31 Days of Raw: Day #31 Pumpkin
Considering this is Halloween Evening, and many of you have carved pumpkins in your home, here are some great facts about that wonderful fruit (yes, it's a fruit - it has seeds!) and some fun ways to prepare it! Did you know that the Natives used pumpkins, isqoutm or isquotersquash as they were called, for food and even healing? Not only did they flatten and dry thin strips of pumpkin, making them into mats, but research shows, many Native American tribes were well aware of the pumpkin's healing properties.
* Yuma tribes created an emulsion from pumpkin seeds and watermelon to help heal wounds.
The seed oil was also used to treat burns and wounds.
* Catawabas ate pumpkin seeds either fresh or dry as a medicine for kidney support.
* Menominees mixed powdered squash and water to for urinary support.
* Modern folk healers believe the pumpkin to be beneficial in ridding the body of intestinal
worms and also believe the ground stem of the pumpkin brewed into a tea may help ease
women during their menstrual cycle.
Rich in antioxidants:
Pumpkins are packed with a number of immune-boosting antioxidants, including alpha-carotene and beta-carotene, which give this fall vegetable its orange hue. These antioxidants play a number of key roles in keeping our bodies healthy. They protect our eyes, enhance our immune system and aid in cancer prevention. Alpha- and beta-carotene are also carotenoids, or precursors to vitamin A, which the body uses to maintain healthy vision and skin.
High in fiber:
Pumpkins are high in fiber; one cup of pumpkin meat contains 3 grams of dietary fiber, which the body uses to control blood sugar, lower bad cholesterol and aid in weight loss.
Low in calories (and fat):
Pumpkin is naturally low in fat and calories (one cup contains only 49 calories), making pumpkin a healthy snack (and probably a healthier pie option, too). If plain pumpkin isn't sweet enough, skip the sugar and try adding cinnamon to enhance pumpkin's flavor. (Cinnamon is good for you, too.)
Good source of vitamins:
Vitamin A aside, pumpkins contain high amounts of other essential vitamins and minerals, such as vitamins C and E, magnesium, potassium and iron.
The beta-carotenes found in pumpkin are converted to retinols, vitamins which are important for vision – particularly night vision. Studies have shown that beta-carotenes can also reduce the risk of age-related cataracts. Previous studies have suggested that beta-carotenes could lessen the risk of age-related macular degeneration of the eye, although several recent studies have called this benefit into question.
- 2 Cups raw pumpkin, cubed
- 4 Tbsp Lemon Juice
- 3 dates, soaked
- 1 Cup almonds
- ½ Cup shredded coconut
- ½ Cup raisins, soaked
- ¼ tsp Nutmeg
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 2 Tbsp honey
- ½ tsp ginger