Food in focus: pumpkin

If you're buying a whole pumpkin, look for one which is heavy for its size, with firm skin.
 
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  • Updated:16 Mar 2007
 

01.Pumpkins

Pumpkin

Availability

  • Pumpkins are generally available all year around, but are particularly associated with Autumn and Winter.
  • Smaller varieties are mainly available in Winter.

Choosing

  • If you're buying a whole pumpkin, look for one which is heavy for its size, with firm skin.
  • Cut pumpkin should be bright orange/yellow; look for firm flesh with a sweet, nutty smell.

Storing

  • Whole pumpkin will keep longer than cut; store it in a cool, dry cupboard (a rack to allow good ventillation will help). It should keep for up to two months.
  • A piece of cut pumpkin should be covered with plastic wrap and kept in the fridge. It will only keep for about a week.

Preparing

  • Cut the amount of pumpkin you need and scoop out the seeds. Most recipes will use peeled pumpkin.
  • Boiled/steamed/microwaved pumpkin is perhaps not very exciting on it's own, but it can also be roasted or included in casseroles or other delicious recipes.
  • Check out our CHOICE home economist's new pumpkin recipe: Pumpkin and spinach tart.

Nutrition

  • Pumpkin is low in kilojoules and particularly high in beta-carotene (vitamin A).
  • It's also a pretty good source of other vitamins and minerals, for example some B vitamins and vitamin C.
  • It's a useful way to boost you intake of red/orange-pigment phytochemicals - for example, carotenoids and lutein.

Please note: this information was current as of March 2007 but is still a useful guide today.


 
 

 

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