Miracle vegetable, golden gourd

Health Tips

A red pumpkin with a shard of the sun will remind you of a bright summer throughout the gray autumn and cold winter. No wonder storytellers loved this miracle vegetable. Remember the carriage in which Charles Perrault sent Cinderella to the ball or Kuma-Pumpkin from Gianni Rodari’s vegetable tale? However, in our time, pumpkin is not associated with a fairy tale, with delicious and healthy food.

True, earlier the ancient Greeks and Romans made bottles for water and wine from it. They began to use it in America, where the pumpkin was known as far back as 3 thousand years BC. Its seeds were found during archaeological excavations of Peruvian burials. In Russia, it appeared in the XYI century and immediately the pumpkin became popular with the peasants due to its productivity, unpretentiousness, exceptional usefulness and ability for long-term storage. The Russian climate made it possible to grow pumpkin in almost all regions of the country.

A miracle vegetable is a melon plant. The closest relatives of pumpkins are zucchini, cucumbers, squash. Yes, and a watermelon with a melon can be written down to her relatives.

Pumpkin is especially useful in late autumn and winter, when the range of fresh vegetables is limited. It is a valuable dietary and medicinal product. It contains a fairly high content of ascorbic acid. Pumpkin fruits are rich in carotene (it contains from 3 to 9 mg, in some varieties the carotene content can reach 38 mg). Pumpkin is the champion among vegetables in terms of iron content. It contains vitamins of groups B, C, E, D, PP, as well as such a rare vitamin as vitamin T, which helps to speed up metabolic processes in the body.

Pumpkin fiber is not fibrous, it is well boiled soft and easily absorbed by the body. Due to this, dishes from it are recommended for therapeutic and preventive nutrition. There are a lot of salts of copper and iron in pumpkin. phosphorus, which have a beneficial effect on hematopoiesis. Therefore, pumpkin dishes are recommended to prevent anemia, with atherosclerosis. They are also useful for diseases of the liver, kidneys, for regulating digestion, for cardiovascular diseases and hypertension. Pumpkin contains a lot of pectin, which promotes the elimination of cholesterol.

Pumpkin juice is very useful. It is used for metabolic disorders, obesity, diabetes, kidney and bladder stones. For men suffering from inflammation of the prostate, traditional medicine advises to drink a glass of pumpkin juice for 2-3 weeks. Pumpkin juice can be used as an independent product, as well as in combination with carrot and apple juice.

Well, if everything is in order with health, then pumpkin can be used in cosmetics – raw or boiled pumpkin masks with vegetable oil will be very useful for your skin, and for any type of skin. And gruel from pumpkin grated on a fine grater and the juice squeezed out of it are used as a tonic for the skin of the face.

Many delicious and varied dishes are prepared from pumpkin.. Famous culinary experts recommend making pumpkin puree as a side dish for meat dishes. To do this, cut the pulp of the pumpkin into cubes and boil under a lid over low heat with a small amount of water until it boils completely. Rub into a puree with a pinch of sugar and salt. This puree is the basis for side dishes and independent dishes. Further, this puree can be added to porridge (semolina, millet, rice), mashed potatoes. You can also add fried onions, finely chopped celery, parsley, garlic, pepper, ketchup or nutmeg to the puree to give a special taste.

Can be made with pumpkin soup “in a hurry”: Art. spoon of minced meat, 1 tbsp. minced pumpkin, 1 onion, 1 carrot, 2 tbsp. tablespoons of vegetable oil, 1 liter of water, salt to taste. Minced meat is diluted with cold water to a state of medium density of sour cream, chopped onions, chopped carrots, vegetable oil are added. Leave the mass in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes, then pour hot salted water, add pumpkin and bring to a boil. The soup is boiled for 8-10 minutes. Serve with sour cream, mayonnaise or sour milk. Pumpkin can be prepared in advance and left in the refrigerator.

This is just a very small part of the recipes for cooking pumpkin dishes – it is boiled, fried, baked, pancakes are made from it. Pumpkin goes well with other vegetables – potatoes, tomatoes. Pumpkin recipes can be found in any cookbook.

And pumpkin, one of the few vegetables that can boast of its “social life”. Every year, at the end of October, “Pompoon parades” are held in Holland – cheerful processions of pumpkins. On carts and carriages, trolls carry huge yellow, green, orange, striped and dotted fruits – a source of pride for those who raised them. Here you can also buy seeds (and Dutch vegetable growers grow more than 200 varieties), taste the pumpkins themselves and a wide variety of dishes from it.

In America, during the celebration of Halloween, a hollowed-out pumpkin with slit eyes and a mouth, inside of which a burning candle is installed, is a conditional signal for children – here you can get sweets.

The Indians roast pumpkin slices on a fire, and they make rugs from dried pumpkin strips, which, according to their beliefs, can protect the home from “evil spirits”

The Austrians are proud not so much of pumpkin beauty, but of the various possibilities for its processing. From the pumpkin, only “horns and legs” remain here, the rest goes into business: for cosmetics, medicines and black-black oil, which is incredibly useful for the liver, removes cholesterol from the body. The leftover cake on the farms is turned into all sorts of goodies, such as biscuits and cookies, about which you would not even think that they are made from pumpkin.

Let’s try to stock up on a miracle vegetable for the whole winter so as not to lose its unique healing properties. At home, the pumpkin is well preserved at a temperature of 5 to 15 ° C. But it is better to keep it in the “far corner”, where it is cool. Under such conditions, the pumpkin retains its qualities for a very long time, until spring. Fruits containing a lot of starch are suitable for long-term storage. Mandatory conditions for long-term storage of pumpkins are good ventilation and protection from sunlight. The fruits are placed on racks in one row with the stalk up so that they do not touch each other.

And in the spring, when we can treat ourselves to the first greens and vegetables, do not forget to remember with gratitude the pumpkin that helped you stay in good shape throughout the long winter. Golden miracle – a generous gift of nature.

Tatiana KUKHAR.

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