Pumpkin is not only about creating those spooky jack o lanterns during Halloween. Its flesh and seeds are powerhouses of essential nutrients. Just like every other yellow orange colored vegetable, pumpkin too is a rich source of beta-carotene. Beta-carotene, which is converted into vitamin A in our bodies, is a powerful antioxidant. Vitamins C, E, folate and niacin are also found in this vegetable. Pumpkin is rich in potassium, magnesium, calcium, iron, zinc, selenium and copper. It is a low calorie vegetable, ideal for people trying to lose weight.
Pumpkin is good for the heart. It can prevent cancer and several chronic diseases. Zinc and carotenoids present in pumpkin help to boost immunity. Besides the flesh, pumpkin seeds are also loaded with health benefits. They can prevent osteoporosis, inflammation and kidney stones. Pumpkin seeds can lower bad cholesterol in the blood stream. Intake of pumpkin seeds can heal depression.
To extract the nutritious properties of this vegetable, you can devour fair amounts of pumpkin soups and pies in your regular meals. Here is an easy pumpkin soup recipe that you can prepare within fifteen minutes.
Pumpkin cream soup
To prepare pumpkin cream soup you need two tablespoons of olive oil, one large onion, three cloves of garlic, one teaspoon of chopped parsley, Â½ teaspoon of thyme, two teaspoons of sour cream, salt and pepper to taste, water and about 250 grams pumpkin.
Peel and slice the pumpkin. Chop the onion and mince the garlic cloves. Now boil the pumpkin slices in water for about five minutes. Remove the pumpkin pieces from the water, and keep the water aside. The water will be later added to the soup. Put the boiled pumpkin slices in a blender to form a smooth puree. In a pot, heat the olive oil. Add the chopped onion and garlic to the olive oil and fry for about ten seconds. Add the pumpkin puree and stir the ingredients for about 15 seconds. Add water to the pot and allow the soup to boil. Stir the soup occasionally. Add parsley, thyme, salt and pepper to the soup. After about five minutes, remove the soup from the fire. Add sour cream to the soup.