How to Make Pumpkin Puree cuisines

Each year, eighty percent of the pumpkins grown in the USA are harvested in October. Commercially canned puree is probably the most familiar edible form of this popular autumn produce, however the mild, slightly sweet flesh of fresh pumpkin makes an excellent dish when baked, boiled, sauteed, steamed or microwaved. The pumpkin seeds, as well, may be toasted to create a marvelously tasty and healthy snack.

This article will discuss the process of selecting the proper cooking pumpkin and the technique for preparing homemade pumpkin puree.

Selecting and Storing Fresh Pumpkins…

  • For cooking, select the small ‘pie’ types, often called sugar, cheese or milk pumpkins – the ‘jack-‘o-lantern’ pumpkins are not as sweet and the flesh is tough and stringy. (If uncertain, ask your grocer to help select the proper variety.)
  • Always select firm, sound pumpkins that feel heavy for their size. The rind should not have any blemishes or soft spots and a 2- to 3-inch stem should be intact.
  • Fresh pumpkins may be stored in a cool, dry dark place for up to 2 months. Ideal temperature range for storage is 55 to 59F (12.5 to 15C). Do not store below 50F (10C) and do not store fresh pumpkin in a refrigerator or wrap in plastic.

    How to Prepare Homemade Pumpkin Puree…

    The following recipe will yield a minimum of 1-3/4 cups of puree — equal to 1 (15-oz.) can of solid pack pumpkin puree. (Three pounds of fresh pumpkin will yield about 3 cups mashed cooked pumpkin.) Any leftover puree may be frozen – see freezing instructions below. Use this puree in recipes or substitute it in the same amount in any recipe calling for solid pack canned pumpkin.

    1. Choose a 3 to 4 pound sugar (‘pie’) pumpkin for preparing puree. (Under no circumstances cook or eat a carved Halloween pumpkin as the cut surfaces breed bacteria.)

    2. Preheat oven to 350F (175C).

    3. Just prior to baking, rinse the pumpkin under cold water to remove any dirt or debris from the outside of the pumpkin; wipe dry with a cloth or paper towel.

    4. Split the pumpkin in half and remove the seeds and stringy fibers by scraping the insides with a metal spoon. Discard fibers and save seeds for toasting, if desired.

    5. Rub the cut surfaces of the pumpkin with canola oil and place the 2 halves (cut-side-down) in a roasting pan. Add 1 cup of water.

    6. Bake in preheated oven until pumpkin flesh is tender when pierced with a knife (approximately 90 minutes).

    7. Remove the pumpkin halves from the oven and place them on a cutting board or other flat surface to cool.

    8. When cool enough to handle, scoop the baked flesh out of each pumpkin half with a spoon.

    9. Puree pumpkin in a food processor fitted with a metal chopping blade or mash by hand.

    10. Place the puree in a sieve lined with a paper-towel or coffee filter and set over a deep bowl. Let drain, stirring occasionally until the puree is as thick as canned solid pack pumpkin, approximately 1 to 2 hours. (Important: Do not allow cooked pumpkin to set at room temperature longer than two hours in the process of making puree.)

    Note: Pumpkin may also be cut into chunks and steamed or cooked in boiling water until soft. Remove pulp from rind then mash or run through a food mill or food processor. Because this technique yields a more ‘watery’ puree, it is important to drain out moisture as mentioned above, or by gently warming in a heavy-bottomed saucepan to remove any excess water before use.

    How To Preserve Pumpkin Puree…

    Homemade pumpkin puree freezes beautifully for later use.

    To freeze:

    1. Allow prepared puree to cool completely.

    2. Measure puree into 1-3/4 cup portions and place in clean ridged freezer containers (leaving 1/2-inch headspace).

    3. Label, date, and freeze for up to one year.

    Cooking With Pumpkin Puree…

    Not only is pumpkin puree an excellent source of vitamin A, low in sodium and fat-free — it is also very versatile. Whether using homemade or commercially canned puree, it is an ingredient that may be used in preparing an endless number of pie, cake, cookie, muffin, sweet bread, pancake, creamy soup and elegant bisque recipes.

    Why not try swirling some into a steaming bowl of cream of wheat cereal along with some maple syrup? Maybe consider perking up ordinary mashed potatoes by mashing in some pumpkin puree and sour cream. Just be creative and use your imagination – also keep in mind that most recipes that call for winter squash or sweet potatoes may be successfully prepare by substituting pumpkin.

    Copyright 2005 Janice Faulk Duplantis

  • Ayurvedic Herbs and Their Uses in Ayurvedic Medicine fruit healthTips

    Ayurvedic Herbs Can Help with Many Health Issues

    Ayurvedic herbs are a part of holistic and alternative treatments many use to cleanse the body from the inside out. Such herbs are natural herbs that can be used to treat the smallest inconvenience or help alleviate symptoms of larger health disorders. There are many types of these India’s medicinal herbs so it is useful to know what some of them are and what they specifically treat. You should note that some

    Ayurvedic medicine are still labeled under dietary supplements but contain the ingredients used to treat the body for many millennia.

    In cases such as asthma, cold and bronchial congestion, different ayurvedic herbs are prescribed. Use churnas – similar to curry – to sprinkle over your food. Different churnas balance different elements in the body. Ayurveda divides the body into 3 dosahas, or biological energies: Vata (air), Kapha (earth and water) and Pitta (fire). Vata churnas are warming, Pitta churnas are cooling and Kapha churnas are mildly hot and spicy.

    Ayurvedic teas also work for individual balancing, but there are also Vata-Pitta-Kapha teas for all body types. Narayana oil is joint massage oil that alleviates discomfort from all types of conditions including arthritis, backache, fibromyalgia, gout, hip pain, muscle cramps, sciatica and sprains. Brahmi hair oil not only helps with dandruff, dry hair, itchy scalp and split ends, but also promotes mental health by improving emotional disturbances, concentration, mental imbalance, poor memory and senility.

    For instance, Pushkaramula Rasayana can be used to deal with coughing, chest tightening and wheezing. Not only does this supplement reduce phlegm and sneezing, but it also supports better digestion and lymphatic cleansing. It is usually found in foods such ghee, honey and rice syrup base with some specific herbs and spices that are added to it. The botanical ingredients of Pushkaramula Rasayana include amalaki fruit, bhibitaki, elecampane root, haritaki fruit, kapikachu, licorice, mullein herb, pippali, shilajit and tulasi from standardized extracts and ajwan, black pepper, cardamom seed, clove, cubeb berry, ginger root, manna, myrrh, thyme and turmeric.

    Mullein Rasayana also supports bronchi, immune system, mucus membrane and respiratory health. This supplement reduces sneezing, mucus buildup and cough while cleansing the bronchi and lymphatic system. This, too, comes in an edible form of 22 herbs and spices in ghee, honey and rice syrup base. The botanical ingredients include standardized extracts of amalaki fruit, ashwagandha root, bayberry, bhibitaki, boswellia serrata, licorice, mullein, shatavari, shilajit and tulasi and herbal powders like ajwan, black pepper, cardamom seed, cinnamon, clove, cubeb, fenugreek, ginger, Irish moss, myrrh and turmeric.

    The cold and congestion supplement Pippali Rasayana is similar in that it promotes lung health as it detoxifies the lungs by liquefying phlegm to allow it to leave the respiratory tract. It reduces congestion, coughing and nausea and improves appetite, circulation, digestion and metabolism. The standardized extracts consist of bayberry, clove, elecampane, gotu kola, licorice root, pippali, sage herb and tulasi while the herbal powders consist of ajwan seed, bambomanna, cardamom, cinnamon bark, cubebs berry, ginger, peppermint and turmeric.

    There are many other Ayurvedic products used to support all types of health concerns and afflictions. You may find herbal products for anti-stress, blood cleansing, blood pressure, brain motor functions, concentration, relaxation, digestive aid, endurance, heart support, immune system booster, and insomnia relief. Other herbal products help with joint support, kidney health, liver and spleen support, male enhancement, menstrual bleed ease, mental stimulation, metabolism, pancreas support, rheumatism, skin problems, throat health, ulcer healing, weight loss and women’s health issues.

    You can look into these Ayurvedic remedies if you are considering an alternative to Western medicine or would like to know if herbs can truly improve these various health conditions.

    As with any health issue, you should consult with your health-care provider before undertaking a new health regime. Used under the supervision of an Ayurvedic Doctor, Ayurvedic herbs may just be the solution to what ails you.

    Eating Well Tips

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    Parsnips an Aphrodisiac or Just Plain Good Eats! cuisines

    Parsnips are a creamy white skinned vegetable with a green leafy top that are steeped in a rich history. Parsnips have been cultivated since ancient roman times, it is even documented that Emperor Tiberius brought parsnips to Rome from France and Germany where they grew along the banks of the Rhine River.

    Parsnips are a root vegetable from the Umbelliferae family which includes such favorites as carrots, chervil, parsley, fennel and celery. Parsnips are also an excellent form of nutrition. The average 9″ parsnip has around 130 calories, no saturated fat, no cholesterol and is high in fiber, folic acid, calcium, potassium and vitamins B1, B2, B3, C, iron and zinc.

    Parsnips have a wide range of uses, in Ireland parsnips are used to make beer and wine. During World War II parsnips were used to make mock bananas. The parsnips were mashed and mixed with banana essence to curb the desire for bananas during the war.

    Some people believe parsnips to be an aphrodisiac or even a cure all for relieving a toothache or tired feet. In Italy parsnips are used to feed pigs in Parma, these pigs then become delicious Parma Ham.

    Parsnips grow wild but are more common in commercial farms. Commercial farmers have found that by harvesting the parsnips and storing them for two weeks in temperatures ranging from 32° – 34°F the starches in the parsnips will begin to turn to sugars. Beware of wild parsnips for they may actually by water hemlock. Water hemlock looks like parsnip but is poisonous.

    When buying parsnips look for firm small to medium sized ones, if the parsnip is too large it will have a woody center. Parsnips can be kept raw in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks in the vegetable crisper or in a vented plastic bag. After cooking parsnips can be kept refrigerated for 2-3 days.

    Parsnips can be prepared in a wide variety of ways. Parsnips can be:

    o Steamed

    o Boiled

    o Braised

    o Sautéed

    o Roasted

    o And made into chips

    4 Simple Diverticulitis Home Remedies fruit healthTips

    Diverticulitis home remedies will benefit if you have a mild case of diverticular disease. You
    can use them to prevent severity of this colon problem. When you get the feeling that you have diverticulitis you should immediately stop taking junk food, caffeine and other such type of food. You have to give your colon rest in order to heal and to return it to normal condition. You will definitely not want it to get worse.

    Regarding the daily meals, instead of taking three large meals, you should start taking five or six short meals. Also, the food you take must be beneficial to your health and easy on the digestive system. Here is a list of some home remedies which will help to relieve the pain and soothe your digestive system.

    1) Garlic: Garlic can be used for a wide variety of purposes. It has this property of helping and improving the digestive system. It is also useful to remove harmful substances from the body when taken in adequate quantity. Taking a clove of garlic for 1-3 times a day will soothe and help to prevent your condition from worsening.

    2) Papaya: Papaya is another home remedy for diverticulitis which is commonly used for helping in digestion. This fruit is the only one containing a natural digestive aid known as papain, which cleans the digestive track. Take a good ripe papaya from the market and you can use it in different forms like a juice, with honey, along with other fruit etc.

    3) Pear: You can use this fruit to soothe the inflammation. Usually they are eaten just like that but you can bake them or drink juice.

    4) Brown Rice: Most people in the world eat white rice but brown rice is far better for your digestive system if you care. It is also rich in fiber and helps to reduce the inflammation in the colon. So you should start taking brown rice for your own good.

    The main reason for diverticulitis condition is low fiber diet which is common in our lifestyle. Taking adequate quantity of fiber will definitely soothe and reduce this condition. For your diverticulitis home remedies you can include the fruits, vegetables and other foods which have good quantity of fiber in them. You will see your health improving with time.

    Eating Well Tips

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    Jambalaya Pots – A Resume of Important Tips cuisines

    The Jambalaya tradition is alive and well and spreading far and wide, well beyond its Cajun origins in Louisiana. If your thinking about getting into Jambalaya cooking there are a few things its good to know.

    Jambalaya pots are multi-purpose; they are great for stews, soups, gumbos, popcorn and much more. You can cook nearly all types of food using cast iron cookware so these pots are the supreme example of large scale ‘anything goes’ cooking equipment

    Cast iron pots are a great cooking medium with near perfect heat conduction and heat retention they are very efficient, heating evenly & consistently without heat spots.

    There is one piece of advice that is paramount, don’t buy cheap. A Jambalaya pot is an investment that your grand children’s children will be enjoying, so buy well. Remember, by comparative standards they are not expensive and when measured over their extended lifetime they are incredibly cheap.

    As a simple piece of advice, we have found that the Bayou Classic range of jambalaya pots are superb, they represent the very best in Jambalaya cookware.

    Jambalaya pots are ideal for outdoor cooking but they can be a little heavy, especially the larger models. This said the common advice from users is, if you think you’ve chosen the right size then go for the next size up as there surely will come a time when you’ll have need of it. This said do also bear in mind that when going from say, a 7 gallon up to a 10 gallon pot you’re going from being able to serve 60 people, to being able to serve 100.

    It’s really healthy to cook with cast iron jambalaya pots because you can cook fat free as a properly seasoned Jambalaya pot will be non-stick so it requires no oil for cooking.

    Jambalaya pots are easy to clean:

    1. once the pot is cooled, wash it using normal washing up liquid, then rinse and dry with a paper towel; don’t listen to those that say just wipe it out; this is not hygienic.
    2. after washing put the pot onto the stove/burner to completely dry it out; then before its cooled very lightly oil with a vegetable oil; then leave it on the stove for a few minutes; then take it off the stove and wipe away any excess oil with a paper towel;
    3. after drying your cookware you should never store it with its lid on as this can allow moisture to build up inside, resulting in rust! To help avoid this it can help to put a paper towel inside the pot to absorb any moisture; and
    4. if you do experience rust, scour with steel wool, until the rust is gone, wash and re-season.

    Finally here are just a few dos and don’t when cooking with your Jambalaya pots:

    1. Don’t use your pot for boiling water.
    2. Always preheat your pot before starting cooking. The temperature is right when drips of water sizzle then jump around. Its too hot if the water turns to steam straight away and too cold if the water just bubbles.
    3. Never pour cold water into a really hot pot as it may shatter. And
    4. Never touch the jambalaya pot when cooking as it gets really hot. Keep a good pair of very heavy duty oven gloves handy if you must touch it or move it.