Pumpkin A Go-Go


The pumpkin is thought to have originated in North America. Pumpkins are very versatile in their uses for cooking. Most parts of the pumpkin are edible, including the fleshy skin, the seeds, the leaves, and even the flowers.

Pumpkin seeds, also known as pepitas, are small, flat, green, edible seeds. Per 30g serving, pumpkin seeds are a good source of protein, magnesium, copper and zinc.

Pumpkin is a widely grown vegetable, incredibly rich in vital antioxidants, and vitamins. It is a fast-growing vine that creeps along the surface in a similar fashion to other fruits and vegetables of the Cucurbitaceae family such as cucumber, squash, zucchini and melons.

In Vanuatu, pumpkin is often boiled with coconut cream or roasted with the local ‘bunia’ in the hot rocks.kandy's kitchen

Pumpkin and Coconut Soup

1 cup coconut cream

1 onion, thinly sliced

1 cup chicken broth or vegetable broth

1 cup pumpkin, cooked and mashed

1-1/2 tbsp melted butter

1/2 tsp salt

Dash of pepper

Peel the pumpkin, or you can wash it and roast it whole so it is easy to peel.

Mash the flesh of the pumpkin and put into a pot with the remaining ingredients, minus the coconut cream. Once it has boiled and the flavors have developed, puree the mix with either a magic wand or food processor. Place it back in the pan, add the coconut cream and cook for a few minutes. If you want it smooth, you can now put it through a strainer, otherwise serve at once. I like to toast some coconut and sprinkle as a garnish on top. This soup is lovely accompanied with flat bread or Naan bread.

Toasted Pumpkin Seeds

2 cups pumpkin seeds

1 tbsp oil (corn, sunflower)

1 tbsp butter (or margarine)

1-2 tsp salt

Separate the seeds from pumpkin pulp. No need to wash them, just pull the fibres and excess pulp off. Leaving remnants of the flesh on the seeds gives them a wonderful pumpkin flavor. In a bowl, coat seeds with oil, butter and salt. Spread and bake on a baking sheet at 120C until seeds are golden, crisp and dry: about one hour. Stir frequently to prevent scorching!

Roast Pumpkin and Eggplant Salad

600g pumpkin, cut into chunks

4 tbsp olive oil or coconut oil

1 eggplant

1 clove garlic, crushed

1tsp cumin seeds

Salt and pepper

Rocket or watercress leaves

Handful of mint leaves

1tbsp nangae nuts

Roast the pumpkin and eggplant with garlic and cumin seed until just cooked.

Add salt and pepper, leaves and nuts.

Arrange on the plate to look fresh, colorful and tasty.

Drizzle with a little coconut or olive oil.vanuatu restaurants

My Favourite Pumpkin Dessert

1 kg pumpkin, cooked and mashed

Vanilla essence or a bean cooked with the pumpkin

1 cup sugar

1 lt fresh coconut cream

1 cup manioc powder

Mix pumpkin, vanilla, sugar, manioc powder together and lay in a roasting dish

Cover with fresh coconut cream

Bake in the oven for 30 mins at 180C.

Serve with Vanilla ice-cream.

Kandy’s Kitchen range of deli products is available at Libation, on Nambatu and at Organic Paradise in the Vanuatu Handicraft Markets.

For catering and other info, contact Kandy on [email protected],

Ph +678 7735602, www.kandys-kitchen.com.