Apocolocynposis is the fear of turing into a pumpkin. Only cinderella could imagine something so horrible. The pumpkin is the worlds largest fruit. Did you know that 80% of the pumpkin supply in the US is available during the month of October? Halloween is right around the corner and there are pumpkins everywhere. There is the creepiest giant balloon sized pumpkin right down the street from our house and it kind of looks like the pumpkin in this picture.
Pumpkins are extremely healthy which is evident by their bright orange complexion. They contain the antioxidant beta carotene, which is converted to vitamin A in the body, fibre, and low in calories. If you have ever heard the term retinol equivalent, it means you need 12 mcg of beta-carotene to convert to 1 mcg of retinol (vitamin A). Beta carotene is an antioxidant providing the body with many health benefits. It is found in bright orange and yellow fruits and vegetables, while good sources of vitamin A are liver, fish oil, milk, and fortified cereals. Vitamin A is toxic if taken in high quantities (usually in the form of a vitamin or polar bear liver) while beta-carotene is not, although high doses of beta-carotene has been known to turn people bright yellow because it builds up in the fat beneath the skin. Vitamin A plays a role in vision, immune defenses, maintenance of body linings and skin, bone and body growth, normal cell development and reproduction. Sounds like Mr. Vitamin A has a pretty important role in the body. So next time you think that bag of potato chips looks good, why not snack on some mango, cantaloupe, orange or red peppers, or better yet, why not try some of those delicious pumpkin seeds, which are loaded with B vitamins, zinc, fibre, iron, and protein. Pumpkin seeds smell amazing while being roasted in the oven, and delicious eaten with a sprinkle of salt.
In light of my pumpkin obsession, I stumbled upon a delicious pumpkin beer made by Buffalo Bill's Brewery in Seattle. It tastes like pumpkin pie in a glass. There are a few other pumpkin beers in Seattle but I prefer the taste of this one in particular. I have also finally made that pumpkin cheesecake recipe I had been talking about in my previous post. It was a great Thanksgiving dessert, nice substitution for pumpkin pie, and my friends loved it. It was super creamy, delicious, and very unhealthy. "Everything in moderation is OK", that is my motto. Recipe below.
Peter Peter pumpkin eater, had a wife an could not keep her. He put her in a pumpkin shell, and there he kept her very well! - classic nursery rhyme
Pumpkin Cheesecake Ingredients 3 - 8 ounce packs of light cream cheese 1/2 cup sugar 1 tsp cinnamon 1/2 tsp ground cloves 1/2 tsp nutmeg 1 1/4 cup pumpkin puree 5 eggs 1/2 cup heavy cream Crust 1 1/2 cup Graham Crackers 1/2 cup melted butter Caramel Sauce 1/2 cup butter 1/2 cup brown sugar 1/4 cup milk 1/2 tsp vanilla
Directions Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix graham crackers and melted butter in a bowl and then line the cheesecake pan and bake for 15 minutes. In a bowl beat cream cheese until smooth. Add sugar, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg and beat until light in texture. Add pumpkin and mix until blended. Stir in eggs one at a time and then stir in cream. Pour batter into crust. Wrap pan in tin foil preventing water leakage and place in a roasting pan filled with water half way. Bake for 50 minutes or until cheesecake is firm.
When cheesecake is done let cool on a wire rack for one hour then place in fridge for 4 hours. When ready to serve prepare the caramel sauce by adding butter, brown sugar, and milk to a sauce pan. Bring to a boil for 4 minutes and then remove from heat. Stir in vanilla extract and enjoy.