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Saturday, October 30, 2010

Pumpkin Seed Oil

Excellent Ingredient of the Week
My pal Susi Schropp is from Austria and she turned me on to pumpkin seed oil many years ago. Since then, I have always keep it on hand for special occasions. And now I want to share it with you, my listeners!

Pumpkin seed oil has an intense nutty taste and is rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids. Pumpkin seed oil makes a fantastic salad dressing when combined with honey or olive oil. The typical Austrian dressing consists of pumpkin seed oil and cider vinegar. But the oil is also used for desserts, giving ordinary vanilla ice cream an exquisite nutty taste. It is considered a real delicacy in Austria, and you only need to use a few drops. Its great as a finish to soups and stews. Don’t use it as a cooking oil, because it gets bitter and heat destroys its essential fatty acids. Don’t do it!

Why is this oil good for you? There is a lot of information about the many nutrients, including: vitamin A, vitamin E, xinc, omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids. The seeds and the oil have been the subject of a number of studies to identify their health-promoting potential. Preliminary studies have shown that pumpkin seeds may reduce hormonal damage to prostate cells, thus possibly reducing the risk of developing prostate cancer. Pumpkin seeds have been used to treat urinary tract infections.

Here is a nice recipe for a fancy tasty vinaigrette using pumpkin seed oil.

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/4 cup fresh orange juice
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon roasted pumpkin seed oil
2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
Pinch each of salt and freshly ground pepper

Combine all of the ingredients except the oil in your blender. Then slowly add the oil. The vinaigrette can be refrigerated overnight. Serve at room temperature.
Serve with grilled shrimp, chicken salad, avocado-tomato salad, or cold Buckwheat noodles.

You can purchase it online at a number of sites. Store it in a cool dark place as it is light sensitive and goes rancid fast.