December means Winter holidays and feasts. To not exagerate with food, here’s a list of seasonal fruits and vegetables to eat and buy in December.
The many uses of pumpkins in cooking
Here’s an autumnal vegetable you can’t do without: pumpkin. Versatile and tasty in cooking, pumpkins also have many beneficial properties. Let’s discover them.
There are different types of pumpkin depending on the shape and colour: some are sold unripe and unready including sea pumpkins from Chioggia and winter pumpkins from Naples because they’re more tender; some others are “overweight” such as Mammoth pumpkins (up to 50 kilos); some have smooth and thin skin, some others have bulbous and thick skin; the colour of the skin ranges from green to orange, and sometimes these vegetables are striped; the sweet and scented flesh can be pale yellow to bright orange.
We can realise an entire menu exclusively based on pumpkins, from starters to desserts. The flowers of this plant are used in cooking too: they can be battered and then fried or stuffed and then fried. The seeds, after being dried in the sun for a few days and peeled, can be added to salads because they’re really tasty and are high in proteins, minerals and vegetable fats.
The chefs’ favourite variety is Chioggia sea pumpkin, which is round with flatter sides, has grey-green skin and a particularly sweet taste. It’s the most suitable type of pumpkin to prepare tortellini stuffing, cream of pumpkin soup, gnocchi. Oblong pumpkins, instead, are less tasty and more suitable to be cooked with other vegetables in minestrone soups. The American variety, which is round, orange with shallow longitudinal grooves is really versatile in cooking and it’s perfect to prepare vegetable pies.
Like all other food with orange flesh, pumpkins are rich in vitamin A, contain vitamin B1 and B2, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium and iron. It’s hypocaloric and perfect if you want to lose weight. It’s an excellent energising food for children, it tackles infection, protects the heart and intestines and is laxative. It contains betacarotene, which is an anti-cancer substance.
Mushrooms, chestnuts, pomegranates and grapes are only some of the foods in season in October. Here’s the list to buy and eat sustainably this month.
Tasty and easy-to-prepare Savoy cabbage rolls stuffed with potatoes and pumpkin.
The pumpkin curry with chickpeas is an excellent, healthy and tasty veggie alternative to traditional curry dishes. Serve with a bowl of rice.
This pumpkin bread is perfect for breakfast or with tea in the afternoon. You can also toast it and spread marmalade on it.
The red lentil and pumpkin soup combines the smoothness of the two main ingredients.
Pumpkin and pear puréed soup becomes an exquisite autumnal soup with yogurt sauce.
Pumpkin cheesecake is an autumnal version of the traditional American cake.
Pumpkin quiche with spinach, easy to prepare without using dairy products.