Buying food when it’s in season is the cheapest time to buy, so make good use of those pumpkins, as they’ll be around until December. You can pick up a huge pumpkin that’ll easily feed a family or numerous meals for yourself, for around £1.
Pumpkin cooks in a similar way to squash and you can also eat the skin. You can interchange them in this recipe. You can also add other vegetables such as peppers, fresh tomatoes, onions and garlic if you can tolerate foods high in FODMAPs. Beans are classified as high FODMAP but I seem to tolerate them in small amounts, where as I can’t tolerate garlic, for example. Try to use organic ingredients where possible.
To minimise waste, try a different version of this recipe with roasted pumpkin sometime, instead of steamed, this way there is no need to discard the skin as you can keep it on. Preheat the oven to 180C, cut the pumpkin into cubes, cover in coconut oil and a sprinkle of grey sea salt and roast for 20-30 minutes, depending on the size of the cubes, then follow the recipe as normal after the steaming stage.
I like to reduce my use of canned food (in favour of cheaper alternatives/less waste etc) but using canned beans is better than using none at all. If you prefer to soak beans first, weigh out 200g, dry weight, then soak overnight. This reduces the amount of phytic acid in them. Too much phytic acid can reduce the bioavailblity of other nutrients, particularly iron. Precision Nutrition wrote a well researched article about phytic acid, which is worth a read. From my own research, so far I agree with their stance on it, in that it’s perhaps better to reduce it, rather than eliminate it completely and I also wouldn’t demonise certain foods because they happen to contain it. There are ways of reducing phytic acid through various cooking and preparation methods, including soaking. After soaking overnight, simmer the beans in a pan of boiling water for 1 hour to cook them.
Serves 4-6 Time: 1hr 10 minutes + chopping time
350g Pumpkin (cut into cubes, if steaming, peel the skin and discard seeds)
400g Can of pinto or kidney beans or 200g dry weight, soaked and pre-cooked
400g Can of chopped tomatoes
1 tbsp Dried oregano
1 tbsp Cinnamon powder
2 tsp Chilli powder
1/2 tsp Sea salt
2 tsp Cornflour or arrowroot powder + 5 tbsp water, mixed together
Preheat the oven to 180C.
Steam the pumpkin cubes for 20 minutes, until a knife can go through them.
Add all the ingredients except the cornflour or arrowroot/water mix to a large ceramic dish with a lid and bang in the oven.
After 30 minutes, remove from oven, stir in the cornflour/water mix. Cook for a further 15-20 minutes.
Once cooked, serve with tortillas, guacamole and salsa or with a bowl of rice. Season to taste with salt and pepper or a dash Worcester sauce.
Bag up any leftovers and freeze for next time.