Are pumpkins a fruit or a vegetable? Botanically they are a fruit as they have seeds on the inside, however nutritionally we call them a vegetable as they contain nutrients that are more similar to vegetables.
Pumpkins are in season in autumn and winter and can be a less expensive way to get your daily veg requirements. They are packed with beta carotene to keep your eyes healthy as well as Vitamin C and fibre, especially if you keep the skin on.
Pumpkin is delicious roasted, steamed, mashed or added to your favourite dishes. Just 75g or half a 2 cm slice of pumpkin is 1 serve of veg.
How do I store pumpkin?
Whole pumpkins can be stored for around 3-4 months in a cool place. Store the pumpkin upside down on a mat such as a piece of cardboard, to prevent it from rotting. For cut pumpkin it can be stored in the fridge for up to 1 week, but make sure it’s air tight by wrapping it firmly with a t-towel or a beeswax wrap to prevent mould.
If you’re struggling to get your kids to eat pumpkin, try these tasty recipes:
- Pumpkin and Sweet Potato Scones
- Pumpkin and Cheese Pikelets
- Roast Pumpkin and Tomato Pasta Sauce
Types of pumpkin
Here’s a guide to commonly found pumpkins in the supermarket to help you choose the best pumpkin for your meal.
|Pumpkin Type||Appearance||Description||Cooking Uses|
|Kent (also called Jap or Kabocha)||Round shape, green and yellow skin, small size (1-3 kg)||Very sweet flavour, soft dry texture||Soup, salad, quiche – can leave skin on if cooked well|
|Queensland Blue||Round and ridged shape, grey and blue skin, large size (2-5 kg)||Smoky savoury flavour, smooth dry stringless texture||Curry, scones, soup, mashes – good for boiling or baking|
|Butternut||Cylindrical long shape (2 kg), light orange skin||Nutty sweet flavour, dry dense texture||Good for roasting – can leave skin on if cooked well|
|Jarrahdale||Round and ridged shape, grey skin, medium size (1-3 kg)||Sweet flavour, fine stringless texture||Good for boiling or steaming|
|Golden Nugget||Round shape, gold yellow flesh, small size (1 kg)||Sweet flavour, starchy texture||Stuffed, casseroles, pasta dishes – good for baking|