Turmeric and Pumpkin Seed Pate

by Gena on October 17, 2012

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Herbs and spices are such ordinary parts of our cooking routine that we rarely stop to consider their health benefits, but some of the most common pantry items—cinnamon, garlic, parsley, or chili peppers, for instance—are as rich in micronutrients as the vegetables we use them to flavor. Cinnamon, for example, has been implicated in blood sugar regulation, while garlic is well known in traditional medicine for its antibacterial properties.

One spice we may not use as commonly as these others is turmeric, which is a traditional ingredient in Indian curries. Vegans may be most familiar with turmeric from its use in tofu scrambles, where it lends not only flavor but also bold mustard color that allows us to liken the scramble to traditional eggs. But I’m sure I’m not the only vegan who fails to use this spice often enough, and that is a shame, not only because it’s subtle and flavorful, but also because it’s tremendously healthful.

Curcumin, which is the major active component in turmeric, has gotten a great deal of attention lately for its anti-inflammatory properties, which means it may be a powerful ally in fighting osteoarthritis. There are even some studies which suggest it may slow down cancer growth or liver cirrhosis. Such claims demand a bit more scrutiny, but the volume of evidence we’re collecting so far indicates that we’d all do well to include more turmeric in our diets.

Here’s one delicious way: turmeric and pumpkin seed pate. I’ve lately gotten into a pate rut, making the same gingery sunflower seed pate again and again and again. Ginger is tremendously healthful in its own right, but it’s always good to add variety to one’s routine, which is why I’m delighted that I opted to use a different kind of spice in the batch of nut pate (a weekly staple) that I made this weekend. Turmeric it was, and how delightfully it blended with my pumpkin seeds! I’ll definitely be making this one again, and the nori rolls I used it in.

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Turmeric and Pumpkin Seed Pate (raw, vegan, gluten free with use of tamari)

Makes 6-8 servings

1 1/2 cups pumpkin seeds, soaked for 2 hours or more, and drained
Nama shoyu or tamari to taste (I used low sodium, about 1 tablespoon)
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp ground turmeric
4 sundried tomatoes, oil or water soaked and chopped
1/2 cup water

Place pumpkin seeds, shoyu or tamari, garlic, turmeric, and tomatoes in a food processor. Process till well incorporated. Add water in a drizzle (with the motor running) till pate is smooth and spreadable.

To assemble the nori rolls you see here, just use whatever veggie fillings you have handy. Spread 2 tablespoons of the filling onto a nori sheet, and then top with your vegetables.

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I used cabbage and spiralized zucchini in one:

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Kale and spiralized zucchini in another.

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Quick, easy, and delightful.

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Serve with a salad and some lentils for a full plate! Or use the pate as a dip, a spread on raw crackers, or a salad topper.

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Hope this post inspires you to break the turmeric you’ve got reserved for tofu scramble out of its hiding place, and put it to use in a new way!

Thanks, everyone, for the thoughts on my post about ditching the scale. It was nice to hear everyone chime in about these weighty (hehe) matters. I appreciate your feedback!

xo

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{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

Sana October 17, 2012 at 10:33 pm

I love cooking/ eating food with turmeric because my fingers always turn yellow/orange!

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Ruskin Days downunder October 18, 2012 at 12:04 am

Perfect! I was looking for something with lots of pumpkin seeds!

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Alexia @ nAMASTEYOGA October 18, 2012 at 2:44 am

oh i love turmeric and have a huge bag of ground turmeric in my cupboard. i use it in everything when cooking! ALWAYS put at least 1tsp in my scrambles, omelettes, curries, soups and even sometimes in smoothies. sounds gross i know but its so cleansing and anti inflammatory! when i lived in india people told me its one of the best “medicines” one can take! i also wrote a post on turmeric just recently- definitely one of my favourite herbs/ roots to use in the kitchen! :)

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Miriam October 18, 2012 at 7:00 am

Awesome! I am on an elimination diet where I can’t have regular nuts or beans for a while, which makes it difficult to come up with dips and spreads, so I was really happy to see this recipe and the link to the sunflower seed pate.

Did you use shelled pumpkin seeds (pepitas) or whole ones? I can never find the whole ones at the grocery store, except for those ones that are coated in salt.

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Half-Crazed Runner October 18, 2012 at 8:24 am

Thanks, this is wonderful! I have a budding vegan, teenage daughter, I think she would love to try this recipe with me!

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the delicate place October 18, 2012 at 9:31 am

this might be my fave recipe you have ever posted! and i am really partial to the carrot-white miso-pumpkin seed mousse. i have been on a tumeric kick lately for its anti-inflammatory properties. def giving this a try!

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Catherine October 18, 2012 at 9:48 am

Yum! I’m on a pumpkin seed kick right now (must be autumn!) and this looks wonderful. I, too, neglect turmeric despite its many benefits. Now all I need is some nori…

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Karolina October 18, 2012 at 11:03 am

I love turmeric in my raw smoothies and soups, it’s also excellent in salad dressings.
I love this paté !!! and nice idea for nori rolls !!!

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Kathryn October 18, 2012 at 11:38 am

Would adding avocado make these too fatty?

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Dennis Blair @ Fort Collins Personal Trainer October 18, 2012 at 12:00 pm

Does anyone know where I can find shoyu or tamari? Whole Foods?

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Lauren (@poweredbypb) October 18, 2012 at 2:15 pm

Turmeric is fantastic as an anti-inflammatory, I’ve been loading it into my food since marathon training to help the joints!

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Lia October 18, 2012 at 4:43 pm

That sounds great! I’ve been in a pate rut myself, not making any at all! I keep thinking about it, and even have it written on my weekly recipe ideas white board, but it has yet to materialize. May this be a good incentive in this chilly weather as a bring to work grab and go food.

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Sherry October 18, 2012 at 9:25 pm

Pate is a good food. Also in Chinese there are lots of herbal food which can help you keep in health in your daily life.
I hope the admin will add some topics to your wonderful blog.

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Kathy Patalsky October 19, 2012 at 1:56 pm

so yummy! yum. yum. and another yum. (not feeling very creative with my words this AM.) :) PS. I miss u!

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Tanya @ Playful and Hungry October 21, 2012 at 5:24 am

Your “sushi” looks good!
So many wonderful, fresh ingredients!

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Dawn February 25, 2014 at 4:27 pm

This is so easy to make and tastes amazing!

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