Halloween /Samhain is coming up and it is falling upon a Fullmoon Lunar vibration this year. We love this wonderfully connective festival of honouring our dead and the cycles of life.
Halloween /Samhain celebrations mark a very specific point in the seasonal calendar. It is a recognition of the coming change – the darkening times, the first frost, a movement into the colder winter months and a time for reflection on the abundance of the harvest.
As Halloween is upon us, pumpkins and squashes adorn gardens, veg boxes and greengrocers across the country. Here in the northern hemisphere this festival falls halfway between the balance of light and dark of the autumn equinox, and the longest night of winter solstice. With less sunlight, all of the energy from the growth and production of the harvest drops away and we are left with a stillness. It is this stillness that allows the contact between the Earthly plane and the spirit world, this is a thin time, a time of celebration of our ancestors.
Pumpkins are now an integral part of the celebrations. It was swedes that we carved in days gone by, a much longer more involved and exhausting process than carving the popularised pumpkin. The tradition of placing a candle in a carved vegetable is to deter unwanted spirits from entering the home and to provide a light to guide those who wished to return to their families for the night.
The revival of an amazing array of traditional species of squash and pumpkin is super-exciting, and they grace us with many healthful properties. Pumpkin seeds are a major source of minerals and omega oils. They are packed full of good stuff to ensure that there is enough energy to start off the growing process of the next pumpkin generation.
They promote healthy skin and a healthy brain and they can be part of our daily diet.
They can be ground up in a coffee and sprinkled them on porridge every morning. You can toast pumpkin seeds whole in a dry pan and sprinkle them over fruit salad, or just add them to any muesli or fruit and nut mix you have. The more, the merrier. The whole seeds in their shells can be roasted in salt and tamari and munched through the day too – this is a great thing to do with your discarded seeds from your carved pumpkins on Halloween.
Pumpkin Seed Power Balls
60g cashew nuts, soaked for a few hours in warm water and strained
5 dates, soaked in a little warm water and blended into a paste
1 dessertspoon raw coconut oil
30g shelled pumpkin seeds, ground in a coffee grinder
Ground almonds to cover the balls
1. Whizz the cashew nuts with the dates in a food processor
2. Gently melt the coconut oil in a pan until just liquid, and then remove from the heat
3. Add the pumpkin seeds and the coconut oil to the cashews and dates and blend again. The mixture should be the consistency of play dough. Add a little warm water or more ground pumpkin seeds if needed
4. Form into bite-sized balls and roll in ground almonds
5. Place in the fridge to set