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Pick your pumpkin

Date: April 21, 2022
Published in: ,

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

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