Sweet pumpkin is one of the many types of pumpkin that exist. It is part of the cucurbitaceae family.
Although pumpkins are normally referred to as vegetables, they are actually fruits, as they contains seeds. However, it is true that even nutritionally speaking they are much more similar to vegetables than to fruits.
Why should we eat more pumpkin?
Pumpkins have an incredible sweet taste and can be cooked in a million ways. Also, pumpkins are very nutritious and have many health benefits.
- They are very low in calories and high in minerals and vitamins. For example, pumpkins are a great source of beta-carotene, which our body converts into vitamin A.
- It is also a great antioxidant, which prevents the risk of some chronic diseases.
- In addition to vitamin A, it is also a great source of vitamin C, very beneficial for the immune system.
Also, pumpkin seeds have great qualities and can be eaten! They are very tasty and healthy as a snack to enjoy between meals. You can also add them crunched to your meals or salads to peak the nutritional value to your dishes.
Pumpkin seeds are a source of different minerals such as potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, iron, zinc and others.
Magnesium is very important for the cardiovascular and nervous system, while zinc supports the immune system.
Why are pumpkins so popular in autumn?
The pumpkin harvest takes place at this time of year, that’s why the pumpkin is like the fruit / vegetable of this season. Previously it was only common in North America, however nowadays it has spread across Europe.
In addition, October 26 is «National Pumpkin Day» in the US, and of course Halloween is celebrated on October 31, where pumpkins play a very important role!
What other dishes can I cook with pumpkins?
There are endless vegan options, but here are some ideas of pumpkin vegan recipes!
- Vegan pumpkin soup
- Pumpkin puree
- Pumpkin cheesecake
- Pumpkin pie
- Pumpkin pancakes
- Pumpkin Risotto
- Pumpkin cupcakes
- Roasted pumpkin
What is textured soy?
Textured soy is great for vegan and vegetarian meals, as it resembles ground meat/mince texture and is high in protein.
There are several different types of textured soy. For example, there are fine textured soybeans (which is the most common), coarse textured soybeans, dark soybeans, chunky textured soybeans, and so on.
It is derived from soy flour and is 100% natural. It does not contain chemical additives or colorants. In the process of extracting textured soy from soy flour, it is always dehydrated, which means that if you want to buy it as natural as possible, you should buy it dehydrated and hydrate it yourself before cooking.
Textured soy also has great nutritional value. It is low in saturated fat and salt, has no sugars, and is very rich in protein and fiber.
Textured soy does not have as much flavor itself, but when combined with other species and seasonings, its taste adjusts to whatever you intend to!
How can you eat textured soy?
Once hydrated, textured soy has millions of uses, most of which would replace mince. As many replace meat with this, you can cook dishes such as lasagna, meatloaf or other things that may seem only meat.
It can be cooked as a Bolognese sauce, as a filling with aubergines, or burgers!
When cooking the textured soy in a pan, you should make sure it is well drained before, You should also not stir it all the time because otherwise it will not get grilled. You should just stir it a little, then let it cook well and after 5 minutes, stir again.If needed add some oil on top.
Adding some breadcrumbs on top of the pumpkin will make it more crispy and is very tasty! You can also use some vegan grated cheese.
½ sweet green pumpkin
2 minced garlics
1 small onion
1 cup of dehydrated textured soy
Olive oil (as required)
Salt and pepper (as required)
Let the textured soy soak (if it is dehydrated). Place it in a bowl with water for around 30 minutes.
Prepare a baking tray with a drizzle of olive oil on the base and place the half pumpkin on top. Drizzle with olive oil on top, add salt and pepper, and cover with aluminum kitchen paper. Cook in the oven for 25 minutes at 200 degrees.
Drain and let the textured soy dry. Prepare a pan with oil, heat the oil for a few minutes on medium high heat, and add a little “fajitas” seasoning. On top, place the previously drained textured soybeans, add more seasoning and salt and pepper. Stir and then and let it grill for some minutes. Mix every now and then with a wood spoon to ensure it gets cooked evenly on all sides. Reserve.
Sautée the chopped onion together with the minced garlic. Once ready, mix with the already cooked textured soybeans. Reserve this filling.
Remove the pumpkin from the oven and remove the seeds, creating a hole to place the filling inside. Once the filling has been added, cover with a bit of breadcrumbs and cook in the oven for 5/8 more minutes at 200 degrees. Ready to eat!