There’s a term floating around that you may relate to: toxic hunger. It’s crazy to think that in a nation of abundance, hunger is a relevant topic. However, toxic hunger is all around us. This is not hunger for food or calories, but hunger for nutrients. Toxic hunger is the desire to continue eating even though we’ve consumed plenty of calories.
When we have the nutrients the body needs, a signal is sent to the brain that we’re satisfied. However, if we’re eating foods that lack nutrients, the body will demand we keep eating even though we have plenty of calories. We’re terrible at recognizing what the body needs – whether it’s calories or vitamins and minerals – the message we get is simply “feed me!”
It’s easy to imagine how toxic hunger can occur when you look at the composition of the the most popular foods. Just take a look at the difference between 100 calories of broccoli and 100 calories of steak. (Table taken from The China Study.)
This pumpkin chili has a mix of whole, plant-based ingredients that will leave you satisfied due to it’s high nutrient content and its hearty texture. Pumpkin not only provides tons of nutrients, but also a thick texture and extra flavor.
Easily turn this into a freezer meal by putting all prepared ingredients except broth/water in a freezer bag, remove excess air and freeze. When ready to cook, pour frozen ingredients into a large pot, add broth/water and cook for 30 minutes.
It can also be frozen once cooked. Let cool, pour into a freezer bag and store in the freezer for up to 6 months. Be sure to leave 2″ of headspace. Simply thaw and reheat to serve.
Hearty Plant-Based Pumpkin Chili
- 1 red onion, chopped
- 2 bell peppers, chopped
- 2 sweet potatoes cubed
- 1 1/2 cups chopped vegetables of choice (carrots, broccoli, cauliflower)
- 1 jalapeno, diced
- 4 cups vegetable broth or water
- 1 15 oz can 100% pumpkin puree
- 1 28 oz can diced tomatoes
- 2 T chili powder
- 3 garlic cloves, minced or 1 T minced garlic
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 2 cans beans, drained and rinsed
- Combine all ingredients, except beans, in a large pot over medium-high heat.
- Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover and let simmer for 20 minutes, or until potatoes are soft.
- Add beans, stir and let simmer for 5 minutes. Serve warm.