Halloween might be over, but pumpkin season is still going strong.
The good thing is that there are plenty of nourishing, grounding recipes that welcome the addition of this versatile ingredient.
All it takes is a dash of creativity.
This pumpkin pie amaranth porridge recipe is a fantastic example of the beauties we can prepare in the kitchen with pumpkin. And, it is specially timely when regular oatmeal gets boring, as if often happens.
Trust me, you will love this one.
Pumpkin and Ayurveda
Pumpkin, a symbol of fall and a staple in many autumn recipes, is more than just a festive decoration. It is a powerhouse of nutrients and healing properties that can greatly benefit our health.
In Ayurveda, the unique characteristics of foods play an essential role in determining their effects on our bodies. Pumpkin is considered a warming food, making it ideal for the cooler months of fall and winter when Vata dosha (the air and space elements) is dominant.
Pumpkin is particularly beneficial for balancing Vata dosha due to its grounding, nourishing, and moistening properties. However, it’s also suitable for Pitta and Kapha doshas, particularly when prepared with appropriate spices.
Rasa, Vipaka, and Virya of Pumpkin
In Ayurvedic terms, the rasa (taste) of pumpkin is sweet, which makes it nourishing and rejuvenating. This sweet taste, linked to the earth and water elements, can help ground Vata and lessen its dry and light qualities. The vipaka (post-digestive effect) of pumpkin is also sweet, intensifying its nourishing and tissue building qualities.
As for virya (energy), pumpkin possesses a cooling energy. Despite being a warming food in terms of its beneficial effects during the cooler months, pumpkin’s cooling energy can balance Pitta dosha’s heat. Therefore, while pumpkin is excellent for balancing Vata, it also supports Pitta dosha.
Health Benefits of Pumpkin
Pumpkin is packed full of nutrients and offers a variety of health benefits:
- Improved Digestion: Due to its high fiber content, pumpkin aids in digestion and can help alleviate constipation, a common problem during Vata season.
- Regulated Blood Pressure: Rich in potassium, pumpkin can help regulate blood pressure, supporting heart health.
- Weight Loss: Pumpkin is low in calories and high in fiber, making it a great food choice for those aiming for weight loss.
- Low-glycemic: Pumpkin is a low-glycemic food. This means that eating pumpkin doesn’t cause a quick rise in blood sugar levels. Low glycemic foods are beneficial for people looking to control their weight and manage diabetes, as they provide a slow and steady release of glucose into the bloodstream. This helps maintain balanced energy levels throughout the day and keeps hunger pangs at bay.
- Enhanced Vision: Pumpkin is rich in vitamin A, which is crucial for eye health. Regular consumption of pumpkin can improve vision, particularly in dim light, and may also help prevent degenerative damage to the eyes.
- Satiety: Due to its high fiber content, pumpkin also promotes a feeling of fullness. This can help to control appetite and reduce overall calorie intake, supporting weight management goals.
- Cancer Prevention: Pumpkin is rich in antioxidants, particularly beta-carotene, which is converted into vitamin A in the body. These antioxidants help neutralize harmful free radicals, reducing inflammation and the risk of cellular damage. This protective effect may help lower the risk of certain types of cancer.
Ayurveda suggests that the best time to consume pumpkin is during the fall and winter seasons when the weather is cooler. It’s also recommended during the transition periods between seasons to balance Vata dosha. As for frequency, you can safely incorporate pumpkin into your meals 2–3 times a week.
Spicing Up Your Pumpkin
To enhance the flavor and health benefits of pumpkin, consider pairing it with spices that suit your Ayurvedic blueprint.
Vata Dosha: If Vata is your primary dosha, it’s recommended you use warming spices to balance your constitution. Ginger, black pepper, cinnamon, and cumin are excellent choices to pair with pumpkin for a Vata-balancing meal.
Pitta Dosha: For Pitta dosha, go for cooling spices such as fennel, coriander, and cardamom. These spices will bring a nice flavor to your pumpkin dishes whilst also helping to balance fiery energies.
Kapha Dosha: Individuals with a predominance of Kapha dosha may benefit from using stimulating spices such as ginger, pepper, cloves, fenugreek, and turmeric. These spices will not only make your pumpkin dishes delicious but also help to stimulate digestion and balance Kapha energies.
Pumpkin pie amaranth porridge recipe
Pumpkin pie amaranth porridge
- 1/4 cup Amaranth
- 3/4 cup Almond milk (unsweetened)
- 1 tbsp Coconut (dry, shredded)
- 1 tsp Coconut sugar
- 1/2 cup Pumpkin purée (homemade)
- Vanilla, ginger powder, cinnamon, anise, cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon stick.
- Prepare the pumpkin purée by chopping the pumpkin and cooking it in a bit of water, with a cinnamon stick, over low-medium heat and covered for 15–20 minutes or until soft. Mash with a fork. Set aside.
- Soak the amaranth for 8–24 hours.
- Drain and rinse the amaranth and cook as per the packet instructions until soft. Soaking the amaranth will reduce the cooking time.
- Add the milk, vanilla and ground spices, sugar, and pumpkin purée. Mix well and continue cooking for about 10 minutes or until it gets a creamy consistency.
- Serve in a bowl and top with shredded coconut.
Happy cooking and eating!