Pumpkin seeds

Pumpkin pie was a big treat when we lived in the States!

Pumpkin seeds contain amino acids, calcium, essential fatty acids, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, zinc, vitamins A,C and E. You can put them on your cereal in the morning, as I do. They are super helpful for any bladder problems, and troubles with the prostate gland in men.. The reason they are so helpful for prostatitis is down to their abundance in zinc. Pumpkin oil can alternatively be taken in capsule form.

The flesh of the pumpkin is widely used in Europe, the U.S.A., Australia, Africa and the Caribbean. It is a rich source of beta carotene, which the body converts into vitamin A.

Snacking on seeds and nuts is essential for vegetarians.You can be sure that you are getting iron for healthy blood, magnesium for maintaining healthy body cells, and zinc for normal growth and development, when you include pumpkin seeds in your diet.

Perfect pears

We have a pear tree in the back garden. The blossom is just beautiful in the Spring, and the fruit is delicious in the Autumn.The pears are of the Conference variety, which I love. I enjoy the crunch! Many people prefer Sweet Williams because they are softer and more golden. The best way to ensure that you are eating organic food which is packed with prana (life-force) is to pick it from your own garden and consume immediately.

Pears are a good source of the soluble fibre pectin. This helps to regulate bowel function, and increases the amount of cholesterol eliminated by the body. Pears contain vitamins A,C and E. They also contain potassium, which prevents cramp during exercise. Dried pears make an excellent snack which contains significant amounts of iron. Convalescents find pears easy to digest and wonderfully restorative.

Parsley

Parsley is great for alleviating arthritis, rheumatism and gout. The Greeks and Romans loved it, and used it as a diuretic and digestive aid. Parsley supplies vitamins A and C, iron, calcium and potassium. It’s not just a garnish to be pushed aside!

Parsley is rich in essential oils and flavonoids. You can make it into tea by steeping the leaves in hot water. It is also lovely in salads. Parsley will freshen your breath if you have been eating onions or garlic. You can grow parsley in a pot on your kitchen window-sill, or in a tub in the garden. That way it is guaranteed to be organic!

Pineapples

Pineapples have been credited with many healing powers through the ages. The juice when gargled can relieve a sore throat, and eating the fruit is said to relieve cataarh, arthritis, bronchitis, and indigestion.

Pineapples contain an enzyme called bromelain which breaks down proteins. .Bromelain is also an anti-inflammatory. As such it has been used in the treatment of osteo-arthritis and sports injuries.

Pineapples stop ripening the moment that they are picked, and you can tell freshness by how heavy they feel. If they appear to be heavy for their size, they are nice and ripe. Source your fruit organically whenever you can. Pineapples will give you and your immune system a lovely burst of vitamin C!.

Paprika from Budapest

Yesterday our son gave us a packet of paprika from his holiday in Budapest. It came with a delightful painted wooden spoon. Paprika is extensively used in Hungarian cooking, where it is the prime ingredient in goulash.This wonderful herb originated in South America and was probably taken to the Balkans by Turkish merchants.

The Hungarians use paprika for both colour and flavour. It is rich in carotenoids and stimulates the circulation. Carotenoids are a class of compounds related to vitamin A. They act as anti-oxidants. The sub-class of carotenoids are carotenes , of which beta-carotene is the most widely known. Beta-carotene is converted into vitamin A in the liver. Vitamin A is important for bone and teeth formation, for the skin and the hair, and it aids the immune system.

We will most certainly be putting Hungarian paprika in our recipes this week!

Parsnips

I once had a parsnip souffle in a restaurant. It was about twenty years ago and I still remember how delicious it was! Parsnips have a unique and delicious flavour. Do eat them when they are in season. Locally grown food always tastes so much better, and it cuts down on road miles and pollution. As a vegetarian, I so look forward to a wonderful nut roast with masses of vegetables and wonderful roast parsnips for Christmas lunch.

Parsnips contain fibre,, potassium, folic acid, vitamins E and B, and minerals. Records of eating parsnips goes back to Roman times. Apparently the emperor Tiberius ordered this delicious vegetable to be sent to Rome from the banks of the River Rhine.

The fibre in parsnips help to keep the bowel healthy, and the vitamins and folate keep the blood cells in good order. Source organic whenever you can.

Papaya

Papayas are a great source of vitamin C and also beta carotene. It is this latter which helps to prevent damage caused by free radicals. These can cause some cancers. There is a little iron and calcium in the papaya fruit, but perhaps its most interesting content is papain. This enzyme aids the digestion.

Sometimes known as pawpaw, papaya stems from Mexico and Costa Rica. It is now extensively grown in Hawaii.

The seeds can be used to flavour dressings. Buying papaya in tins does not stop you experiencing the delicious taste, but nearly all the vitamin C is lost in the canning process. Always best to enjoy fruit in its natural raw state, and to source organic fruit and vegetables whenever possible.