PUMPKIN ZERO WASTE

Thin, intense green skin, slightly fibrous, firm, flesh not very fibrous, firm, dry and compact because it is poor in water, sweet taste with the right acidity… it’s Delica pumpkin … because we have to waste almost 50% of this natural wonder using only the pulp !!!

Pumpkin Delica is the most purchased in Italy due to its small size, but all pumpkin varieties have a characteristic neutral flesh that allows them to be used in all courses from appetizers to desserts:

  • raw to prepare: juices, smoothies, grated and added to salads, thinly sliced and marinated for carpaccio
  • cooked: steamed, fried, baked, baked, fried, tempura, boiled (only if you also use the cooking water where many of its precious substances are dispersed).

Especially in this period you will find a thousand recipes where the main character speaks almost exclusively of the pumpkin pulp, the seeds and the peel are always in the background, let’s restore the right balance …

How to prepare seeds

The seeds are almost always used toasted at high temperatures and risk losing most of their healthy properties.

You can and should also use raw here is how to do it:

The seeds are inside a shell that can be eaten but for some it is not very digestible or too leathery. In this case you can decorticate pumpkin seeds, there are several ways:

  • put the seeds in a colander and wash them under running water, dab them with paper or a kitchen cloth
  • if the seeds that you need to free from the shell are few, cut them near the edge with a pointed knife with a smooth blade and take out the seed inside
  • if the quantity is considerable…distribute them on the kitchen surface evenly, gently roll a rolling pin to break the outer shells and extract the green and soft seed inside.
If you really want to toast …….. don’t remove the outer shell … here is a variant of sesame gomasio, a recipe by Chef Davide Oldani:

  • rinse the seeds well, dab them with paper or a kitchen cloth to remove excess moisture and pulp residues that could burn in the oven
  • toast them in the oven for 40 minutes at 100 ° C, they will turn golden.
    Let them cool.
  • blend them in pulses so as not to let out their oily part that would turn them into a moist compound, with this recipe you want to get a crunchy dressing to dust on our plates for a touch of color and extra flavor.
The seeds, both raw and dried or toasted, can be flavored with spices, and other seeds or nuts, to give a touch of color, flavor and crunchiness to sweet and savory dishes:

  • pumpkin seed powder + chili + curry powder
  • pumpkin seed powder + ginger powder
  • powdered pumpkin seeds + ginger powder
  • pumpkin seed powder + cinnamon + nutmeg + cloves + ginger
  • pumpkin seed powder + lemon peel
  • pumpkin seed powder + cocoa + cinnamon
  • pumpkin seed powder + chopped hazelnuts

How to use and prepare the peel

It is a real shame to waste it because it is rich in fiber, antioxidants and with a chestnut flavor that can give each recipe a more complex sweet taste with earthy notes.

I share my favorite recipes:

Side dish for other vegetables, cereals, fish, meat or cheese
  • Washed and cut into small pieces.
  • Cook it in a pan with a little oil for 5 minutes, flavoring it as you like.
Creamy and velvety soup
  • Washed and cut into pieces.
  • Cooked in broth for 15 minutes it becomes very tender.
  • Smoothie turns into a creamy and velvety soup.
  • It can be the protagonist or added to other ingredients, its less sweet taste than pumpkin pulp is easily combined.
Spreadable cream
  • Washed and cut into pieces
  • Stew with a little vegetable stock or water, keeping it generally dry.
  • Blended with soaked nuts / oilseeds, or a ready-made 100% sugar-free / nut-free cream or salt cream, to obtain a soft spreadable cream.
  • Choose you whether sweet or savory.
Caramelized
  • Wash it and cut it into sticks.
  • Stew it with a little vegetable stock or water, keeping it generally dry.
  • When it is tender, sauté in a pan with oil, soy sauce, coconut sugar or malt.
Crunchy chips
  • Washed and cut into sticks.
  • Blanched in water for a few minutes.
  • Topped with oil and the spices you prefer.
  • Toasted in the oven at 210 ° C until it becomes crunchy.

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