Fresh and cooked pumpkin can be used in a number of recipes as a meal or in dessert. Eating pumpkin isn’t the only way to enjoy its natural benefits. Researchers have found new evidence linking tryptophan and some brain functions. Tryptophan is a chemical substance known as an amino-acid. Melatonin and serotonin are formed from tryptophan. Pumpkins are rich in tryptophan. Dr Narcolepsy’s colleague Craig Hudson, a doctor in Toronto, took part in a controlled study that found the voluntary subjects that took tryptophan were able to cope with pressure much better than those that didn’t. Those patients also experienced higher levels of mental well-being.
The sleep study concluded that each patient had a lower heart beat while at rest and videotaped them during the day to see how they performed with tryptophan. Tryptophan helped them fall asleep faster with longer undisturbed sleep which in turn better mental awareness during waking hours and a more enjoyable sex life. Dr. Hudson has now started a company to produce and market a product based on the pumpkin seed extract he studied. The company is known as Biosential. The product is called Zenbev, a powder with a lemon flavor that can be made into a hot or cold beverage. Zenbev is also available in the United States, where it is available at amazon.com.
Spiced Pumpkin Molasses Muffins
Prep Time: 20 Min
Cook Time: 15 Min
Ready In: 35 Min
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
- 1/4 cup flax seed meal
- 1/4 cup rolled oats, plus extra for garnish
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- 1/2 cup nonfat plain yogurt
- 2 eggs
- 3 tablespoons molasses
- 3 tablespoons unsweetened applesauce
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup golden raisins (optional)
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
- pumpkin seeds for garnish (optional)
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Spray 12 muffin cups with cooking spray.
- In a bowl, mix together the 2 flours, flax seed meal, rolled oats, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and nutmeg until the ingredients are thoroughly combined.
- In another large bowl, beat together the brown sugar, pumpkin puree, yogurt , eggs, molasses, applesauce, canola oil, vanilla, and until well-blended. Stir in the flour mixture just to combine, and gently mix in the raisins and walnuts.
- Divide the mixture into the prepared muffin tins, sprinkle each muffin with a few rolled oats and pumpkin seeds, and bake in the preheated oven until the tops spring back when touched and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 15 to 20 minutes.
Sweet Vidalia onion and butternut squash may make up the base of this soup, but the treat is the candied pumpkin seeds on top. The sugar on the pumpkin seeds blends with the savory flavor and complements the naturally sweet soup. You'll get plenty of vitamin A and savor delicious fall flavors. Calabaza is similar to pumpkin and has a sweet flavor like butternut squash.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour(s)
Yield: Makes 6 servings
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large Vidalia onion, chopped (4 cups)
- 3 fresh thyme sprigs
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 3 cups diced calabaza or butternut squash
- 2 (14-ounce) cans low-sodium fat-free chicken broth
- Candied Pumpkin Seeds
- Garnish: fresh thyme sprigs
Preparation1. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion and next 3 ingredients; cook, stirring frequently, about 6 minutes or until onions are translucent. Add calabaza and broth; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes; remove thyme sprigs. 2. Transfer mixture to a blender or food processor, and puree in batches, scraping down sides. Return to clean saucepan. Reheat soup if necessary. Ladle soup into 6 warmed bowls. Add Candied Pumpkin Seeds to each; garnish, if desired.
- 1 cup natural, raw, shelled pumpkin seeds
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt