After returning to gray and chilly Germany last week after my sunny trip to Ibiza, I have to admit that I’m not quite ready for autumn. The leaves may be changing, the weather is cooling down, the days are getting shorter … yet I’m still wearing T-shirts and open-toed shoes. :-/

But there is one thing I’m definitely looking forward to this autumn: pumpkin season!

I only discovered pumpkin (and other squashes) around two years ago: I never ate them growing up, and they just never seemed appealing after that, either. But after coming across some interesting pumpkin recipes, I decided to finally give pumpkin a try – and found out what I’d been missing! I’ve been making tons of pumpkin recipes ever since.

Pumpkin and squash offer many benefits. They can be used in sweet and savory recipes, and are excellent sources of vitamins and minerals, including potassium, calcium, iron, and magnesium! Pumpkin also contains beta-carotene, which protects against cardiovascular diseases. All in all, it’s a true local superfood!

Kürbisse

Pumpkin consists of 90–95% water and contains – depending on the variety – only 20–40 calories per 100 grams. Pumpkin also contains many vitamins and minerals, including vitamins A and C, copper, iron, magnesium, and potassium. There are well over 800 varieties, but Hokkaido, butternut, kabocha, delicata, and spaghetti squash are some of the most common in Europe and the USA.

Pumpkins and squash are super versatile: there’s classic pumpkin soup, of course, but there’s also casseroles, stir fries, baked pumpkin, pumpkin purée, pumpkin chutney, and sweet items like cakes, pies, breads, and more. Roasted pumpkin seeds, rich in nourishing fats, are of course fantastic on salads or in muesli.

And then there’s pumpkin seed oil – the best of which comes from a special pumpkin breed in Styria, a mountainous, forested region in Austria – which makes for a distinctively nutty, aromatic, and nourishing addition to a variety of dishes. It’s not cheap, but a little goes a long way: just a tiny bit drizzled over a salad or a bowl of pumpkin soup can really amp things up. It’s even amazing as a topping for vanilla ice cream – trust me! You may even come across pumpkin seed oil ice cream at some scoop shops here in Germany. :-)

Check out my pumpkin recipes here:

What’s your favorite way to eat pumpkin and squash? :-)

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