Wide Earth Smallholding

Wide Earth Smallholding

And Allaah has made for you the earth a wide expanse.(Qur'aan- 71:19)

Pumpkins, Pumpkins Everywhere!

Okay, well NOT everywhere, but quite a few in the kitchen, at any rate.

Today I roasted some pumpkins to use in various things this Autumn, as well as roasting their seeds for my husband. This is another thing, like the granola, that isn’t from my childhood, but rather something that I tried when I was a single mother working my way through college and my world opened up a bit beyond my Kickapoo Valley upbringing.

I love pumpkin. I love pumpkin pie, I love pumpkin tea, I love pumpkin soup. I stick it in whatever I can when pumpkins are in season, and not just because it tastes so good and lends such a nice moist denseness to many dishes. Pumpkins, and their seeds, are bursting with health benefits, surely making them from the tayyibaat!

Some Possible Health Benefits of Pumpkin:

1. It is a significant source of vitamin A. Vitamin A is important for the health of our skin and mucus membranes, which is triply important this time of year, with so many things attacking our immune systems. It is especially potent against viruses, such as measles. Vitamin A fights cancer, not only as a preventative but as a treatment. It is used in many topical situations as well, and is an important vitamin to make sure you get enough of!

2. Pumpkin has lots of fiber, which is crucial for your digestive system to be on track. One cup of pureed pumpkin has around seven grams of dietary fiber, which is about 1/10 of recommended fiber intake.

3. In addition to vitamin A, pumpkin contains vitamin E and iron, which are both important supporters of your immune system, among other things.

Some Possible Health Benefits of Pumpkin Seeds:

1. That immune system again! Pumpkin seeds are rich in zinc, which is important not just for immune system health, but for sleep regulation, prevention of depression and fatigue, prostate health in men, and more.

2. Magnesium- ¼ cup of pumpkin seeds contains almost half of the magnesium your body needs every day. Magnesium is beneficial for blood pressure regulation, blood vessel health, and tooth and bone health.

3. Pumpkin seeds (and pumpkin itself, actually) are anti-inflammatory

4. They are very beneficial for postmenopausal women, increasing HDL cholesterol levels, lessening the frequency and severity of hot flashes and headaches.

These are just some of the health benefits that have been reported to come from the eating of pumpkins and their seeds. While they are all pretty cool, the best thing about pumpkin, in my opinion, is the taste! Pumpkin puree can be added to breads, bars, and cakes. You can add puree to soup as well, but I like it in cubed- it is also a good addition to couscous or other vegetable dishes as well.

Here is how we roasted our pumpkins and seeds today:

Baked Pumpkin

First of all, bypass the big pumpkins sold for carving, and go for a sugar pumpkin. They are smaller, more tender, and have a much sweeter taste than carving pumpkins. If you can, you might want to try to grow some pumpkin in your garden- there are many beautiful and yummy heirloom varieties to be found, and you don’t need a lot of them to insure your pumpkin supply for fall.

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit

2. Cut the pumpkins in half. I remove the woody stem, but I am not sure if you have to do this or not. I just picture it bursting into flame in the oven, and so avoid putting it in there!

3. Scoop out all of the stringy stuff and the seeds. Place them in a colander for later.

4. Rub the flesh of the pumpkin with oil- you could use olive if you like, but it does have a rather strong flavor. It would be fun to try walnut or macadamia nut oil if you have it, but I used sunflower today.

5. Place the pumpkins halves flesh side down on a baking sheet. Put it in the preheated oven, and pour a glass or two of water into the pan as well. I do it this way because otherwise the water sloshes over the sides and makes a mess.

6. Bake for 45- 50 minutes, until the flesh of the pumpkin is softened and a fork goes in easily. I always check them about halfway through to make sure there is still a little water in the bottom of the pan, but honestly, the water has dissipated and the pumpkin has still been fine

7. Let the pumpkin cool slightly and peel. The peel should come off very easily.

8. Save all that good pumpkin. If you have a lot, you can freeze it. If you want a pulp, more along the lines of the canned stuff, you can blender the pumpkin. I simply cube it so I keep my options open for later.

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

You do this while the pumpkin is baking away happily in the oven.

1. Clean the seeds off very, very well. Don’t skimp on this step. Take the time to get all that pulp off of the seeds. It takes some effort, but makes a big difference in the end result.

2. Drain the seeds very well, or pat them off with a clean tea towel. Don’t worry about getting them all the way dry.

3. Put the seeds in a small saucepan with water to cover and a teaspoon or so of salt. Bring to a boil, and let boil for ten minutes.

4. Drain the seeds, pat them off again if you wish. I don’t, because I can never seem to find a tea towel when I need one!

5. Put them on a low sided baking pan or cookie sheet. Add a couple of teaspoons of oil. I use olive. Sprinkle with salt if desired. Pat them down so that there is not a lot of overlap between the seeds. Don’t be crazy on this, it’s okay if there is some, but in general aim for a layer of seeds.

6. When the pumpkin is out, lower the oven heat to 325. That being said, I have actually roasted the seeds at the same time as the pumpkin, just on the lower rack, and everything turned out well. Put the baking sheet with the seeds into the oven.

7. Bake for ten minutes.

8. Stir the seeds and pat them into a single layer again. I make sure to bring the seeds from the outside to the inside, and vice versa, as much as possible.

9. Bake for another 5 – 10 minutes. Check them for doneness after five minutes, so they don’t burn. The seeds SHOULD NOT BE BROWN!! The inner seeds should be a light golden color.

10. Store in an airtight container

11. Enjoy!!

Please share your favorite pumpkin recipes below. I love getting new ideas from you all!

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10 comments

  1. Bismillaahi Ar Rahmaani Ar Raheem
    Assalaamu alaikoum wa rahmatullaah wa barakatuh
    Jazakallahu khayran for sharing…awww it is very inspiring and encouraging and interesting and lovely …I love the idea of teaching the children to be environment-conscious while boosting their creativity and their goodwill to benefit the whole world for the sake of Allaah.. Allahummah barik!. I feel my passion for homeschooling is growing everyday, such a blessing alhamdulillaah! My salams to all, fi amanillaah,

    1. Wa Aleikum Assalam Umm Yasmeen! Wa Jazak. I am really passionate about homeschooling as well, mash’Allaah. We have periodically tried other things, but we always come back to it, and it has been a great blessing for the children and myself. BarakAllaahufeekee!

  2. salam alaykoem sister Khadija,

    Barakallahu feek for you lovely posts they always stay in my head even after I read them. My friend also homeschools her kids but my two older kids go to school, but salafi school Alhamdullilah so they get the proper education concerning aqeedah and fiqh. Yes I respect your homeschooling your kids but for me homeschooling my kids is just to difficult. I understand you want your kids around but don’t you think that sometimes sending them to school gives them a chance to socialize with other kids and brings them out of confinement of being at home? I guess homeschooling is either your calling or it’s not! Anyway I’d love to hear your ideas about it and I send my salams to all your family and as my mother is an American like you and I was brought up in America for a big portion of my youth I’d also like to congratulate you on your coming to Islam and say I love you fillah.

    Ma Salama Sadiah Umm Mohamed

    1. Wa Aleikum Assalam wa Rahmatullah
      The subject of socialization has been written about a lot, in books and magazines, and blogs. I have found that we have success in making our home and our family the center of our children’s lives, a place of safety, security, knowledge, fun and companionship. None of the children have suffered at all by this approach and indeed, it has strengthened them in ways that are too numerous to count. We have also taught them the importance and the criterion for choosing companions, and alhamdulillah, they choose them wisely and well- and we keep an eye on it all, mash’Allaah, as we are responsible for them, not teachers or daycare providers or other people’s parents or whoever, mash’Allaah. They don’t see their home as a confinement, but as a place of light, knowledge, warmth, love and fun, alhamdulillah!
      Alhamdulillah, I am happy that you reached out and wrote, and i look forward to hearing from you again! We send our salaams to you as well, insh’Allaah, and barakAllaahufeekum, and I love you as well for the sake of the One Whom you love me for!

      1. Salam Alaykoem Sister,
        Thank you for responding to all my comments and sorry if I’m overdoing it or whatever but I just really like your whole natural and educated approach to things. I’m not accusing you of confining your children or the like, if you’re comfortable with home schooling and it works then that’s good. I’m not trying to throw my responsibility on teachers but somethings we are capable of doing and some we aren’t. Take me for example my husband is gone all day, I live with my in laws in a not spacious place, I guess I’m just upset because there’s a lot of things I would have liked to do with my kids but that I couldn’t. It’s hard when you’re practicing and you’re surrounded by people who aren’t. I like learning myself and taking interest in different people my mother also always likes to be alone and meditate. I guess my personality just doesn’t fit being around my kids all the time. We should be positive and try and hear each other out, I respect your decision, if homeschooling suits you and it works best then why not but if it’s difficult to home school your kids then at least to find the best school.

        1. Wa Aleikum Assalam wa Rahmatullah,
          No you are not overdoing it, mash’Allaah. I enjoy having these discussions through the blog, alhamdulillah. You are absolutely correct, mash’Allaah. First and foremost we have to understand what our responsibilities towards our children are, and then we must fulfill them as best as we are able. Insh’Allaah Allaah will make it easy for the Salafis to establish more schools, so that the children can go and benefit from them. I am actually working on a full school curriculum for Taalib al-Ilm Educational Resources, based upon the idea that should not teach “secular’ studies, and then “Islamic Studies” like the two are separate things. Rather, the whole curriculum should be based upon Islaam, insh’Allaah. I am hoping to get a few more people on board to assist in this, so that we can move forward with it more quickly, insh’Allaah.
          BarakAllaahufeekee Sadiah!

          1. Barakallahu feek sister for all your feed back and may Allah t’ala grant your endeavor success I think it sounds like a MashaAllah great idea, Ya Rabbi why didn’t they think of it sooner and then we wouldn’t be stuck with these horrible anasheed books. Djazakallahu ghairan for taking out the time to communicate with me may Allah grant give you tawfeeq, I know it is coming from a sincere and genuine place.

            Love and take care Sadiah

  3. While our homeschooling in this area is a tad more “hands on,” LOL, it will be rather exciting to compare notes! After all, the chosen location is almost as high as our elevation, growing zone is the same, climate is also semi arid, and we are just an hour away from the meeting of the Great Plains and the Rockies. I must say that if you ended up there, I’d be inclined to take a 5 hour drive…and abscond you!

    As for that mud brick business, do you think M&M Enterprises would like to hire out for the summer to build our straw bale perimeter wall?

    1. Ours is hands on as well, just different stages of the journey, alhamdulillah- and you never know what Allaah has in store for us, my friend! I am totally up for a kidnapping, insh’Allaah. In fact, I would meet you halfway.
      They would love to build it, and perhaps they will, insh’Allaah! I think I can negotiate a good deal for you. Maybe.

  4. “They don’t see their home as a confinement, but as a place of light, knowledge, warmth, love and fun, alhamdulillah!”

    Alhamdulillaah ,may Allaah reward you for sharing the feelings from your home because it is truly awakening. I know that the house is the main place of the woman but I am now realizing that you can truly enjoy it and not seeing it like a burden. I was thinking of that the other day in your class because I used to get anxiety in the house after the birth of my first daughter. I am now working to make home our favorite place in sha Allaah. I am also more convinced of homeschooling than ever, I don’t want to miss the experience of teaching and learning with my daughters while they are growing next to me, I want the full experience!…
    really please keep sharing may Allaah reward you so much.

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