to assess the effect of NPK fertiliser on antioxidant activities and antioxidant phenolic compounds in immature and mature fruits of pumpkin. It was found that ‘Between the control and the highest fertilizer rate, proximate compositions decreased by 7–62% while the antioxidant profile decreased by 13–79% for both immature and mature fruits. Across all the measured parameters, mature fruit had higher proximate contents and higher antioxidant concentrations.’ (Food Chemistry, Volume 135, Issue 2, 15 November 2012, Pages 460-463) It seems like buying very ripe pumpkin is a good idea. The conclusion made was ‘ For the high health value of pumpkin fruits to be maintained, little or no NPK fertilizer should be applied.’ Unfortunately, considering NPK can be organic fertilizer, how do we know how much of it was used in the pumpkin we buy?
Here it is my version of pumpkin soup that can convert anyone into becoming a pumpkin soup lover.
In Tzatziki and Teff Crackers post we discussed the health benefits of teff. This recipe will be loved by those who enjoy corn polenta but wish it had less carbs and more protein. Adding olives and cheese is just my improvisation that adds more flavours, you can also experiment with herbs and seeds. This polenta is best to accompany any dish with a sauce. Alternatively, polenta slices can be toasted and served with a soup.
5 cups water
1 cup polenta
1 cup teff flour
Teff is a fine grain, it is less than 1mm diameter. Traditional Ethiopian bread is made using fermented teff flour, which is naturally gluten free. Teff, being a tiny grain, is rich in fibre. Teff also contains similar amounts of protein as lentils, about 13%.
This suggested recipe below is simple but a great entertainer. It is a very healthy choice, and quick to prepare. The Tzatziki is made with raw zucchini and has a few more secret ingredients to make it unique.
Tzatziki and Teff Crackers