momstown moms have been visiting pumpkin patches, baking with pumpkins and even decorating them this month, but do you know your pumpkin facts? One momstown mama even learned a valuable lesson from them!
Did you know that 1, half cup of pumpkin puree provides more then the required daily vitamin 'A' requirements PLUS it is only 81 calories. We have all that you need to know about pumpkins!
- The name pumpkin comes from the Greek word ‘pepon’, meaning ‘large melon’.
- Pumpkins have thick shells which contain pulp and seeds.
- Scientifically speaking, pumpkins are a fruit (they contain seeds) but when it comes to cooking, they are often referred to as vegetables.
- Pumpkins are usually shaped like a sphere (ball).
- They vary in weight but an average sized pumpkin might weigh around 13 pounds (6 kilograms).
- Giant pumpkins can be grown for competitions, with some weighing over 1000 pounds! (450 kilograms). In 2010, the world record was 1810 pounds! That’s huge!!
- Pumpkin plants feature both male and female flowers, with bees typically being involved in pollination (the transfer of pollen).
- Over 1 billion pounds (450 million kgs) of pumpkin are produced in the US every year.
- As a food, pumpkin can be baked, roasted, steamed or boiled.
- Pumpkin soup is popular, as are roasted pumpkin seeds.
- Six of the seven continents can grow pumpkins including Alaska! Antarctica is the only continent that they won't grow in.
- Pumpkins contain potassium and Vitamin A.
- Pumpkin flowers are edible.
- The largest pumpkin pie ever made was over five feet in diameter and weighed over 350 pounds. It used 80 pounds of cooked pumpkin, 36 pounds of sugar, 12 dozen eggs and took six hours to bake.
There are several varieties of pumpkins:
Sugar: smaller pumpkins best for making puree for baking
White Lumina: medium white pumpkin good for decorations
Mini: good for table top decorating or home decor
Gourds: great fro tabletop or front porch decorating
Jack O'Lantern: most common used to carve and decorate
How to choose the perfect pumpkin:
- choose a pumpkin that is deep orange in color
- make sure it is free from cuts, bruises, soft spots
- it needs to feel hard, soft pumpkins are already rotten pumpkins
- stem attached
To bake with:
- find a small sweet variety usually 8-10" in diameter, the "Sugar" pumpkin is the best to bake with
- no bruises/soft spots
How do you mend a broken Jack-o-lantern?
With a pumpkin patch!
For more ideas on how to make pumpkin puree and pumpkin recipes read this post by momstown Calgary.