On Sunday, I made my annual trip to the pumpkin patch and we came home with bushels of produce! There are still so many pumpkin recipes in the works and it was perfect inspiration. The best part is that the farm we visited uses organic standards for everything they grow. Hooray for no pesticides in our food!
I created this pumpkin chili recipe in anticipation of chilly fall evenings around the corner. The ingredients are simple and I like to load it up with veggies to up the antioxidant benefits. Pumpkin adds creaminess and also balances out the acidity of the tomatoes. Since I generally only cook for two, I froze more than half to whip out on a lazy week night. The flavors will only enhance the longer it sits so it’s an excellent freezer meal.In this dish, the pumpkin grabs your attention but the beef is the star of the show. Make sure your beef is the best quality you can buy. You want beef from grass-fed cows, raised humanely. Not only will the flavor be quite different from conventional meat, the nutritional benefits far exceed it. If you’re still on the fence about eating red meat, have no fear and read Chris Kresser’s post, Red Meat: It Does a Body Good!
Grass-fed v. Conventional Beef (Grain-fed)
♦ Grass-fed has 2-5 times more omega 3s.
♦ Grass-fed contains higher amounts of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), which has potent antioxidant activity.
♦ Cows create Vitamin K2 when they consume grass. Our bodies easily absorb this when we eat beef, which has incredible benefits. K2 is responsible for distributing calcium throughout the body leading to improved bone density.
♦ Grass-fed are typically raised on pasture and under humane practices.
♦ Grass-fed cows receive little to no antibiotics and no growth hormones.
♦ The list of environmental benefits for grass-fed is numerous. NRDC created a Top 10 List.
♦ Conventional farming methods feed cows grain, which they cannot digest. This inability to digest leads to illness and the intake of antibiotics. Beef adds to our over-exposure of antibiotics.
♦ Antibiotics used in food animals can result in resistant Salmonella. A report from the Pew Charitable Trust calls out, “recognizing that antibiotic resistance is a threat to Americans’ health and economic and national security from within and beyond our borders.”
♦ Beef from conventionally raised cows are more susceptible to E-Coli infection.
Tips for Buying Grass-Fed
♦ Ask your friends to split a cow share with you and invest in a deep freezer.
♦ How to buy and store a side of beef: http://pods.dasnr.okstate.edu/docushare/dsweb/Get/Document-2059/F-3401web.pdf
♦ For sources of grass-fed beef: http://www.grasslandbeef.com/StoreFront.bok
♦ How to find a local rancher: http://www.eatwild.com/PRODUCTS/index.html
Red Meat It Does a Body Good! http://chriskresser.com/red-meat-it-does-a-body-good
Why Grass Fed Trumps Grain Fed http://chriskresser.com/why-grass-fed-trumps-grain-fed
Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations http://www.marksdailyapple.com/concentrated-animal-feeding-operations/#axzz3EhQyWw7t
Why Vitamin K2 is Important and How to Get It http://www.mamanatural.com/why-vitamin-k2-is-important-and-how-to-get-it/
National Strategy for Combating Antibiotic Resistance http://www.pewtrusts.org/en/about/news-room/news/2014/09/25/summary-of-the-national-strategy-for-combating-antibiotic-resistance
Grass Fed Beef and Heart Disease http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/heart-disease/expert-answers/grass-fed-beef/faq-20058059
The Controversy Over Added Hormones in Meat and Dairy http://www.med.nyu.edu/content?ChunkIID=90869
Makes 6 servings.
1 medium onion – chopped
2 tsp salt
1 cup water
1 cup pumpkin puree
►Add tomatoes, beef broth, water, cinnamon, chili powder, and remaining salt. Stir to combine. Cover and cook for 15 minutes.
►Bring heat to medium-high. Stir in pumpkin and beef, then cook for 8 more minutes.
►Remove from heat and ladle into bowls. Top with mini heirloom tomatoes and a dash of cinnamon.