Pumpkin & Pear Jam: a prebiotic powerhouse

Properly it’s ‘that’ time of year all over again, for anybody with a sizeable yard – the zucchini glut has eventually been dealt with and based on the exact timing of your compost heap reinventing alone as a pumpkin patch, we’re most likely extremely shut to that yearly onslaught of pumpkins.  

For everybody else, it is just a excellent time of yr to take in pumpkins.

And you get to do so absolutely free from the niggling dread that is par for the training course as the operator of a rampant, unchecked pumpkin vine.

Squash or pumpkin – what’s the big difference?

Now, presented that there’s a pumpkin jam recipe on the horizon, there’s no way about dipping into the squash vs pumpkin debate.

Having invested some time residing in The united states, the continent where pumpkins initial originated, it’s clear that our Australian definition does not quite align with theirs. We have a tendency to use pumpkin as a lot more of an umbrella term for a broader range of squash.

For instance, when I was executing my culinary coaching in New York and would refer to ‘butternut pumpkin’, I would be instantly corrected that it is in actuality, butternut squash. It took me a very little although to integrate the nearby dialect and discern involving pumpkins and squash.

Back again in this article in Australia, I’m now in that perplexed center ground exactly where I use both phrases interchangeably and possible alienate even much more people than when I was overseas.

The simple fact is, all pumpkin and squash varieties are technically squash from a botanical standpoint. There is not really a solitary botanical distinction that separates the two, despite the fact that the Us citizens would convey to you that a pumpkin is spherical, with a considerably harder stem and pores and skin and commonly a reduced h2o information than squash.

Some suggest pumpkins have a bigger protein written content as effectively, although from my exploration it relies upon on the kind of pumpkin.

Heading off their definition, jam can only be designed with the sweet, dense (decreased water information) versions – the ones they’d normally use for pumpkin pie. In New York they referred to them as sugar pumpkins. They would in no way advise producing it with squash.

Nevertheless, I’ve made it several times with butternut pumpkin and it is fantastic for the career. Sweet and fruity and let us confront it – a a lot easier possibility to peel and prep!

The jam recipe is coming, but the nutritionist in me cannot skip in excess of the spectacular nutritional profile of pumpkin.

Could the humble pumpkin be a superfood?

Pumpkins have crucial prebiotics, peptides and other powerful compounds that make it a mounting star in the literature when it arrives to diabetes, gut conditions and other inflammatory circumstances.  

It is now regarded in the literature to be a functional foodstuff, which is a additional credible and fewer glitzy way of calling it a superfood.

Pumpkin, people. Can you consider it?!

If anybody you know is expending a fortune on superfood powders from the Amazon, remember to explain to them that seasonal, domestically-developed organic and natural make will give them far far more bang for their buck! The only point it lacks is packaging – a canvas for all those people dazzling internet marketing promises. But the gains are indeed on par and we now have the science to again it up.

Pumpkin is predominantly complex carbohydrate. It is a superb supply of carotenoids, which are effective anti-oxidants. The main carotenoid is beta-carotene, but they also include lutein, lycopene, alpha-carotene and cis-beta-carotene. Depending on the health of the soil that it was developed in, pumpkin is also an considerable source of minerals like potassium, calcium and magnesium.

Pumpkin extracts (of the fruit and the seeds) have been proven to be powerfully antibacterial, antifungal and anti-parasitic. The seeds can be effectively utilized to beat fungal bacterial infections and even to use in combination with present-day antifungal agents, both equally to strengthen its effectiveness and even to lower its facet results.

Pumpkin contains highly effective prebiotics

We have a tendency imagine of pumpkins as a vegetable, but from a botanical point of view, it is really a fruit. Well being aware kinds who are however trapped in the reductionist design of viewing their food items may possibly even further cut down it to ‘carbs’ – and perhaps stay away from it for that motive.

Having said that, pumpkins are so a lot far more than a deliciously sweet carbohydrate! They’re an extremely wealthy supply of pectin, which is a intestine-therapeutic prebiotic. Prebiotics are the principal foodstuff source of our effective intestine microbes (the standing of which, are probably the most significant identifying factor of our general wellbeing).

And pumpkins really do not incorporate any old pectin, but a top-quality kind of pectin, which has impressive implications on several fronts.

  1. From a culinary perspective:

Pectin-loaded food items play a significant purpose when making jams. This is why apples and citrus are typically applied in the system of jam-generating, as they are also quite significant in this special type of intestine-loving fibre.

Pumpkin has a sort of pectin that varieties a gel-like construction additional conveniently than other sorts of fruit, which indicates that only a smaller concentration is needed to make a gel set. Therefore why it is these types of a excellent alternative for jam.

2. From a dietary standpoint:

When evaluating citrus, apple and pumpkin pectin samples in (in vitro) research of human colon cancer cells, pumpkin presented the most protecting result towards oxidative strain and cytotoxicity.

This is fairly significant news. Not only for the overall health conscious among the us, but for the gardeners and preservers, too!

A pumpkin a day keeps the physician away

Some scientists have long gone as considerably as recommending pumpkin for each day use! To me that smacks of the typical Western state of mind – if a little is fantastic, extra is improved – which is almost never accurate from a dietary viewpoint.

Nevertheless, it does spotlight just how helpful this humble fruit is promising to be. My modification would be, consume it incredibly on a regular basis in pumpkin time – which is now.

There are a million and one means to get pleasure from pumpkin – roasted initially ahead of time and then added to salads, curries or blended into a sweet and hearty soup are my regular routines all over the 7 days. Nevertheless, every time you are hoping to indulge in a particular type of develop and genuinely make the most of its season, you truly do want to believe outdoors the box and get common with a several recipes that maintain you enticed. Pumpkin bread is a good just one as it can be made in bulk and stashed in the freezer if you have the house.

This delivers me to jam.

If you have not tried out pumpkin jam (or pumpkin butter as it is referred to in the states), it’s worth supplying this quick recipe a go. Above there, it’s typically made with tinned pumpkin puree as a base, which makes a fairly weighty product. Fresh new pumpkin yields a significantly more sensitive flavour, specially if you blend it with other fruits.

Pumpkin & Pear Jam

I have penned this recipe for people who have never ever built a jam just before. Apart from developing diverse flavour combos, jam-building is much more of a science than an artwork. The wonderful thing about the one of a kind variety of pectin identified in pumpkin is that it gels so easily that there is no real need to have to consistently observe the temperature. It thickens up wonderfully and then you acquire it off the stove.

This recipe can be tweaked and blended with any other fruit. I have tried out apple (which is the additional conventional accompaniment), a total orange to make additional of a marmalade (delectable!) and mandarins.

Pear is my decide on of the bunch, to day, but then I do have a little bit of a delicate location for them at the best of periods.

I like to use golden sugar which you can obtain at most wellbeing food retailers. It is in essence just evaporated sugar cane juice and so is closer to its unique condition and contains marginally a lot more minerals than simple uncooked sugar. Nonetheless, we’re not truly heading to child ourselves that this jam is becoming consumed for heath good reasons. Sugar is sugar and jam is jam. This recipe is just a different inventive way to take pleasure in pumpkin that you may perhaps not have attempted formerly.

This recipe helps make just one 350ml jar.


400g butternut pumpkin

1 entire pear

150ml h2o

¼ cup lemon juice

2 tsp vanilla essence

140g uncooked or golden sugar


  1. Remove the pumpkin pores and skin and seeds and reduce it into big chunks. Steer clear of placing any of the softer, center items in – adhere with the firmer outside flesh. Peel and core the pear and then put both the pumpkin and the pear into a foods processor and blend right until easy.
  2. Location the mixture along with the 150ml of water, into a medium sized saucepan (a very good good quality pot with a stable base is quite essential as or else the mixture can burn off simply). Go over with a lid and prepare dinner in excess of medium heat for all-around 10 minutes, until finally the pumpkin is cooked by means of, stirring once in a while. You can include a minor more water if the combination dries out.
  3. Insert the salt, lemon juice, vanilla and sugar and established it about medium heat for around 5 minutes right up until it starts to thicken a little, stirring from time to time. When it starts off to thicken up, you are going to need to have to stir extra commonly as it will begin to adhere to the base and can burn up if left unchecked.
  4. Now, even though this one will not glance like a regular, shiny jam (we’re making use of a lot less sugar than most recipes would connect with for thanks to the super-gelling attributes of the pumpkin), the moment it has thickened – you will know when it is finished. Commonly you’d coat the back again of a spoon with your jam and run your finger by way of it to see if the line continues to be. Having said that, this mixture sets like a solid pumpkin puree. After you can scrape it up the sides or carve a shape into it with a spatula and it does not shift back – it is ready. As long as it doesn’t burn off and you keep on to stir – you can overshoot a tiny without the need of any key concerns. This recipe is really forgiving!
  5. Pour your jam into a sterilised jar and connect a lid. Then take pleasure in on as you would any other jam. As extensive as you retailer it adequately in the fridge and take in it within just 6 weeks, this just one is fine with no any other more preservation methods.

Effectively, people, there’s a number of concepts for you while we’re in peak pumpkin year. Go and stock up on this wondrous intestine-healing fruit at your local farmers current market (I get mine from a community grower through the Nurtured Earth girls, on the internet). Dedicate to a bulk roasting session and you’ll have sweet, caramelised pumpkin on hand to consider the nutritional value of your mid-week meals up a notch.

Ga Lienemann

Ga is a clinically properly trained nutritionist, wholefoods chef, columnist and mum. She’s been showcased in Human body & Soul and had Tv set appearances on ABC Breakfast and Studio 10 for her unique solution to food and wellness. She’s recognized for reinventing standard foods for the fashionable kitchen and was instrumental in a radical new approach to sports diet with a program for the NRL Parramatta Eels, kickstarting their ascent on the ladder in the latest years. Find out additional at stirringchange.com.