Wednesday, 17 April 2013

diggin' deep into the belly of harvest

Carving out a pumpkin and warming our souls is gonna be our tiptoptastic craft activity this Easter. Our pumpkin patch that mysteriously gifted itself to us, cradling the compost in its vine like arms, has plenty of fruit to share. 

Highly nutritious and rich in fibre, vitamins and anti oxidants, it's gonna do more than scare the ghouls into submission.

Pumpkins gift us with many things, not only a vine that covers the mess of the ever growing kitchen scraps. 
First of all, a shell to carve out the worlds greatest jack o' lanterns. 

Not just for children, I've seen many a grown up digging deep into the belly of this magnificent fruit, drifting off into the moment, as they carve their dreams into the surface of the lantern. 

If you're into eating the flesh of jack, then know that your skin will be joyfully radiating life back to you. Vitamins A and C help reduce the signs of ageing whilst the potassium supports our nervous system; calming anxiety, stress and blood pressure, strengthening our muscles and energy. Zinc turbo boosts our immune system ...Scaring the ghouls right outa our body!

And with the sultry sun slinking off back to the northern lands, heating up our meals with spices that enhance the comforting properties of a pumpkin, warm our bellies and souls.

Watching the children play away their day, creating faces and light capturing moments, I pass round pumpkin nog, pumpkin pie and save the rest for pumpkin soup, spicing up our days with an orange glow.

pumpkin nog
juice of one small pumpkin
1/3 cup water
1/4 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp agave nectar or local raw honey

1/ Juice the pumpkin in your juicer 

2/ Pour the fresh juice into a blender. 
3/ Add the spices, honey, and blend. 
4/ Dilute to taste with nut milk.
5/ Pour into glasses, salut and down in one!

pumpkin pie
2 cups walnuts
1/2 cup dates, soaked
1/4 tsp cinnamon
pinch of salt

1/ Pulse the almonds in a food processor until flour. 
2/ Add dates and process into a dough-like consistency. 
3/ Press the mix into a pie mould and grease with coconut butter. 
4/ Place in the freezer to set while preparing the pumpkin bit.

pumpkin bit
2 cups pumpkin, cubed
meat of 1 young coconut (reserve water)
1/2 cup walnuts, soaked
1/2 cup almonds, soaked
1/2 cup dates, soaked
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 knob of ginger juice, (grated and squeezed)
1/2 tsp ground cloves

1/ Mix the pumpkin and coconut water in a food processor until smooth. 

2/ Add in coconut , walnuts and almonds, blending again until smooth. 
3/ Add dates and spices, and whizz some more.
4/ Pour the pumpkin mix on top of the pie crust, spread evenly and chill in the fridge for several hours before serving.

5/ Pop the fire on, get comfy and put your nose bags on!

spiced pumpkin soup
2 cups pumpkin, cubed
2  apples, cubed
3/4 cup coconut water
1 clove garlic, crushed
1/2 cup red onion, chopped
2 tbsp raw tahini
1/2 tsp thyme
pinch of sea salt
1/2 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp chilli

1/ Pop all ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth.

2/ If you have a commercial blender, whizz 'til smooth, if not, warm til finger temp on the stove.
2/ Serve with nutritional yeast, pumpkin seeds and chilli flakes
3/ Pour into a flask, get outdoors and enjoy the stars while slurping soup

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