The Pumpkin Patch

My Vedic Kitchen

When the frost is on the pumpkin . . . it's time to eat 'em! Pumpkins are not only good for pumpkin-carving contests, but they also make a bright addition to any fall meal. They're rich in nutrition, too. High in heart-protecting beta-carotene (vitamin A), cooked pumpkin provides a rich source of potassium. Moist and sweet like any squashes, they're an ideal way to pacify the dry Vata dosha when added to breads or soups.

And don't forget the seeds. Pumpkin seeds are excellent for pacifying Vata and Pitta, and in moderation, can also be eaten by those wishing to pacify Kapha dosha. Pumpkin seeds contain the minerals phosphorus, magnesium, manganese, iron and zinc. They also provide protein and vitamin K.

When selecting your pumpkins for baking, steaming, sautéing or puréeing, the small pie pumpkins, also called sweet or eating pumpkins, are best. Save the jack-o-lanterns for carving — their flesh is too watery and stringy to eat. Here are a couple of recipes to get you running to the pumpkin patch.

Sweet Pumpkin Soup

Pumpkin Seed Party Mix

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