Sunnah Superfoods: The Great Pumpkin

Sunnah Superfoods: The Great Pumpkin

So dear friends, in the United States, we are knee-deep in pumpkin season. Pumpkin patches all around, pumpkin pies in the stores, pumpkin spice lattes in the cafes, carved pumpkins on the door stoops, pumpkin-faced pinups on walls, doors, and windows everywhere. So, of course, in this, the fourth edition of the “Sunnah Superfoods” series, we are going to learn a little bit about pumpkin, one of the very favorite foods of our beloved Prophet, peace and blessings of God be upon him and his family and companions.

Generally, with the “Sunnah” foods series, I have started out with history and scriptures, but I went to look up the nutritional information of pumpkin and WOWEE! It’s unbelievably nutritious. There’s actually nothing bad in it, and so much good. It’s basically just a shot of vitamins. Check this out:

A Sunnah Food That Packs a Nutritional Punch:

1 cup mashed, cooked pumpkin            %DV

CALORIES

Total Calories: 49.0                                  2%

From Carbohydrate:  43.3

From Fat: 1.4

From Protein: 4.3

CARBOHYDRATES

Total Carbohydrate: 12.0 g                      4%

Dietary Fiber: 2.7 g                                  11%

FATS

Total Fat: 0.2g                                          0%

Saturated Fat: 0.1g                                  0%

Monounsaturated Fat: 0.0g

Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.0 g

Total Omega-3 fatty acids: 4.9 mg

Total Omega-6 fatty acids: 4.9 mg

PROTEIN

Protein: 1.8 g                                              4%

VITAMINS

Vitamin A: 12231IU                                 245%

Vitamin C: 11.5mg                                   19%

Vitamin E (Alpha Tocopherol) 2.0 mg     10%

Vitamin K: 2.0 mcg                                  2%

Thiamin: 0.1mg                                        5%

Riboflavin: 0.2 mg                                   11%

Niacin: 1.0mg                                           5%

Vitamin B6: 0.1 mg                                  5%

Folate:22.0 mcg                                       6%

Pantothenic Acid: 0.5 mg                      5%

Choline: 15.2 mg

MINERALS

Calcium: 36.7mg                                   4%

Iron: 1.4mg                                            8%

Magnesium: 22.0mg                             6%

Phosphorus: 73.5mg                             7%

Potassium: 564mg                                16%

Sodium: 2.5mg                                      0%

Zinc: 0.6mg                                            4%

Copper: 0.2mg                                      11%

Manganese: 0.2mg                               11%

Selenium: 0.5mcg                                  1%

 

Yes, Pumpkin Is in the Quran:

In the story of Prophet Yunus (AS):

“And We caused a plant of yaqteen to grow over him.” [As-Saafaat, 146]

Ok, so the next question is, did our beloved Prophet (peace be upon him) really eat pumpkin? Let’s look at the Hadith because there are several:

“Yahya related to me from Malik that Ishaq ibn Abdullah ibn Abi Talha heard Anas ibn Malik say that a certain tailor invited the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, to eat some food which he had prepared. Anas said, ‘I went with the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, to eat the food. He served barley bread and a soup with pumpkin in it. I saw the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, going after the pumpkin around the dish, so I have always liked pumpkin since that day.’” (Malik, Book 28, Hadith 28.21.51 )

Anas b. Malik reported that a person invited Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) to a meal. I also went along with him. He brought soup containing pumpkin. Allah’s messenger (may peace be upon him) ate that pumpkin with relish. He (Anas) said: “When I saw that I began to place it before him, and did not eat it (myself). It was since then that pumpkin was always my favorite [food].” (Muslim, Book 23, Hadith 5068)

Anas (ra) reported that “The Prophet (SAW) used to like pumpkin. He was brought some food and invited to eat. I picked up the pumpkin in the plate and put it before him because I knew he liked it.” (Tirmidhi)

Anas b. Malik reported that a tailor invited Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) to a feast. There has been an addition to this that that said: “I heard Anas saying that any meal that was prepared for me after that I tried that it should contain pumpkin. (Muslim, Book 23, Hadith 5069)

Jabir narrated from his son Hakem: “I entered the Prophet’s (SAW) home and I saw pumpkin being cut into pieces. I asked what that was for. He said: ‘Something we put in our food to increase it.’” (Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah)

“The Holy Prophet (SAW), amongst other foods, liked pumpkin.” (Tirmidhi)

 

More About Pumpkin:

Interestingly, there is a pervasive claim on the Internet that pumpkin originated in North America, and did not come to Europe until the 1400 or 1500’s. It was definitely a staple in the diet of First Nations peoples in the Americas, including dried in strips, the seeds ground into flour for bread, and used as protection against cold. This is in total contradiction of the numerous references in the literature online, which refer to pumpkin in relation to the Islamic tradition. This perhaps could be resolved by the idea that the pumpkin has a relative that was present in Arabia in the time of the Prophet (PBUH). Allah knows best.

 

Pumpkin Recipes:

Keeping It Simple

Wondering how to cook this superfood? Well, aside from the health benefits of pumpkin flesh, the seeds are delicious and a really easy way to get this Sunnah food into your diet. They are great in salad such as:

-Spinach salad with pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, and raisins

-Baby kale, radicchio, pumpkin seeds and pomegranate seeds

-Hearts of romaine with diced pears and pumpkin seeds

Stuffed Pumpkin:

Additionally, we all know that this time of year, while many moms buy Halloween costumes, many Muslim girls prepare their annual stuffed pumpkin:

Ingredients:

  • 1-3 pie pumpkins, depending on size, seeded with the top cut out
  • 3 tbs butter
  • 2 cups cooked brown rice
  • 2 cups veggie ground, preferably Morning Star
  • 1 cup frozen veggies (corn, carrots, green beans)
  • 1 cup chopped mushrooms
  • 2 diced carrots
  • 3 celery ribs, diced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 5 garlic cloves, diced
  • 1/8 tsp chili pepper flakes
  • Salt and pepper to taste

 

Preparation:

1. Preheat the oven to 350-400F depending on how powerful your oven is.

2. Put the pumpkins on a cookie sheet and rub the skins with Earth Balance or butter.

3. Sauté the onions for 5 minutes until translucent.

4. Add the garlic, carrots, celery, and mushroom and cook on medium heat for 5 minutes.

5. Add the veggie ground (preferably still frozen) as well as the frozen veggies and cook for 10 minutes.

6. Add the cooked rice and cook for 3 minutes.

7. Using a spoon, fill the pumpkins with stuffing and put the tops gently back on. Bake for 1 hour.

Pumpkin Chickpea Curry:

Ingredients: 

  • 2 cans pureed pumpkin
  • 1 can lite coconut milk
  • 1 15 oz can garbanzo beans
  • 1 cup chopped mushrooms
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 5 garlic cloves, diced
  • 1/8 tsp chili pepper flakes
  • 3 Tbsp lime juice
  • 1 Tsp garam masala
  • 1 Tsp cumin
  • 1 Tsp curry powder
  • Veggie stock to taste
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Preparation:

1. Sauté the onions for 5 minutes until translucent.

2. Add the garlic and mushroom and cook on medium heat for 5 minutes.

3. Add the pureed pumpkin, spices and veggie stock and cook until the flavors blend (about 5 minutes).

4. Serve with pita bread or over quinoa, rice, or couscous.

Pumpkin Pie

Libby's Easy Pumpkin Pie Mix Cooking Tips recipe main photo

And for the easiest way to cook up a delicious pumpkin pie for your special pumpkin: Libby’s Easy Pumpkin Pie Mix.

Ingredients: 

  • 1 can (30 oz.) LIBBY’S® Easy Pumpkin Pie Mix
  • 2/3 cup (5 fl.-oz can) NESTLÉ® CARNATION® Evaporated Milk
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 1 unbaked 9-inch (4-cup volume) deep-dish pie shell

Preparation:

1. MIX pumpkin pie mix, evaporated milk and eggs in large bowl.

2. POUR into pie shell.

3. BAKE in preheated 425°F oven for 15 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350° F and bake 50 to 60 minutes, or until knife inserted near center comes out clean. Cool on wire rack for 2 hours. Serve immediately or refrigerate.

4. FOR 2 SHALLOW PIES, substitute two 9-inch (2-cup volume) pie shells. Bake in preheated 425° F oven for 15 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350° F and bake for 40 minutes or until pies test done.

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Image courtesy of @iam.maeeva/Instagram
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