Roasted Pumpkin Slices
When the trees are changing colors, the air is starting to blow cooler and the children go back to school, we know that we enter a transitional period with warm days and chilly afternoons, not really summer but yet not autumn either. Traditional Chinese Medicine calls it Late Summer and is ruled by Earth Element. Associated organs are the Spleen and the Stomach and it is time for nourishment and centering in order to move from hot yang summer to cool yin fall and winter. The color of the season is yellow and the sound is singing or chanting. The food for this season should be cooked and easy to digest, balanced in temperature and sweet in flavor in order to stimulate our digestive system and regulate the dampness in our body!
Turning to Nature for the nourishment we need, here she is… the queen Pumpkin!
Round and yellow-orange, sweet and full of vitamins, provides antioxidants and beta carotene that becomes vitamin A when consumed. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, pumpkin is used to relieve dampness and eases bronchial asthma by promoting discharge of mucus from the lungs, bronchi and throat. Also the seeds are especially good for the intestines, easing constipation and acting as a parasite cleanse.
There are many ways to cook pumpkin! Here we give you the recipe for roasted slices of pumpkin, soaked in a delicious sunflower seeds sauce!
Preparation time: 20 mins
Cooking time: about an hour
1 medium pumpkin 1 handful of sunflower seeds
4 tablespoons of mustard – preferably with whole mustard seeds
half teacup of soy sauce or 1 ½ tbs of miso paste
half teacup of olive oil
half teacup of water
a pinch of black pepper
We cut the pumpkin in slices keeping the skin and spread them on a tray. Then we put in a blender the rest of the ingredients and blend them until they have a creamy texture. We splash the sauce all over the pumpkin slices and put them in the preheated oven. We bake at 220 C until the skin is soft and turns brown. We can serve the pumpkin with millet or any other grain of your choice 🙂
Baking is balancing the cooling nature of pumpkin and helps resolving dampness. Sunflower seeds are considered a tonic in TCM, also sweet and neutral are typically used to aid in digestion and promote regularity.
The ruling emotion of Late Summer is worry, so before eating take a deep breath and sing a song to bless your food! Those who have been to Sunshine House know already that singing or chanting before eating is opening our body, mind and spirit to a nourishing experience!