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Pumpkin is not a fruit you hear about every day, but it is the fruit everyone should be talking about, this is not just because of the nutritional benefits (which by the way, is highly nutritional); Pumpkin is a fruit that should be talked about very oten because of the versatility of this great fruit and the African pumpkin dishes, but not to worry, we have got you covered, that is why the African food network is here to tell you everything you need to know about pumpkins.
The fun does not stop there, because we love to encourage everyone to explore the world of African food, we are also going to be showing you five different delicious and healthy African pumpkin dishes that will nourish you.
Pumpkin is one of the most nutrient-filled fruits out there, and no one should be left out of this fun and exciting treat called pumpkins, before we begin, what are pumpkins?
Before we look at a simple overview of pumpkins, let us talk about African pumpkin dishes. As you should now by now, African as a continent is blessed with so many beautiful countries, and these countries have a way of incorporating their amazing traditions in almost every aspect of life, food included.
Pumpkins were not left out of the creativity of these African countries, as African have found a way to be creative with pumpkins which gives us the delicious and healthy African pumpkin dishes that we are going to have a look at.
These African pumpkin dishes are very healthy and rich in nutrients, this is as a result of the mix of several ingredients that makes these African pumpkin dishes highly nutritious.
Some of the African pumpkin dishes that are going to be on this list of delicious African pumpkin dishes are popular staples, for example Egusi soup; This is a very popular and nutritious dish, accompanied with the great health benefits that pumpkins already possess, the ingredients also play a major role on the nutritional benefits.
Some vegetables are also used in the preparation of these African pumpkin dishes, which helps boost the nutritional benefits of these African pumpkin dishes.
Do you now see how creative African get with their food, even when it comes down to delicious African pumpkin dishes? Be sure to give these African pumpkin dishes a try, you will be be doing yourself a favor by exploring the world of African pumpkin dishes.
Now that we have had a little talk about African pumpkin dishes, let us look at the basics of Pumpkins, and the first question that is often asked would be ‘ what is a pumpkin?’
What Is A Pumpkin?
Pumpkin is a great fruit that is also classified as a variety of squash. Other varieties of squash are C. Moschta, Cucurbita pepo, and C. Maxima, they are also in the gourd family.
This fruit, or what can be referred to as a gourd is also often characterized by its orange appearance and hard rind, it also has grooves.
This fruit is grown for its great health benefits and great taste, that is why it is used mostly for human consumption.
Let us take a closer look at the physical attributes of pumpkins.
What Are the Physical Attributes Of A Pumpkin?
To easily describe what a pumpkin would look like, or simply to describe the physical attributes of a pumpkin, it would be easy to say a few things about it.
Pumpkins are orange in color, and it would be said that pumpkins have very tough skin. Slicing might be considered to be a task, as a result of the hardness of the skin.
Pumpkins also have a lot of seeds, so it is advisable that after you have successfully cut through the skin of the pumpkin, you scoop out the seeds from inside the pumpkin.
The seeds of this delicious fruit are also another delicious and healthy part of the fruit.
Pumpkin seeds are considered to be highly nutritious and best of all, delicious, due to its great health benefits, it is often incorporated into some African pumpkin dishes.
- Pumpkins are very versatile and very easy to prepare
If you are looking for something new, healthy, and spicy to add to your diet, pumpkin is the hidden treasure for you.
Pumpkins are very easy to prepare, and they are also very versatile, which means they can be used in the preparation of so many African pumpkin dishes, and it can also be prepared in so many different ways, don’t worry, you will get to know some healthy African pumpkin dishes as we go on.
Pumpkin has a delicious flavor that really is irresistible, this is one of the reasons for the popularity of pumpkins, another reason for their popularity across several continents in the world is its amazing health benefits, which you would also get familiar with as we progress.
One of the easiest and most popular ways of preparing pumpkin is the method which is done by seasoning the pumpkin with salt, then roasting it.
Another simple African pumpkin dish is the pumpkin soup which is also very healthy and delicious, this is often enjoyed during the winter seasons.
So if you are looking for an easy dish to add to your diet during the winter seasons, pumpkin soup is a delicious African dish for you.
As you read earlier, pumpkins have some pretty great health benefits. They help to enrich the body which also helps in the improvement of some meta-like activities that occur in the body. Let us take a closer look at the general health benefits of pumpkins.
What Are The Health Benefits Of Pumpkins?
- Pumpkins are known to enrich the skin
Having bad skin can be frustrating, especially if you have tried different products to help with the treatment of the skin and they don’t work.
But not to worry, the African food network is here to make you happy with these amazing fruits that will help in the enhancement, improvement, and treatment of the skin.
Are you looking for natural ways to improve the health of your skin, have you tried several chemical products but you have been unable to find the right product for your skin? African food network is here to give you reasons why pumpkin is the best option for your skin.
Pumpkins are very rich in the compounds that help in the promotion of healthy and rich skin, which is amazing because this is a natural and healthy fruit that is not filled with chemicals that have the potentials of damaging your skin.
One of the compounds that are present in pumpkins that helps in the treatment and improvement of the health of the skin is Carotenoids. Just like beta-carotene, the body turns carotenoids into vitamin A.
Did you know that a cup of cooked pumpkin is enriched with 245% of the recommended dietary intake (RDI) for vitamin A?
What Happens To Your Skin When You Ingest Pumpkins?
Take this as a simple and fun breakdown of the activities that go on in your body and how pumpkin affects your skin after it has been ingested.
After the ingestion of pumpkin, the carotenoids are moved or transported to different organs around the body, which also includes the skin.
Once they get there, they help in the protection of the skin cells, the skin is protected from damage, and some of the damages can come from the UV rays. The carotenoid protects the skin from the damage of these harmful UV rays.
- Pumpkin is very rich in vitamin C, vitamin c is also a nutrient that is very essential for great and healthy skin.
Vitamin C is a very important nutrient that is required by the body, vitamin C helps the body with some very important metabolic activities, and these activities help the body function properly.
One of the important processes that need a sufficient amount of vitamin C is the production of collagen.
Collagen is a protein that helps in the protection and treatment of the skin, leaving the skin looking healthy and rich.
- Pumpkins are also very rich in vitamin E, zeaxanthin, Lutein, and many other antioxidants that are known to help in the improvement and boosting of the defenses of the skin against harmful UV rays.
- Pumpkins are very rich in antioxidants
Pumpkin is another incredible fruit that is highly rich in antioxidants, in fact, with the great number of antioxidants that this fruit possesses, they may be able to reduce the risk of chronic diseases.
What Are Antioxidants?
In simple terms, antioxidants are known as compounds that inhibit or control the oxidation process.
The oxidation process is not the only process that is often inhibited by antioxidants.
Antioxidants are also known to inhibit chemical reactions that may lead to the damage of cells of living organisms.
Free radicals can easily be described as molecules that are often produced by the body, as a result of some metabolic processes.
Free radicals may seem quite unstable, but they have their uses, and one of their major roles is that they aid in the destruction of bacteria that may be harmful to the body.
There might be a case of more than enough free radicals in the body, and this often leads to oxidative stress, and this oxidative stress is often linked to so many chronic diseases like cancer, heart diseases, and so many others.
Just like you read earlier, pumpkins are very rich in antioxidants, and a few of them are;
- Beta- beta-kryptoxanthin
These antioxidants that are present in pumpkins have the power to neutralize or inhibit free radicals, which leads to the prevention of these free radicals from undergoing cell damage processes.
- Despite being highly nutritious, pumpkins are also known for their low-calorie count.
This fact about pumpkin is another great reason why it should be added to your weight loss diet.
The low-calorie count of pumpkin is a great characteristic because it is highly nutritious, and will also help you with your weight loss journey.
Pumpkin consists of about 93-94% water, and pumpkin consists of about under 50 calories per cup, which is 245grams.
In other words, pumpkin has a very low-calorie count, which makes it great because you can consume so much more of it, and it still would contain fewer calories, more than some other dishes.
Pumpkin is also a very good source of fiber, which means it will also help to have your appetite under control.
List Of Nine Delicious and Healthy African Pumpkin Dishes
The First Dish On This List Of Healthy African Pumpkin Dishes Is; NHOPI
This delicious and healthy African pumpkin dish can easily be described as porridge, with pumpkin as the main ingredient, usually accompanied by some other ingredients.
This dish mostly works with the sweetness of the pumpkin, if the pumpkin is sweet enough, it can be served as a sweet dish, but this healthy African pumpkin dish may not be referred to as a dessert.
To enhance the sweetness of this delicious African pumpkin dish, sugar is added, but this only happens on several occasions where the pumpkin is not so sweet.
This delicious and healthy African pumpkin dish is usually served with some other nutrient-filled vegetables like; Spinach.
Here are a few ingredients required for the preparation of this delicious and healthy African pumpkin dish;
- Peanut butter
- Pound butternut squash (pumpkin cubed)
The Second Dish On This List Of Delicious And Healthy African Pumpkin Dishes Is: EGUSI PUDDING
This healthy African pumpkin dish is a popular staple in Cameroon, just like every other African pumpkin dish on this list of delicious African pumpkin dishes, Pumpkin is the main ingredient required for the preparation of Egusi pudding. Accompanied by other ingredients that help with the improvement and enhancement of the taste of this delicious and healthy African pumpkin dish.
To simply describe this African pumpkin dish; The egusi is grounded, then mixed with steamed banana leaves, meat, fish, and some other ingredients.
This dish is very popular amongst the people of Cameroon. Egusi pudding is known for its of its great taste, not just the great taste, but the nutritional value of this healthy African pumpkin dish.
Egusi can be enjoyed as a main dish or a side dish, it all depends on you, and how you want to enjoy this healthy African pumpkin dish.
Ingredients required for the preparation of Egusi pudding
- Seasoning cube
- Ground hot pepper (scotch bonnet, chili, or habanero pepper)
If you want to know more about your peppers, you can check out this article about everything you need to know about your peppers, here at the African food network.
The Third Delicious Healthy African Pumpkin Dish On This List Of Delicious And Healthy African Pumpkin Dishes Is: MIYAN TUASHE
Miyan TUASHE is a very popular pumpkin dish in the Northern regions of Nigeria. This healthy pumpkin dish is usually enjoyed with any swallow of your choice. You can check out this article to give you more ideas about the different types of delicious swallows and how you can best enjoy them.
One of the most popular swallows used to enjoy this delicious and healthy African pumpkin dish is fufu.
This delicious and healthy African pumpkin dish can also be enjoyed with many other foods like naan bread and rice.
Naan bread is very similar to gurasa; Gurasa is a traditional flatbread, enjoyed with miyan tushe. This bread is Beth popular amongst the northerners in Nigeria.
This delicious and healthy African pumpkin dish is usually enjoyed during festive seasons like Ramadan.
This healthy African pumpkin dish is not meant for just the northern people of Nigeria, you can always have fun with this delicious and healthy African pumpkin dish, all you need are a few ingredients and a recipe to get you started and you are on your journey of delicious and healthy African pumpkin dishes.
There are recipes here for you to try out, but you can get the recipe for this delicious and healthy African pumpkin dish and other healthy African pumpkin dishes, here at the African food network.
Here are a few ingredients required for the preparation of this healthy African pumpkin dish (Miyan Tuashe);
- Palm oil
- Meat chunks
- Pumpkin seeds (preferably, cut into chunks)
- Roasted peanuts
- Bell peppers
- Bonnet peppers
- Chopped spinach
- Shrimp bouillon
The Fourth Dish On This List Of Delicious And Healthy African Pumpkin Dishes Is: PAMPOENKOEKIES (PUMPKIN FRITTERS)
These pumpkin fritters are arguably the best healthy African pumpkin dish on this list of healthy African pumpkin dishes that would nourish you.
These delicious and healthy pumpkin fritters are a South African snack that is considered to be very healthy and delicious.
The texture of this snack is fluffy and light, and this is filled with so much goodness that it just melts in your mouth, leaving you with a burst of flavors and nutrients that will do wonders for your body and mind.
This healthy African pumpkin dish is often described as a mix of several flavors, the snack is very light. This delicious and healthy African pumpkin snack is very quick and easy to make.
Who does not like a burst of flavors? Everyone does, that is the true beauty and essence of cooking, to be able to explore different combinations of flavors and nutrients that will make you happy.
This delicious and healthy African pumpkin dish is also known as a pumpkin fritter, it can either be served as breakfast, a snack or even a side dish. Is this not just great?
To make this tasty, delicious, and healthy African pumpkin dish, you would need a few ingredients, and they are;
- Mashed pumpkins
- Baking powder
- Heavy cream
- Light corn syrup
- Cooking oil (for deep-frying)
- Caramel glaze
- Unsalted butter
The Fifth Dish On This List Of Delicious And Healthy African Pumpkin Dishes Is: EGUSI SOUP
There is something about saving the best for the last. On this list of delicious and healthy African pumpkin dishes that will nourish you, Egusi soup is going to be one of the most delicious and healthy African soups you can encounter.
Everyone who has given this delicious and healthy African pumpkin dish a try will tell you that it was the best soup they have ever had.
This delicious and healthy African pumpkin dish is a Nigerian dish, although it has other variants that exist in other African countries, they have different names and the ingredients used for the preparation may vary, but they all taste great and they will be sure to nourish and enrich your body with the right nutrients.
The amazing thing about this delicious and healthy African pumpkin dish is that it can be paired up and enjoyed with any starch you love, and it would taste great.
The main ingredient for this healthy pumpkin dish is the pumpkin seeds. Egusi means pumpkin seeds. To further enrich this dish, just like other African pumpkin dishes, some other ingredients such as vegetables are added.
Vegetables are added to this meal to give it some extra flavor, color, and of course nutrients. The combination of this delicious and healthy African pumpkin dish is worth writing about.
There are a few ingredients that are required for the preparation of this delicious and healthy African pumpkin dish and they are;
- Vegetables (some vegetables you can use are; Ugu, bitter leaf, and spinach, or whatever vegetables you would love to add.)
- Seasoning cubes
- Dry fish
- Any meat of your choice
- Palm oil
Other Delicious And Healthy African Pumpkin Dishes
- South African pumpkin soup
- Liberian pumpkin soup
- Pumpkin cake
- Pumpkin bread
- Pumpkin leaves (Ugu soup)
- African tomato pumpkin stew
- Zimbabwean pumpkin and squash
- North African stew with beans and pumpkin
- Pumpkin pap
- Pumpkin and black bean soup
- Egusi stew
Let Us Have A Quick Recap
Reaching this part of this article, there is no way you would not have learned some interesting and amazing facts about pumpkins. As interesting as pumpkins may have seemed in this article, the interesting part of the article has to be getting to know some healthy and delicious African pumpkin dishes that are sure to add some flavor and richness to your diet.
We looked at what exactly a pumpkin is, then we discussed the physical attributes of a pumpkin. If you have seen a pumpkin before, you would know that they have distinctive physical characteristics that you just cannot mistake a pumpkin for another fruit, the color, size, and of the fruit kind of gives the identity of the fruit away
We also discussed a few health benefits of this amazing gourd, and you got to see a few great health benefits, some you did not even know before.
Knowing the health benefits and nutritional value of your food (for example some of the delicious and healthy African pumpkin dishes that were on this list), especially the fruits that you eat is great and important because you would be having a good amount of knowledge of the nutrients that go into your body, also if you are looking for some type of food, fruits and even delicacies that will help in some specific areas of the body, having great information about the nutritional content of the things that you eat will enable you to enrich your body with the necessary nutrients that will help you in these specific areas of your body.
Pumpkin is a great fruit, but do you know what’s even better? The delicious African pumpkin dishes, these African pumpkin dishes are something that everyone should be into right now.
Another great characteristic of pumpkin is the fact that almost every part of this is rich in nutrients and very useful, from the seeds to the leaves of the fruit, everything is useful and healthy.
Everyone should have at least one or two African pumpkin dishes in their diet, you don’t know the types of great nutrients you would be missing out on if you don’t quickly hop on the pumpkin train.