SCIENTIFIC NAME

Curcubita (var species)

CLASSIFICATION

Vegetable

SEASON

January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December

About

Summer salads were changed forever when some culinary genius cut up some roast pumpkin and tossed it through, yum! Traditionally a winter comfort food (roast pumpkin, pumpkin mash, pumpkin soup), a whole new world of salads opened up to us and then there’s the trusty pumpkin scones, always a favourite. There are three main types of varieties used in WA; Kent (or Jap), Butternut and Grey (or Jarrahdale), sold whole or cut they are one of the tastiest best value items in the produce world.

Pumpkins are available all year around from the Kununurra in the winter, and production follows the sun down the coast until we reach the south west for supply in summer.

In the last few years, Halloween pumpkins have become quite popular and are grown specifically for Halloween in October. The internal flesh of Halloween pumpkins is very light and much less dense than the normal varieties we are used to (which make them easier to carve) and is not normally used for cooking. There are special recipes to use the left over Halloween pumpkin, the most famous being pumpkin pie.

Kent and Jap are slightly sweeter, smaller varieties of pumpkin. Pumpkins store well for up to 2 weeks in a cool dry place. If they are cut when you’re purchasing, choose a nice rich flesh colour.

Cut pumpkin should be stored in the fridge and will last for about 1 week. Uncut pumpkin should be stored in a dry, cool place and will safely last for at least 2 weeks and longer depending on the conditions.

Pumpkins are very versatile in their uses for cooking. Most parts of the pumpkin are edible, including the fleshy shell, the seeds, the leaves, and even the flowers. The pumpkin can be boiled, baked, steamed, or roasted.

Cutting, deseeding and peeling a whole pumpkin can be hard, but there is an easy way.

Use a large cook’s knife to cut pumpkin into wedges. To make it easier, use the ridges in the pumpkin as a guide.

Use a spoon to remove seeds from one wedge and repeat with the remaining pumpkin wedges.

Place the pumpkin flat and use a sharp knife and carefully remove the skin from each wedge.

Pumpkins are very versatile in their uses for cooking. Most parts of the pumpkin are edible, including the fleshy shell, the seeds, the leaves, and even the flowers. The pumpkin can be boiled, baked, steamed, or roasted.

Cutting, deseeding and peeling a whole pumpkin can be hard, but there is an easy way.

Use a large cook’s knife to cut pumpkin into wedges. To make it easier, use the ridges in the pumpkin as a guide.

Use a spoon to remove seeds from one wedge and repeat with the remaining pumpkin wedges.

Place the pumpkin flat and use a sharp knife and carefully remove the skin from each wedge.

It is one of the very low calorie vegetables. 100 g fruit provides just 26 calories and contains no saturated fats or cholesterol; however, it is rich in dietary fiber, anti-oxidants, minerals, vitamins. The vegetable is one of the food items recommended by dieticians in cholesterol controlling and weight reduction programs.

PUMPKIN
Nutrient Value per 100 g
Proximates
Energy, including dietary fibre 186 kJ
Moisture 88.9 g
Protein 1.4 g
Nitrogen 0.23 g
Fat 0.2 g
Ash 0.9 g
Dietary fibre 2.6 g
Fructose 1.5 g
Glucose 4.3 g
Sucrose 0.2 g
Total sugars 6.1 g
Starch 0.7 g
Mannitol 1.3 g
Available carbohydrate, without sugar alcohols 6.8 g
Available carbohydrate, with sugar alcohols 8.1 g
Organic Acids
Malic acid 0.2 g
Citric acid 0.1 g
Minerals
Calcium (Ca) 22 mg
Copper (Cu) 0.057 mg
Fluoride (F) 33.1 mg
Iodine (I) 0 ug
Iron (Fe) 0.24 mg
Magnesium (Mg) 14 mg
Manganese (Mn) 0.108 mg
Phosphorus (P) 39 mg
Potassium (K) 338 mg
Selenium 1.1 ug
Sodium (Na) 1 mg
Sulphur (S) 20 mg
Zinc (Zn) 0.14 mg
Vitamins
Thiamin (B1) 0.006 mg
Riboflavin (B2) 0.009 mg
Niacin (B3) 0.39 mg
Niacin Equivalents 0.66 mg
Pantothenic acid (B5) 0.21 mg
Pyridoxine (B6) 0.11 mg
Biotin (B7) 1.8 ug
Folate, natural 25 ug
Total folates 25 ug
Dietry folate equivalents 25 ug
Alpha carotene 56 ug
Beta carotene 616 ug
Cryptoxanthin 227 ug
Beta carotene equivalents 757 ug
Retinol equivalents 126 ug
Vitamin C 12 mg
Vitamin E 0.39 mg

Source:

NUTTAB 2010(Food Standards Australia New Zealand); The University of New South Wales; Professor Heather Greenfield and co-workers at the University of New South Wales; Tables of composition of Australian Aboriginal Foods (J Brand-Miller, KW James and PMA Maggiore).