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Monday, September 14, 2009

Pumpkin..the Magic Gourd

copyright 2009, Maria Liberati
Summer is over and the Great Pumpklin is starting to make an appearance at farmer;'s markets, supermarkets and fresh produce stores. As I had  made my first pumpkin sighting this week at my local farmer's market, I was tempted to get some to create some recipes for in The Basic Art of Italian Cooking Kitchen. But upon further look, I noticed that the pumpkins I could find are really best for decoration and not pumpkins to cook with. But when I find one I am ready and here is some simple info on the magic gourd and some simple ways to use them in your cooking.
Pumpkin seeds provide an excellent source of potassium and many other essential nutrients- potassium, manganese, copper, zinc ,selenium, copper, chromium and molybdenum. They are also a great source of fiber and healthy unsaturated fats. To roast pumplin seeds, roast at a low oven temperature (250 to 300 degrees) to protect their good fats. Bake 15 to 20 minutes in a single layer on a rimmed cookie sheet, tossing about halfway through.

Or toss seeds in olive oil and sprinkle with your favorite spices. Try cumin, coriander, rosemary, cayenne, garlic salt. Fro a sweeter taste, try tossing with melted butter the nsprinkle with cinnmaon,nutmeg and ginger.

Beta carotene is abundant in the pumpkin's flesh. This antioxidant which converts to Vitamin A in the body has bee nlinked to lower cancer rated,reduced heart disease and enhanced immunity. Research also indicates that consuming orange fruits and vegetables which are high in the pigment beta-cryptoxanthin, may lower the odds of developing rheumatoid arthritis.

But pumpkins can be used for more than just pumpkin pie. Roast pumpkin by peeling and cutting pumpkin into wedges and roast with sliced garlic, onions, potatoes drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with rosemary.

Or try this, pour puree of pumpkin into ice cube trays and then store in zip-lock bags in your freezer. Add the cubes to soups and stews throughout the winter for a flavorful and nutritious boost.

*Get your copy in time for the Holidays..The Basic Art of Italian Cooking: Holidays & Special Occasions
with over 140 recipes, menus, wine pairing tips and short stories about Holidays spent in Italy

More programs and event coming up..
Sept 23rd. Big  Blend Radio Show

October 3rd- Book Signing at Collingswood Book Festival, Collingswood, NJ 11AM to 1 PM
October 5th- Horsham Library, Horsham Pa.. book signing and cooking demo
October 21-Book Signing, cooking demo, Lower Southampton Library, Feasterville, Pa 19053

Mangia Bene, Vivi Bene,

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