pumpkin seeds

Γάλα από νωπούς κολοκυθόσπορους - Raw vegan pumpkin milk - Veganinathens.com

Fresh pumpkin seed milk – quick and easy recipe

During autumn we usually consume a lot of pumpkins in various sweet and savory recipes. Fortunately these blessed fruits, kept in a dry and cool place can remain intact for a long time. So, although in the early autumn their harvest ends, at least for the varieties commonly used in Greece, we can enjoy them as if they are fresh until the end of the winter.

The pumpkin seeds found in the inner part of the pumpkins are between the most nutritious seeds, so we keep them for several uses. Usually I bake them slightly in order to make homemade pepitas for the cold winter nights but they can be also used into making a super tasty and nutritious, raw, vegan seed milk, ideal for our breakfast or smoothies.

Γάλα από νωπούς κολοκυθόσπορους - Raw vegan pumpkin seed milk - Vegan in Athens

Making pumpkin seed milk is ridiculously easy and the outcome is delicious. The great advantage of this recipe is that the pumpkin seeds we use are fresh and therefore there is no need to soak them in water. On top of that, we don’t have to peel them either, as blending is going to do the magic, so the recipe takes less than five minutes overall!

Fresh pumpkin seed milk has a slightly sweet and fruity taste. However, as in every homemade milk recipe, we can add a sweetener of our choice and/or spices to create a more complex flavor. The only condition for success is to have a blender!
My favorite way to consume pumpkin seed milk is along with cereals, raisins, cinnamon and a little agave syrup for breakfast or in a filling smoothie.

Γάλα από νωπούς κολοκυθόσπορους - Raw vegan pumpkin seed milk - Vegan in Athens

Ingredients

  • 1 cup fresh pumpkin seeds (from 2 pumpkins)
  • 2 1/2 cups filtered water *
  • 1 tbsp agave nectar or other sweetener (optional)
  • we can also add 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg or other spices

Γάλα από νωπούς κολοκυθόσπορους - Raw vegan pumpkin seed milk - Vegan in Athens

Method

1. Using a spoon remove the pumpkin seeds from the pumpkins and transfer them into your measuring cup. You can remove the pumpkin fibers that are mixed with the seeds if you like, but it really is not necessary. This small amount of pumpkin mixed with the seeds will give a distinctive fruity flavor in your milk.
2. Put the seeds in the blender with the water, agave nectar and spices -if you are going to use any- and blend first at medium and then at high speed for 2-3 minutes depending on your blender.
3. Lay a sieve with cheesecloth and strain. Squeeze the cloth to drain most of the liquid. Keep in sterile bottle or jar in the fridge for 2-3 days.

Γάλα από νωπούς κολοκυθόσπορους - Raw vegan pumpkin seed milk - Vegan in Athens

Note: This is the amount of water I use to achieve a relatively rich consistency but you can add half more cup of water according to your taste.

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Kale pesto - Πέστο με κέιλ - veganinathens.com

Kale pesto with toasted pumpkin seeds

I was not familiar with kale and until recently (well, until last year….), I had only read about it and its magnificent health benefits, its extraordinary nutritional value and its fantastic taste. In Athens, I couldn’t find kale neither in the farmer’s market nor in the big super markets. Eventually, the first time I found it was in one of the large outdoor markets I visited when I traveled to London! Since then many things have changed and now I can buy kale every week from the organic farmer’s market that takes place in my neighborhood.

For those who have not tasted it, its taste and its texture are reminiscent of collard greens or even broccoli leaves, which ,of course, makes sense as all of them belong to the cruciferous family and beyond their similar taste, they also share similar nutritional value .

One of the ways I like to use kale is to prepare kale pesto sauce. Pesto can be preserved for several days in the refrigerator and be used over cooked pasta, in sandwiches or over cooked or fresh vegetables.

If you want the sauce to be 100 % raw, you can simply skip toasting the pumpkin seeds and make sure that the olive oil you use is unheated. However toasted pumpkin seeds give to the recipe a very appetizing flavor that I really like!

Kale pesto - Πέστο με κέιλ - veganinathens.com

Ingredients

  • 125 g kale leaves (stems removed, it should be 3-4 cups approximately)
  • 4 tablespoons shelled pumpkin-seeds
  • 100 ml olive oil (a little less than half a cup)
  •  4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar or lemon juice
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled
  • salt and freshly ground pepper

Method

  1. Wash the kale leaves, drain them well and remove the hard stems.
  2. Heat over medium heat a nonstick pan, pour them into the pumpkin and cook for a few minutes until golden color gain.
  3. Place in blender all ingredients and beat at medium speed for 2-3 minutes until homogeneous and form a thick sauce.
  4. Keep in sterilized jars in the refrigerator for several days.

Note: Use the same amount of shelled walnuts instead of pumpkin seeds for a change!

If you want to know more about the benefits of kale, check here

Kale - Veganinathens.com

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