“The best time to set up a new discipline is when the idea is strong”
Tell Cinderella that turning into a pumpkin may not be so bad.
October always makes me think of pumpkins. Those bright orange spheres of cheeriness. Whether you like carving them at Halloween or making soup they are a source loaded with nutrition and beauty support.
Pumpkin flesh contains enzymes that are useful in a skin care mask or for improving digestion.
As a mask ingredient pumpkin is useful to exfoliate dead skin cells, diminish scarring and age spots, stimulate circulation, improve skin texture, and promote healing. Pumpkin is a good choice for sensitive or acne-prone skin instead of more intrusive peels like glycolic acid.
Pumpkin enzymes break down proteins, carbohydrates, and fats into smaller components. This is a great help for digestion and overall gut health.
Recipe for Pumpkin Face mask
2 T fresh pumpkin puree (organic from the can is ok)
1 T raw honey
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
1/4 tsp pumpkin seed oil (organic, cold pressed)
1T plain yogurt (cow or goat) or 1 T mashed avocado (optional but good for dry skin)
Mix all ingredients well and apply to clean face. Leave on 15-20 minutes. Rinse, blot dry and follow up with moisturizer or facial oil.
Raw Pumpkin seeds are a power house of nutrition: protein, unsaturated fats including oleic fatty acid along with omega 6 and trace amounts of omega 3, iron, calcium, B and C vitamins, beta-carotene (which converts to Vitamin A). Pumpkin seeds biggest claim to fame is high levels of magnesium and zinc. They enhance memory and thinking skills and contain stress fighting tryptophan: a precursor to good mood serotonin. Raw seeds contain methionine recognized for its power to remove heavy metals from the body as well as support libido and sexual function. What a great snack or addition to salad!
Pumpkin seed oil (cold pressed and organic) is beneficial both nutritionally and to the skin. It has all the above properties as well as phytonutrients. This is a great oil to add to your salad dressing or use as a scalp treatment (warmed) and is known to support new hair growth. Oiling the scalp is also a wonderful way to reduce anxiety and calm the nervous system. You can add it to almond or olive oil if you prefer.
Gay’s Recipe for Pumpkin and Chard with Cashew/coconut sauce
Soak 1/2 cup raw organic cashews in fresh water for 2-4 hours. Rinse and drain
Peel and cube 1 medium baking pumpkin (sometimes called pie pumpkins or sugar pumpkins. They are smaller than jack-o-lantern pumpkins)
Clean and rinse 2 bunches fresh chard; chop into 2 inch strips and set aside
Steam pumpkin cubes-
1.5 Cups Vegetable broth for steaming Pumpkin
Sea salt/ pepper to taste
Place pumpkin pieces in steamer with broth and salt and pepper. Bring to a boil then turn down to simmer for approximately 20 minutes until tender (don’t over cook)
Place into blender or vitamix;
1/2 C pre-soaked raw cashews
2 inches fresh ginger peeled and chopped
1 tsp tumeric
1/2-1 cup coconut milk
leftover vegetable broth
dash of Bragg’s liquid aminos (optional)
Blend on high until creamy add more broth/coconut milk as needed to get a creamy pourable consistency.
fresh parsley chopped for garnish
1 red onion chopped coarsely
2 cloves garlic minced
2 T Olive Oil
Juice of one lemon
Sea salt and pepper
Saute onions and garlic in olive oil in a large enough pan to hold the chard.
Add chard and lemon juice, salt and pepper and allow to steam/cook with the lid on for 10 min or until tender.
Divide pumpkin amongst individual bowls. When chard is ready spoon over pumpkin and finish with sauce. Garnish with fresh parsley and enjoy!
The beauty diet by David Wolfe.
The Nutrition Almanac by Lavon J. Dunne
and the Institute for Integrative nutrition.