Pumpkin spice lattes may have dominated every autumn in recent memory, but their main ingredient, pumpkin, has been on earth for over 5,000 years. There’s so much more to this fruit (yes, it’s a fruit like tomatoes, avocados, and cucumbers, and it’s in the same family as watermelon and melon) than its honorable contribution to Starbucks’ favorite drink, to Thanksgiving treats and the most haunted holiday of the year. It’s a superfood, all parts of which are edible! (the peel, leaves, flowers, seeds, even the stems!)
Let’s learn some more interesting facts about this wonderful, delicious, and versatile fruit that symbolizes abundance:
The scary pumpkin heads that star in the Halloween celebration are an old custom brought to America by Irish immigrants. At first, they carved turnips and potatoes, but then they discovered that pumpkins are more impressive and easier to be carved.
Pumpkin recipes in the American colonies were not very similar to the ones we have today. Migrants would cut off the tops, remove the seeds and fill them with milk, honey, and spices. Then they got roasted in the ashes.
The pumpkin originates from Central America but is cultivated and loved on all continents except Antarctica.
Each pumpkin has about 500 seeds. A plant grows from a germ in about 90-120 days. That is why it is recommended to plant from May to July.
There are over 45 varieties of pumpkins. They can be red, orange, yellow, and green.
They’re 90% water and high in iron and magnesium. They have more fiber than kale, more potassium than bananas, and one cup of pumpkin has less than 100 calories and only 1 gram of fat, while a sweet potato has triple the amount!
Although they are harvested in autumn, they are very hardy and can be enjoyed almost all year round, cooked in all manner of ways. In salty and sweet preparations, in modern or traditional recipes, baked, boiled, carpaccio or even in a sweet drink. Good appetite!