Let’s discover together properties and tasty recipes based on rice and pumpkin, two delicious seasonal products…
September is the month when rice is harvested, but also the period when the first pumpkins are harvested, so it will not be difficult to taste a pumpkin risotto these days. Here is the recipe!
If among the rice fields in Vercelli, Novara and Pavia you start to see combine harvesters at work and loads of cut rice that are brought to farms and rice mills, especially in the whole Piedmont you will also find huge pumpkin productions.
Indeed, Coldiretti 2018 regional data spoke of over 1000 farms for a production of about 20 thousand quintals of pumpkins and a turnover of almost 1 million Euros. 2019 does not seem to be any less.
The health benefits of pumpkin
The pulp of all pumpkin varieties is rich in anthocyanins and contains various vitamins (A, B and C) and large amounts of beta-carotene.
Thanks to these elements, pumpkins are included among antioxidant, anticancer and anti-free radicals food.
The presence of a lot of water and fibres also helps to rebalance the intestinal flora, while the famous Omega 3 fats (both in the pulp and in the seeds) help to prevent cardiovascular diseases. The fact that pumpkins contain magnesium and tryptophan also helps in muscle relaxation and in the production of serotonin, which fights insomnia.
But pumpkins also have another very interesting characteristic: they have very few calories (about 26 out of 100 grams), so they are also suitable for low-calorie diets.
Despite their sweet taste, they are low in sugar compared to the large quantity of water, therefore they can also be introduced in diabetes diet or in the diuretic and purifying ones.
Rice and pumpkin recipes
Traditional recipes include pumpkins in risottos, pies (here an easy recipe) and soups, thanks to their creaminess.
Rice, milk and pumpkin soup, in particular, is really the heart of “cucina povera” (peasant cooking): just boil milk and pumpkin in cubes, add the rice (better if you choose round bean varieties) and cook it for about 15 minutes, so that the starch ties it all together, creating a sweet and savory dish suitable for all occasions.
Did you like the article? Book your experience in Piedmont with the Expert Giulia and learn more about the fascinating world of Italian rice!
Giulia is a licensed tourist guide for the provinces of Vercelli, Novara and Pavia. You will discover many rice varieties such as Carnaroli and Nero Artemide, a very fragrant cross between Nero Venere and Basmati. You will be engaged in cooking classes on rice and panissa, in the harvest of blueberries and berries. You will enter the world of the Sensory Analysis of Rice with Sommeliers of this cereal.