If you follow me on Instagram you may have noticed the rather 'unseasonable' weather we've been having here in the Canadian Rockies. It isn't unusual for it to snow in early September, but, it typically disappears pretty quickly....not this time. We got a HEAP of snow (30cm to be precise) and it stayed below zero every day last week. These frigid temps sent me lunging for my slow cooker and craving all of my favourite PUMPKIN recipes.
What is it about pumpkin? I swear, it's the veggie equivalent of bacon! One mention of it sends people into a tizzy. Perhaps it's the slightly sweet, carby nature of this starchy veggie, or maybe it's the spices we often pair with it that conjure up good memories of family and warm cozy days spent fireside. Regardless , I wanted to share a few amazing pumpkin recipes with you and talk about the benefits of pumpkin as a part of your healthy fertility or pregnancy Paleo diet.
Pumpkin's Paleo Pregnancy Friendly Nutritional Benefits at a Glance
- Pumpkin is one of the lower carb starchy winter squashes. A 100g serving typically contains 8g of carbs (3g of which are fibre). It's also rich in soluble fibre which can help feed your happy belly bacteria and optimize your gut microbiome. This can be a good choice even when you're following a reduced carbohydrate diet or if you have gestational diabetes.
- Rich in vitamins such as folate, niacin, vitamin B-6 , thiamin and pantothenic acid, vit-c, vit-a (more on this next week! and vit-e.
- A good source of potassium. This can help re-fuel you after a workout and can also help to keep your electrolytes in balance. If you suffer from pregnancy related leg cramps this can really help.
- Excellent source of many natural poly-phenolic flavonoid compounds such as α, beta- carotenes, cryptoxanthin, lutein and zea-xanthin. Zea-xanthin is a natural anti-oxidant which has UV (ultra-violet) rays filtering actions in the retina of the eyes.
- It tastes great is is often well tolerated in the first trimester when food aversion and nausea can dominate your life. In fact, the vitamin b-6 in pumpkin may actually HELP your morning sickness, especially if paired with ginger...think pumpkin pie!
Meg, The Modern Paleo Midwife's Pregnancy Pumpkin Gelatin Treat
This delightful single serving recipe utilizes the flavours of classic pumpkin pie while benefiting from healthy fats from coconut milk and the healing qualities of gelatin. There is also a sugar free option if you use stevia.
2/3 cup Coconut Milk (From a carton, light or full fat depending on how rich you'd like it)
1/3 cup Bpa free canned pumpkin or puree from homemade roast pumpkin
3/4 tbs Grassfed Gelatin
2 tsp Cinnamon
2 tsp Vanilla Extract
1 tsp Ground Ginger
1/2 tsp Nutmeg and Sea Salt (brings out the sweet and spice)
Stevia to taste (for sugar free) or 1-2 tbs coconut palm sugar, honey or maple syrup
Combine 1/3 cup of the coconut milk and the pumpkin and heat in microwave (for 1 min) or pot on the stove until just starting to bubble but not boil. In the mean time, bloom gelatin in remaining 1/3 cup of coconut milk, stirring well to combine. Add spices (adjusting to taste), salt, vanilla and sweetener to gelatin mix. Once pumpkin/milk is hot, add the gelatin/spice mix and stir until gelatin mix is totally dissolved.
Let set in fridge for 1-2 hrs until firm. Top with more cinnamon, melted coconut butter, whipped cream or my personal fav, vanilla coconut milk ice cream!
Other Great Paleo Pumpkin Recipes (all Modern Midwife Approved!)
Pale OMG's Round Up of her fab pumpkin recipes.