Pumpkin: Aphrodisiac Lore and Fun Facts

Coconut Pumpkin Nut Bread

Simple Sexy Food(TM): Coconut Pumpkin Nut Bread

If the truth be told about pumpkin and its aphrodisiac properties, the heart of its erotic appeal lies in the spices associated with it. Pumpkin pie spice, which may really be the star of this show, is generally made with cinnamon, cloves, ginger, nutmeg and allspice.

Some fascinating double-blind randomized studies reveal the effects of different smells on male sexual arousal. In one, each participant was connected to a small blood pressure cuff to measure blood flow to the penis. The participant was then blindfolded, and soft music…not really, but it does start to sound really kinky! Next, one at a time, a surgical mask scented with one specific scent was placed over the participant’s nose and left in place for one minute. At that time, penile blood flow was measured for each of the many scented masks worn. An interval of three minutes separated exposure to each new smell, during which participants did not wear a mask.

In the first study, baked cinnamon smell was used as a control scent, but ironically it wound up creating the most blood flow to the penises of young and middle aged men. A second study included men aged 18-64 and tested 30 scents, including both perfume and food. Some scents were actually combinations, resulting in 46 scents being tested. This time the pumpkin pie spice/lavender mixture triggered the greatest measurable penile response. Blood flow was increased by an average of 40% in all but the oldest men (who responded more to vanilla). So if you want to get the blood flowing to your special guy’s manhood, spritz a little lavender under your blouse and bake up a pumpkin pie!

Coconut Pumpkin Nut Bread

Recipe yields Two 8-by-4-inch loaves

SEXY FOODS: coconut, pumpkin, nutmeg, cinnamon, walnuts

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups whole-wheat pastry flour
2 cups dark brown sugar, packed
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin puree (plain, not pie filling)
2/3 cup coconut milk, stirred before measuring
1 cup canola oil or other mild vegetable oil
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 cup (4 to 5 ounces) toasted walnuts
2/3 cup unsweetened, finely grated coconut

1. PREHEAT an oven to 350°F. Grease two 8-by-4-inch loaf pans with vegetable oil and dust with flour, shaking out any excess flour. Set aside.
2. COMBINE In a mixing bowl of an electric mixer, combine the flours, sugars, pumpkin, coconut milk, oil, baking soda, salt, and spices. Mix on low speed, then raise speed to medium and mix until well blended.
3. FOLD IN the walnuts and coconut, then scrape the batter into the prepared pans, being sure to fill the corners. Rap the pans on a counter to release any air bubbles.
4. BAKE for about 1 1/4 hours, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
5. REMOVE the pans from oven, set on a cooling rack, and immediately cover each loaf tightly with aluminum foil. Allow the loaves to steam in their own heat for 10 minutes.
6. COOL Remove foil and let the loaves cool, in the pans, on a cooling rack.

Simple Sexy Kitchen Tip: The addition of whole wheat pastry flour gives this bread a wonderfully sexy, lighter texture! To freeze one of the loaves for later use, let cool completely, then wrap air-tight and freeze for up to 4 months.

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