Pumpkin FlowersEditPumpkins are monoecious, having both male and female flowers on the same plant. The female flower is distinguished by the small ovary at the base of the petals. These bright and colorful flowers have extremely short life spans and may only open for as short a time as one day. The color of pumpkins is derived from the orange pigments abundant in them. The main nutrients are lutein and both alpha and beta carotene, the latter of which generates vitamin A in the body.
Pumpkin SeedsEditPumpkin seeds are a popular ingredient in Mexican cuisine and are also roasted and served as a snack. Marinated and roasted, they are an autumn seasonal snack in the United States, as well as a commercially produced and distributed packaged snack, like sunflower seeds, available year-round.
The seeds are also good sources of protein, as well as iron, zinc, manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, copper, and potassium. 25 grams of pepitas can provide over 20 percent of the recommended daily iron intake.
Pumpkin seed oilEdit
Pumpkin seed oil is a thick, green-red oil that is produced from roasted pumpkin seeds. When used for cooking or as a salad dressing, pumpkin seed oil is generally mixed with other oils because of its robust flavor.
Pumpkin pie is a traditional sweet dessert, often eaten during the fall and early winter, especially for Thanksgiving and Christmas in the United States and Canada. The pumpkin is a symbol of harvest time and featured also at Halloween.
The pie consists of a pumpkin-based custard, ranging in color from orange to brown, baked in a single pie shell, rarely with a top crust. The pie is generally flavored with nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, and ginger.
- Pumpkins are commonly carved into decorative lanterns called jack-o'-lanterns for the Halloween season in North America.
- 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.
- As one of the most popular crops in the United States, 1.5 billion pounds (680,000,000 kilograms) of pumpkins are produced each year.