The pomegranate, one of the star fruit of autumn, is rich in vitamin C. It is also rich in B vitamins and antioxidants. One of the most common gastronomic options is using it in salads to give a crunchy and sweet touch to the dish, although it can also be marinated with honey or in juice. Apples and pears also have their optimum moment of ripening during the fall, and mangoes and custard apples, two tropical fruits that are already part of our diet and contribute to cardiovascular health.
Autumn is also a good time to taste avocado, an important source of beneficial fats of plant origin for the body, and blackberries and quince. When we talk about quince, we do it from the fruit with which the orange paste sold in stores is made. The fruit cannot be eaten raw because the pulp is very hard. It must first be roasted or cooked and can be an excellent option to accompany meats such as pork.
As for vegetables, during autumn, we mainly find artichokes, cauliflower, pumpkins, aubergines, spinach or peppers, as well as chestnuts and sweet potatoes. Pumpkins are also becoming an increasingly popular fall food option. Its meat is highly appreciated for its flavor and its supply of nutrients. In addition, it helps to strengthen the immune system thanks to its richness in antioxidants.
It also stands out for its beta-carotene content, like aubergines and broccoli, and it is an excellent source of potassium and vitamin C. With this vegetable, in addition to making purees, creams, and cakes, you can make angel hair. It can also be used as a companion to rice or pasta, and it can even be roasted, fried, or sautéed.
Chestnuts are less caloric than nuts and have properties similar to cereals. They are rich in B vitamins and an excellent source of minerals such as potassium, magnesium, calcium, iron, and phosphorus. They are characterized by their abundance of starch and are an excellent source of energy. In addition, they provide iron, potassium, magnesium, and phosphorus. They are gluten-free, which makes them highly recommended for celiacs.
Sweet potatoes are a kind of sweet potato that shares many of the nutritional values , although with more carbohydrates made up of starches and sugars. They provide vitamins A, C, B1, B2, and B6 and minerals such as potassium, phosphorus, sodium, or calcium. Although it is a caloric food due to its sugar content, it does not provide fat, and it is digested very well. In addition to being baked, you can also make purees, soups, and creams, as well as monitor chips.
Autumn! It is time to enjoy the flavor and all the benefits that pumpkin provides, in the form of creams, stews, or, why not, desserts. Get to know better the queen vegetable of these days.
Originally from Central and South America, the pumpkin has been cultivated for centuries by the indigenous peoples of that continent. In Europe, the conquerors introduced their cultivation and the custom of using it in the kitchen. Selection work, over many years, has resulted in a large number of varieties, which come in different shapes, sizes, and colors, some of which can reach 100 kilos.
Although there are summer varieties, we use the most in our recipes are winter varieties, with a lower proportion of water in their meat and a more rigid crust. Among the winter ones, we find varieties such as the banana –more elongated–, the citron one –with a green outer skin–, the potimarron (also known as Kokaido) –with the shape of a pear–, the pilgrim squash (or Venator ) –With a curious shape of a container, or the confectionery gourd, which is used to make angel hair.
How to choose and keep pumpkin ?
In the case of winter squash, it is advisable to choose those specimens that are more mature. How do we know what they are? Well, those with thicker and more complicated skin.
We will choose those that are firm, without blows, and with the whole skin. Conveniently, it has a substantial weight concerning its size because that will mean that its meat is firmer.
When it comes to storing it, it doesn’t need to be in the fridge if we haven’t cut it. The winter varieties, precisely because they have thicker skin, can be kept in perfect condition for months. As far as possible, we will keep the peduncle (the tail of the upper part) to prevent them from losing moisture and keeping them for a longer time.
Antioxidants in your meat … and your seeds
Pumpkin is characterized by being very rich in antioxidants, compounds that protect the body’s cells from damage caused by free radicals. In this way, its consumption is beneficial to prevent cardiovascular diseases, certain types of cancer, and other diseases associated with cellular aging.
In addition, it should be noted that antioxidants are not only found in the flesh of the pumpkin but also its seeds, so… indulge yourself and enjoy a session of movie and pumpkin seeds!
Among these antioxidant compounds, beta-carotenes stand out, which also help improve the functioning of the immune system. They are also rich in lutein and zeaxanthin, two antioxidant compounds from the carotenoid family that accumulate in the macula and the eye’s retina, protecting them from oxidative stress that could cause damage. So eating pumpkin is a great way to prevent macular degeneration and cataracts.
Pumpkin is also an excellent source of vitamin A, essential for the proper development and care of bones and teeth, and the skin. And it contains iron, manganese, copper, vitamin B2, pantothenic acid, vitamin B6, vitamin C, and folates.
Pumpkin is a versatile food in the kitchen, from creams and purees to stews and stews, through risottos, roasts, or vegetable stews. Asians include it as a fundamental ingredient in their tempuras, and, of course, it is used as an ingredient in cakes, pastries, sweet creams, and the angel above hair, an exquisite filling in many pastry preparations.
We can bake the pumpkin, cut into pieces at 180 degrees for an hour and a half or 2 hours, and accompany it with spices and aromatic herbs to have a delicious first dish. However, we can also boil it or make it in the microwave if we do not have much time.
Spices such as parsley, ginger, garlic, nutmeg, basil, or cloves go perfectly with pumpkin, so… keep this in mind when preparing your dishes with this ingredient.
And, of course, let’s not forget the seeds, which we can remove, clean, and bake to enjoy some delicious homemade pumpkin seeds.