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Pumpkin Soup (Low-fat)

>> May 8, 2010

I was told that pumpkin has loads of nutritional value a Chinese Medical Practitioner and is favored by many vegetarians. It’s a great vegetable and is one of the needed ‘variety of vegetable colors’ that we needed to include in our daily diet. In “The Antioxidant Miracle” by Dr Lester Packer, we are encouraged to consume vege with strong colours, not only green…as each individual vege contain different antioxidants which help in some way to prevent cancer.

I’ve tried pumpkin stir-fry with dried shrimps but can’t say I’m fond of the mushy heap :-( and neither did my hubby nor my little one till I tried to make into soup.

But, I’ve got request for 2nd helpings for this pumpkin soup.

4 pips of garlic, chopped
1 pc onion, sliced
1 tsp of vegetable oil
1200ml fresh chicken soup

450g pumpkin, cubed
200g potato, peeled and cubed

Generous dash of pepper.

1.       Remove seeds and cut into cubes.
2.       Place pumpkin and potato cubes in a plate and steam for 15 minutes till soften. Remove and let cool.
3.       In a pot, heat up oil, add in garlic and onion, stir-fry till fragrant and add in chicken soup.
4.       Bring to boil, remove from flame and let cool for about 30 minutes.
5.       Add steamed pumpkin and potato cubes.
6.       Blend soup and cubes with a stick blender. (Be careful, make sure soup is cool before blending or it may splash out if still hot)
7.       On low flame, bring soup to a gentle simmer.

* If you do not have ready chicken soup, you may use chicken stock granules or chicken stock cube. Substitute home-made chicken soup with boiling 1200ml water and 1½ tsp chicken stock granules.
I've adapted it and eliminated the use of milk or cream.

Serve warm.

You may want to know some nutritional benefits of pumpkin,

For your information:
“A raw pumpkin per 1 cup serving has only 30 calories, 0 fat and cholesterol, 1 gram of dietary fiber and only 8 grams of carbohydrates.  

This low calorie food offers lots of vitamins including vitamins A, B6, C and E.  They are high in magnesium, phosphorus, iron, folate, niacin and thiamin.  The list goes on and also includes beta carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin.

So how do all these great ingredients benefit you?  Well the lutein and zeaxanthin can help prevent the formation of cataracts and reduces the risk of macular degeneration.  The beta carotene can help prevent night blindness and other eye problems.  It also helps enhance your immune system, and protects against colds, flu and infections.  It is also believed that it can also reduce risk of cancer.  

And then there’s the benefit of magnesium.  Magnesium can help strengthen the formation of teeth and bones.  Magnesium also helps your heart by helping stabilize the rhythm of your heart and prevents abnormal blood clotting.”

Antioxidant Rich
Beta carotene---The rich orange color is a dead give away to the nutrients present in pumpkin. Research shows that people who eat a diet rich in beta-carotene are less likely to develop certain cancers than those who fail to include beta-carotene-rich foods in their diet.
Loaded with Potassium---Studies show people who have a potassium rich diet lower the risk for hypertension. Potassium rich foods include bananas, broccoli, avocados, pomegranate and many others.
Zinc---Not only is zinc a major boost for your immune system, it also aids in bone density support for people at risk for osteoporosis.
High in Fiber---Diets rich in fiber may prevent cancer, heart disease and other serious ailments.
Health Benefits
Prostate Cancer
There have been many stories linking the pumpkin seed to a healthy prostate. But what is so special about these little green seeds one might ask. The protective compounds present within the seed of the pumpkin, called phytosterols, may be responsible for shrinking the prostate. They also contain chemicals that may prevent some transformation of testosterone into dihydrotestosterone (DHT). High levels of DHT are associated with enlarged prostate.
For BPH (Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia or enlarged prostate) prevention, eating a handful (about 1 ounce) of shelled pumpkin seeds three times a week is recommended.
Anti-Inflammatory Benefits in Arthritis
Unlike the widely used anti-inflammatory drug indomethacin, pumpkin seeds do not increase damaged fat levels in the lingus joints, a common side effect associated with indomethacin which contributes to the progression of arthritis.
Great on your skin
Pumpkins contains lots of anti-oxidant vitamins A and C, as well as zinc and alpha-hydroxy-acids which helps to reduce the signs of aging.
Whether age old remedies have ultimate healing powers or not the nutrients present in just one serving of pumpkin are a testament to the health benefits of this timeless fruit.
Here are the stats on what's in one cup of pumpkin puree:
Pumpkin Nutrition Facts (1 cup cooked, boiled, drained, without salt)
·                                 Calories 49
·                                 Protein 2 grams
·                                 Carbohydrate 12 grams
·                                 Dietary Fiber 3 grams
·                                 Calcium 37 mg
·                                 Iron 1.4 mg
·                                 Magnesium 22 mg
·                                 Potassium 564 mgZinc 1 mg
·                                 Selenium .50 mg
·                                 Vitamin C 12 mg
·                                 Niacin 1 mg
·                                 Folate 21 mcg
·                                 Vitamin A 2650 IU
·                                 Vitamin E 3 mg
Pumpkins are 90 percent water!!

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