Let me just check my calendar real quick… Ah yes, it’s pumpkin season! Good news is pumpkin is a great choice when thinking about making nourishing postpartum meals and snacks. Not only is it the star ingredient in so many fall favorites, it’s also a nourishing staple ingredient in many cultures’ postpartum diets. Pumpkin is considered ‘cooling’ and is often balanced with warming spices such as cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, and ginger; we’ve all heard of pumpkin spice, right?
Pumpkin is a nutrient dense food that is easily digestible and just so happens to be a galactagogue meaning it is believed to increase milk supply. Nutrient density is a key component when I’m considering postpartum pantry staples. Nutrient density = bang for your buck. One cup of pumpkin puree contains 7 grams of fiber, vitamin A, vitamin K, non-heme iron, folate, vitamin C, magnesium, and potassium for about 130 calories. Pumpkin seeds are a great source of zinc and magnesium. I try and incorporate pumpkin seeds into daily diet whether it be over oatmeal, mixed into salads, or just a quick handful as a snack. Check out 3 different wants to prepare pumpkin seeds here.
Digestion can be compromised after birth due to shifting of organs, intravenous drugs be it antibiotics or pain relievers, and tears and other physical traumas. Choosing recipes that incorporate pumpkin can help make things a bit smoother in the digestive department due to its fiber and anti inflammatory effects. For people who may be sensitive to the acidity of tomatoes, pumpkin puree can be an easy alternative in things like pasta sauces, chilis, and curries because of its a calming and cooling effect.
Not only nutritious but versatile, pumpkin can be used in sweet or savory recipes. Here is one of my simple favorites –
Pumpkin-Ginger Coconut Soup
Heads up, this is a large batch. This recipe makes about 3 quarts of soup. This works well for me because I love having some on hand to defrost for an easy meal. I love it on it’s own, with crusty sourdough bread, with a heaping scoop of warm rice, or even for breakfast. It’s simple, nourishing, and delicious.
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons grass-fed butter (optional)
2-inch piece ginger, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch slices
3 large carrots, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch rounds
1 shallot, roughly chopped, about 1/2 cup
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 kosher salt or Real Salt
2 15-ounce can pure unsweetened pumpkin puree
8 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1 cup canned coconut cream
2 tablespoons lime juice or apple cider vinegar
3 cups baby spinach
Fresh cilantro, for garnish