Pumpkin Power....Spooky!!!

October 25, 2019

I could come up with a biscuit recipe (yawn) or something with yoghurt added (oh please don't, I can’t tell you the countless people and animals who do not tolerate dairy in my practice) but instead I am hoping to give you something different to pop in your recipe book for Halloween and future reference.

Whilst I don’t promote needless extra carbohydrates in your cat or dogs diet, pumpkin has some wonderful health benefits for our pups and adding a variety of veg in a diet is always fabulous.

What are the benefits?  

Pumpkin is rich in dietary fibre, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals including A, C, E, calcium, potassium and zinc. It is also an excellent source of many natural polyphenolic flavonoid compounds such as beta-carotenes, lutein, and zeaxanthin that naturally support immunity and take care of eye health amongst other age related issues.

Pumpkin seeds provide a huge amount of dietary fibre, packed with a powerful punch of protein. In 100 g of pumpkin seeds there is 30 g of protein, plus folate, iron, niacin, selenium and zinc.

Great for upset tummies and constipation

When fighting indigestion, an upset stomach or stubborn stools, pumpkin puree is a favourite of many holistic veterinarians including myself. It has a low glycemic index so it slowly absorbs water, which helps with upset tummies in particular. It also soothes the gut and helps transit of stool so great for constipation too. The amount should be monitored as it still contains sugars.

Anti-parasitic

Pumpkin seeds are believed to be helpful in guarding against and expelling worms. Whilst I know this to be true, anecdotally, I am afraid there is little research on this. Vet’s whom I work with, never like my anecdotal stories…. It’s always about the science but it truly works. However please note they contain something called lectins and if not soaked effectively they can be harmful to the gut mucosa.

Great for arthritis and prostate

Pumpkin seeds naturally contain a lot of folate, iron, niacin, selenium and zinc. In humans there is research to show that the seeds can be helpful in inflammation especially prostate issues. I wouldn’t use this wonderful food in terms of trying to heal these issues but it’s a nice and a helpful adjunct to your pet’s healthy and varied diets in terms of inflammation.

Recipes

Here are some relatively short and easy recipes to follow.

Pumpkin seed butter

You can pop this in a Kong as a treat or to disguise medication and food supplements.

Pumpkin seeds 200g

Avocado oil or melted coconut oil melted 2 tbsp

Once the pumpkin has been completely scooped, keep the pumpkin seeds, clean, soak for overnight for 6 hours, dry and weigh them out. Throw a little olive oil in the pan to toast and toss the seeds for 5 mins. Do you have a good blender or a coffee grinder? You can grind the seeds (it takes a while). Add in the oil and continue blending to create a smooth pate like paste.

Add half a teaspoon to your dog’s food or in the Kong (every 10kg).

Caution to be taken in pregnant and lactating bitches.

Pumpkin Patties (yummy treats)

Pumpkin 250g

Spinach 40g

Turkey mince organic if possible 500g

Coconut oil melted 2tbsp

Milled Flax or Chia seeds (you can leave these out to make simpler) 2tbsp

Roast small cut up chunks of pumpkin (can bake without oil or drizzle with a little olive oil). Once cooked pop the pumpkin, spinach, flaxseeds/chia seeds with coconut oil in the blender. Once made into a rough chopped up puree (not super smooth), scoop out of the blender and place into a bowl with the turkey mince and mix well making into little balls (small treat sizes appropriate for the size of your dog). These can be kept raw or lightly cooked if preferred. If cooked put in the oven on a baking tray for 20 minutes at 160 degrees. Keep in the fridge for no more than 4-5 days.

Pumpkin puree (perfect for an upset tummy)

Pumpkin 200g

Ginger 1 tbsp

Splash of filtered water to moisten if necessary

Roast the pumpkin as previously mentioned, once cooked pop the pumpkin, ginger and required of amount of water in the blender. Once made into a smooth puree scoop out of the blender and use as desired.

Puree you can pop in the Kong,on top of food or in ice cubes for a treat.

1 teaspoon of pumpkin puree per 10kg in times of need

Pumpupacino

Pumpkin 200g

Cinnamon 1 tsp

Coconut milk 200ml or more if required

Roast the pumpkin as previously mentioned, once cooked pop the pumpkin, cinnamon and coconut milk in the blender. Once made into a light drink this can be lightly heated on the stove and shared as a drink between you and pooch.

Caution to be taken in pregnant and lactating bitches.

 

Happy Holidays (how very American of me!)

Ali x

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