I love pumpkins! Who doesn't anyway....?? But sometimes I have to admit I'm too way bored on spending too much time preparing a healthy meal that will cover all my daily needs in nutrients.. There are days that all I would eat is only the cereals from their box, right?
However, I'm happy to show a really really easy and quick recipe and guess what... it's pretty healthy and cheap as well! Check the final step to see nutritional facts!
After this you'll never have second thoughts on eating healthy!
Step 1: Pumpkin Pumpkin on the Ground...
...how'd you get so big and round!
Except that of all the pumpkin you will need only 250gr :-)
Plus 125gr natural tofu
Plus 5-6 sp. of bread crumbs
Some spices of your preference, I used sweet paprika (a lot... I real like it!), oregano, parsley, salt and pepper.
These quantities will give you about small-medium 10 balls (3-4cm of diameter) and the portion is perfect for one or two people. Especially for one person, you can make them for lunch and spare maybe the half for dinner (but I seriously doubt given that once you eat one you'll probably devour the 9 left...)
The steps are pretty simple, you have to do only 4 things:
- Cook the pumpkin in a saucepan with a little bit of water untill tender
- Cut tofu in small pieces to facilitate the grounding process and blend it with the pumpkin untill you have a purèe like mixture
- Add 3-4 sp. of bread crumbs in the mix (add little more if you have a sticky mixture: remember you need a mix that is easily shapeable) and leave the remaining for covering the balls. Stir very well, make some balls, roll them in the bread crumbs and put in the fridge for 15 min*.
- Bake in baking paper for 20 min at 180°C
*If you don't have time just skip this waiting time, but it will prevent the balls from cracking when you'll bake them (like some of mine did). But don't worry, even if you don't do this, the recipe will turn perfect anyway!
After that, you can serve them with smashed potatoes (like I did) or in a sandwich with ketchup, green salad and pickles or cook them into tomato sauce for 10 min and make spaghetti for an italian based meal. It's totally up to you, the only sure thing is you're going to totally love this recipe!
And if you're afraid about what tofu will taste like don't worry: tofu tends to absorb tastes from other ingredients so it's more likely you'll sense the pumpkin and the spices you'll use rather than tofu itself!
Step 2: Nutritional Facts
If you're tracking your calories and nutrients intake then there are an approximate nutritional value for the quantities in this recipe.
For 10 pumpkin balls:
- Calories: 170 kcal
- Fat (unsaturated): 5.8 gr
- Fiber: 3 gr
- Protein: 18.8 gr
- Carbohydrate: 8.9 gr
- Cholesterol: 0 mg
- Sodium: 7 mg
- Potassium: 340 mg
- Vitamin A: 170 mg
- Calcium: 164 mg
- Phosphorus: 147 mg
- Magnesium: 49 mg
- Vitamin C: 15 mg
- Iron: 3 mg
Soya protein (from which tofu is derived) is believed to help lower levels of bad cholesterol (LDL). Tofu contains phytoestrogens called isoflavones – a group of chemicals found in plant foods. They have a similar structure to the female hormone oestrogen and therefore mimic the action of oestrogen produced by the body. They naturally bind to oestrogen receptor sites in human cells including breast cells – potentially reducing the risk of breast cancer.
Consuming one cup of cooked pumpkin would provide well over 100% of your daily needs for vitamin A, 20% of the daily value for vitamin C, 10% or more for vitamin E, riboflavin, potassium, copper and manganese at least 5% for thiamin, B-6, folate, pantothenic acid, niacin, iron, magnesium, and phosphorus. Pumpkin is one of the best-known sources of beta-carotene, a powerful antioxidant known to give orange vegetables and fruits their vibrant color and which is converted to vitamin A in the body. Consuming foods rich in beta-carotene may reduce the risk of developing certain types of cancer, offer protection against asthma and heart disease, and delay aging and body degeneration.
In conclusion, as you can see, cooking one meal like this gives you the best from tofu and the best from pumpkin, boosting your health with ''good calories'' and energy. So, go ahead and make your healthy meal!