Pumpkin is a broad categorization of squash plants,and is known as “Cucurbita pepo”.Inside a pumpkin is a hollow area where the fiber,pulp and seeds are stored surrounded by a thick,dense outer layer of its flesh,which is often used for various culinary preparations,such as pie.
Pumpkins are comprehensively used fruits as the flesh,seeds and leaves of the fruit are used in different preparations.
Nutrition Facts Of Pumpkin:
Pumpkins are packed with nutrients,such as Vitamin A,as well as moderate amounts of many other important compounds,including copper,iron,folate,Vitamin E,magnesium etc.It also contains small amount of protein and dietary fiber.
Serving Size = 100g
Total Lipid 0.1
Vitamin C 9
Vitamin B-6 0.06
Vitamin B-12 0
Vitamin A 426
Vitamin E 1.06
Vitamin D 0
Vitamin K 1.1
Fatty acids,total saturated 0.05
Health Benefits Of Pumpkin:
With high levels of Vitamin C,pumpkin is an excellent way to promote the health of immune system as it can stimulate the production of white blood cell.
With the ability to balance the hormones stimulate the metabolism in many ways,they have been known to increase fertility in both men and women.
Pumpkins are low in calories making them ideal for people who are trying to lose weight.
There is a variety of minerals in pumpkin,making them an important component in boosting bone mineral density.
As these vegetable contain high levels of antioxidants,all of which can boost heart health by reducing oxidative stress in the blood vessels and arteries.
With notable amounts of beta-carotene these vegetables are excellent ways to boost vision health.
The antioxidants found in pumpkins including the active ingredient cucurbitacin,helps to prevent cancer and reduce oxidative stress throughout the body.
Pumpkin face masks are a great way to moisturize and revitalize the skin.
Side effects of pumpkin:
1.Pumpkin seeds are high in fiber,so eating in large amounts may cause gas or bloating.
2.Eating large amounts of pumpkin seeds at once may lead to constipation.
3.As pumpkin seeds are packed with fiber and fatty acids it is not recommended for infants as it could trigger stomach cramps,pain,vomiting and even diarrhoea.
Fun facts about pumpkin:
1.Pumpkin plant is harvested on six different continents ,only Antarctica is unable to produce pumpkins.
2.The biggest international producers of pumpkins are China,India,Russia,United States,Ukraine.
3.Pumpkin fruits are a type of botanical berry known as a pepo.
4.Pumpkin pie is often eaten during the early winter.In United States and Canada it is usually prepared for Thanksgiving and Christmas and is also featured at Halloween.
How to buy and store Pumpkin?
1.The best pumpkins for cooking are the small pie pumpkins,which have a nicer texture and flavour than the larger ones.
2.Look for pumpkins with firm and smooth orange skin and that feel heavy for their size.Avoid pumpkins with cracks and bruises.
3.Whole pumpkins can be kept in a cool,dry place for several months.Once you cut the fresh pumpkin,store it in the refrigerate wrapped in plastic and be used within five days.Cooked pumpkin can be frozen for up to 10 months.
North Indian Dish:
Kaddu ki sabzi (Yellow pumpkin curry)
This is one of the popular dishes prepared during Navaratri fast,religious ceremony,festivals and weddings.
Nutrients present as per 100 gm:
Total Fat 0.1g
Total carbohydrate 7g
1.20 to 30 cubed pieces of yellow pumpkin
2.1 tsp fenugreek seeds
3.1/2 tsp turmeric powder
4.1 tsp sugar
5.1 tsp mango powder
6.1 tsp coriander powder
7.1 tsp chilli powder
8.1 pinch of asafoetida
9.Oil as per the requirement
10.Salt to taste
1.For cooking kaddu ki sabzi we usually buy a thick slice of pumpkin.First with a knife scrape out the pulp and seeds from the pumpkin.
2.Remove the skin from each wedges.
3.Cut the peeled wedges into small pieces.Wash the pieces thoroughly.
4.Heat the oil in the pressure cooker ,add fenugreek seeds,asafoetida and fry them for 2 minutes.
5.Once the seeds becomes brown add coriander powder,turmeric powder,red chilli powder and fry for few seconds.
6.Add pumpkin pieces in the pressure cooker,add salt and mix well.
7.Mix pumpkin pieces with fried spices and close the lid of the pressure cooker.
8.In 5 to 10 mind as the pressure cooker starts steaming turn the heat down to medium and cook for another 2 minutes ,turn the heat off and wait until the steam goes down.
9.Once the pressure goes down open the pressure cooker and smash the pumpkin.Pumpkin leaves lot of water raise the heat so that all the water dries up quickly.
10.Add sugar and mango powder and cook for about 2 to 4 minutes.
11.Turn the stove off.Serve hot with rotis,chapatis.
South Indian Dish:
Pumpkin Stir Fry:
Pumpkin stir fry is a simple South Indian style stir fry with chunks of pumpkin in mild aromatic spices like asafoetida and turmeric in mustard-lentil seasoning.
1.2 cups peeled pumpkins chopped into big chunks.
2.1 tsp mustard seeds
3.3 to 4 dry red chilies
4.1/2 tsp urad dal.
5.Few curry leaves
6.1/4 tsp asafoetida
7.1/4 turmeric powder
8.1 to 2 tbsp jaggery
9.Salt to taste
10.Oil as per requirement
1.Heat oil in a pan and add mustard seeds.
2.When the mustard seeds starts to splutter,add red chilies,asafoetida and curry leaves.
3.Add the pumpkin pieces,turmeric powder,jaggery and salt to taste.Mix well.
4.Close with a lid and cook on a medium heat.
5.Don’t let the pumpkin cook too much or they will turn mashy.
6.Remove from heat and serve hot with rice,rotis.
Nutrients as per serving size=75g
Best time to eat pumpkin:
1.It helps to improve sleep.
2.They are a natural source of tryptophan,an amino acid which helps to promote sleep.
3.Adequate magnesium levels have also been associated with better sleep.