Pumpkin is a vegetable that ripens in autumn. Among the myriad of varieties, there are those that perform a decorative function and amaze with their exquisite form. You can also eat pumpkin. Pumpkin is widely used in cooking: it is mashed from it, which is the basis for delicious dishes such as sauces, soups, casseroles, pies and toppings. The vegetable is so tender that it is used to make desserts like cakes, muffins, or drinks. Pumpkin and pumpkin seeds also contain healthy vitamins and minerals. They support the circulatory system and maintain a slim figure. What else do you need to know about pumpkin? Let’s figure it out.
Pumpkin. Queen of Autumn Vegetables
Pumpkin is an annual member of the pumpkin family, native to North America. It can be found wild on the New Continent and is also most commonly grown there. In our climate, it has also taken root well, so they often sow in plots. Pumpkin is a versatile vegetable, so it can become a culinary field. While some varieties are demanding, the effort pays off. Most of them require cleaning of seeds (you shouldn’t throw them away), but if you work hard, you get a solid and satisfying plate.
Edible pumpkins come in a variety of sizes. Some are two meters in diameter, others are smaller than the average watermelon. In Ukraine, the most common cultivation of giant pumpkin, which reaches an average of 50 kg. It is eaten, like other varieties, only after heat treatment. Then the absorption of vitamins is increased, and the goitrogens, responsible for the worst absorption of iodine by the thyroid gland, are neutralized. In stores and markets, you can find other recommended varieties that can add variety to your fall diet.
One of the more readily available pumpkins is the Hokkaido variety that comes from Japan. It is small and round, and its weight rarely exceeds two kilograms. It has a dark orange hard skin that is edible. Furthermore, it is enough to cut the pumpkin in half, hollow out the inner part and cut into cubes. Hokkaido has a delicate and slightly nutty flavor. It is easy to purée, bake, or make soup with. You should not throw away the seeds: when fried, they can become a tasty and healthy snack.
Also, noteworthy is the zucchini spaghetti, which are oblong and green-yellow in color. It owes its name to the pulp, which, when heated, exfoliates like pasta. To cook the pumpkin, simply bake it in the oven, cool it down, and cut it in half. To enjoy the taste, carefully remove the seeds and then remove the spaghetti flesh with a fork. Pumpkin spaghetti is best served with sauces, especially tomato ones.
Butternut pumpkin is no less popular in Ukraine. It resembles a large pear: the top is thin and full of pulp, while the bottom is wider, and it also has seeds that are easier to pull out than other pumpkins. Butternut squash can be baked or boiled, or stuffed with a variety of vegetable or meat additives. It’s also easy to make a healthy snack to replace fries. Simply cut the top of the pumpkin into strips and roast it with herbs (like thyme or rosemary).
What can be found in a pumpkin?
Pumpkin is a healthy and low-calorie vegetable (only 30 kcal per 100 g), rich in dietary fiber. In the season, it should be reached by people who care about maintaining a healthy and slim figure. You can also find beta-carotene in pumpkin, which is good for your vision (it can prevent macular degeneration). Beta-carotene is also essential for keeping your skin looking good. It not only moisturizes it, but also prevents the formation of wrinkles and gently smoothens existing ones.
Beta-carotene also helps maintain proper blood cholesterol levels. It can normalize his jumps, as well as prevent the occurrence of other diseases, such as, for example, atherosclerosis. Pumpkin seeds are also noteworthy, as they can be a healthy snack. They contain many vitamins (E, K, C) and minerals such as calcium, potassium, iron and magnesium. It is also a source of cucurbitacin, a substance that helps remove parasites from the body.