All Things Pumpkin
Early in the new year finds us in hot summer. For the last 2 weeks we’ve had rain here in Gauteng South Africa. Today’s the first day without, and the sun is warmmm.
The hues of the massive pumpkin I’ve been cutting open truly reflect the colours of the weather, don’t you agree? The grey of the clouds before the rain, and the superb orange of our African sun!
Why bother speaking about the humble pumpkin?
Well – the pumpkin is now in season in South Africa. That means it is easy to find and plentiful…
The neatest trick to cooking pumpkin:
- Step 1: Scrub the outside skin, till pumpkin sparkles.
- Step 2: Place on a rough cloth on a sturdy surface (cloth will stabilise and stop this vegetable from moving around).
- Step 3: Cut manageable chunks, and cut these into slices.
- Final Step: Oven: Drizzle slices with olive oil and salt and bake in an oven for 45 minutes at 180 degrees celsius or Air-fryer: Place slices into basket and bake without anything needed for 30 minutes at 180 degrees celsius. Easy.
Food Wars: Pumpkin vs Cauliflower!
Who will win?
The pumpkin has the following health aspects, and here I’m going to compare it to another humble favourite amongst healthy eaters and foodies alike – the cauliflower. Why cauliflower? Well it is interesting to note that Cape Town December 2019, had a shortage of cauliflower. Bantingers , paleo followers, vegetarians and vegans plus all others descended onto this hot floret vegetable for the reduced calories, to create options like cauli-rice and cauli-wraps! —- I’ve tasted our competition’s wraps. No thanks.
Our alternative to the cauli-wrap is actually something a little more…yummalicious!
The Pumpkin Loaf: Serving Suggestion for One
- 2 Heaped Tablespoons of Better Than Bread 90 Second Mug Loaf
- Half a cup of Cooked Pumpkin (squish and squash it), spice if you wish.
- As per normal instructions add an egg, and mix batter.
- Microwave for 4 minutes on High.
- Pop out of Microwaveable container, let cool, and serve.
- Delicious Pumpkin Loaf for 1.
Below is an analysis of the 2 vegetables : Pumpkin vs Cauliflower
|Can this be eaten raw?||Yes||Yes|
|Can the skin be eaten?||Yes||Yes|
|Can it be eaten while not ripe?||Yes||Yes|
|Can the seeds be eaten?||Yes||NA|
|Raw calories per 100g||26||25|
|Cooked calories per 100g||20||23|
|Total Carbohydrates per 100g||5g||4g|
|Pest Control Use||Low||High|
|Effort to prepare||Low to High||Low|
|Can you be allergic to it?||Yes||Yes|
|Other Issues||NA||Affects |
Speak to your
doctor if you
and want to
eat lots of
|Seasonality||Start Dec, |
through to April
Let me remind you of your matric biology classes. (Geez, I remember how I’d learnt these and more off by heart, the vitamin B range is actually far much more expansive than what I explain below).
An explanation of the vitamins and minerals found in these two vegetables (as per the table above).
- Beta-Carotene: Anti-oxidants that fight against environmentally caused free radicals (atoms that swirl around damaging our cells, and making us age faster, as well as get diseases like cancer and alzheimers).
- Vitamin A: Beta Carotene is actually changed into Vitamin A by the body to ensure all our organs work well, and our eye-sight is protected….something needed in today’s world of harsh screen glare.
- Vitamin B1: Thiamine is associated with brain development in babies, and plays a major role in turning food into energy to keep your system healthy.
- Vitamin B2: Riboflavin is also associated with turning food into energy in your cells, keeping your system healthy.
- Vitamin B6: Pyridoxine helps the body to use as well as store energy from food as well as helps form haemogoblin (the thing in red blood cells that carries actual oxygen across your whole body).
- Vitamin C: Helps keep your body healthy, and able to repair itself.
- Vitamin K: Helps with blood clotting, to ensure wounds heal.
An explanation of the minerals found in these vegetables:
- Copper: helps form healthy red blood cells, allows you to better absorb iron, keeps your systems healthy.
- Manganese: plays an important role in bone health, reduces bone density loss, and a powerful anti-oxidant itself, fighting free radicals which cause your body to age.
- Potassium: helps with regulating fluid in your body, fluid balance, blood pressure, water retention – so important.
- Fiber: This – helps you go to the toilet. It also regularly scrubs the cells lining your passages. There are also soluble and insoluble. Both help keep your gut health happy.
- Folate: This isn’t stored in the body. You have to eat it regularly to have it – it helps your body form healthy red blood cells.
Growing veggies: Pumpkin vs Cauliflower.
Do me a favour, try growing both of these vegetables at some point or make friends with your local organic fruit and veg suppliers. I have had the pleasure of inspecting organic beds with both of these two plants growing.
Aphids and bugs love to consume cauliflower from top to bottom. An impossible plant to grow without some form of interference required from the farmer (in my opinion). Its no wonder my organic veggie supplier stopped growing these altogether.
But a pumpkin, is made of such sturdy stuff. The worst that can happen to a pumpkin it seems is it can get stung by a fruit fly of some kind, and it gets an indent into its shape.
I’m sure this can get much worse but so far to me the cauliflower is the real demanding vegetable. The choice of Pumpkin vs Cauliflower is quite a simple one to make? What are your thoughts on the matter?
Storing a Pumpkin (Such a useful vegetable):
You can store a pumpkin for months – just keep it on wood or cardboard, rather than directly on cement as it will rot if left on cement. Turn it upside down, and rest it on its stalk. Leave it in a dark and cool protected place. I’ve stored a pumpkin for over 3 months in this fashion.
Even load-shedding i.e.going without power does not let these go bad. It doesn’t need a fridge or freezer all day and all night to keep it good.
The perfect go-to veggie to keep in storage for when we run out of cauliflower again!
Well, there you have it! I’m going to make this post open for comment so let me know which of the two vegetables is now your preference: Pumpkin vs Cauliflower?
I hope you enjoy this article.
Have yourself a wonderful day.
Healthy Head Honcho – at Better Than Bread
References: Website: www.nhs.uk , www.nutritionvalue.org, www.webmd.com & the Carb Manager App