Pumpkin grows as a vigorous vine. It can be grown from seed during the Mediterranean summer (mid- August to late November) and Tropical summer (late- November to late March) in the subtropics. All parts are edible, the fruit itself as well as the seeds and flowers. Very young shoots can be used as a spinach.
Pumpkins can be stored for moths in a cool, dry, well- ventilated spot (with temperatures around 10- 15 °C). Keep them up off the ground to increase airflow.
Pumpkin flesh can be preserved by freezing or drying and the seeds can be dried and roasted. Pumpkin seed is a good source of Vitamin E.
In the old days, the Irish carved faces on a pumpkin to scare away evil spirits and nowadays pumpkin carving to make Jack o’ Lanterns is popular for Halloween.
- Improves eyesight
- Supports immunity
- Improves gut lining health
- Relieves stress and anxiety
In a serving size 1/2 cup (75 g)(cooked):
- Energy 63 kJ
- Protein 0.5 g
- Fat 0.1 g
- Carbs 3.7 g
- Fiber 0.8 g
- Vitamin A 215.3 µg
- Vitamin C 3.5 mg
- Potassium 171.8 mg
Quick and easy recipe!
- 400 g cubed pumpkin
- 1 cup red lentils
- 1 cup celery, chopped
- 4 cups vegetable stock
- 1 onion, peeled and finely sliced
- 1 Tbsp ginger, finely grated
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- Heat oil in a large saucepan, cook the onions until golden.
- Add all the other ingredients, bring to the boil.
- Reduce to a low heat, cover and simmer for 30 minutes.
- Remove from heat and blend the soup until smooth.
Pumpkin Curry (Sagu kari)
(From NSCF’s Share Cookbook p 29)
- 2kg pumpkin, chopped and peeled
- 200g mung beans
- 200g yellow split peas
- 300g urad dhal
- 2 Tbsp black mustard seeds
- 20 – 30 curry leaves
- 1 ½ tsp cumin powder
- 1 ½ tsp coriander powder
- 2 tsp turmeric
- 10 chillies, deseeded and chopped
- 3 Tbsp crushed garlic
- 200g desiccated coconut
- 1 Tbsp salt (or to taste)
- ½ bunch fresh coriander, chopped
- Fry the mustard seeds until they begin to pop. Add the mung beans, split peas, urad dhal and the curry leaves. Stir well to prevent burning.
- When the peas begin to brown slightly, add the powdered spices, stir for a few seconds, then add the garlic and chillies. Have some water ready to lower the temperature quickly after the garlic has fried for a few seconds as the peas retain a lot of heat and will burn the garlic otherwise.
- Add the pumpkin, salt and coconut and enough water to make up 6 litres of total volume.
- Cook over a slow heat for 30 minutes and break up any large pieces of pumpkin remaining. The pea mixture will have settled to the bottom, so stir the curry well.
- Simmer for a few minutes, add the chopped fresh coriander, bring back to the simmer for a few minutes. Serve immediately.
Baked pumpkin stuffed with bush fruits and bunya nuts
(From NSCF’s Share Cookbook p 28)
- 1 pumpkin (large Jap or Queensland blue)
- 1 ½ cups bunya nuts, halved and boiled
- 1 ½ cups riberries
- 1 cup other bush fruits (other lillipillies, Illawarra plum etc.)
- 2 tsp dried akudjera (desert tomato) or dried tomato powder
- 1 tsp lemon myrtle powder or 4 leaves, shredded
- ½ tsp mountain pepper
- Prepare cob oven or camp oven fire, or preheat domestic oven to 180c (160C fan-forced)
- Cut a circular plug 10 – 15cm in diameter out of the top of the pumpkin and place to one side. Scoop out the seeds.
- Mix remaining ingredients in a bowl. Fill scooped out centre of the pumpkin with the mixture. Replace plug in top of the pumpkin.
- Place the stuffed pumpkin in a lightly oiled camp oven or on a baking tray.
- Cook over coals, or in a moderate oven for 45 to 60 minutes until the pumpkin is tender.
- 2 cups plain flour
- ½ tsp salt
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 8 Tbsp butter
- 1 large egg
- 2Tbsp sugar
- 1 ½ cups cooked mashed pumpkin
- 1 cup milk
- ¼ cup flour
- ¾ cup sugar
- 2 beaten eggs and enough milk to make 1 cup of fluid
- 1 Tbsp golden syrup
- Grated rind of 1 orange
- Pinch of nutmeg
- Sift flour, salt and baking powder together.
- Cut butter into dry ingredients and crumble with your fingers. Beat eggs and sugar well. Mix all ingredients together until pastry forms.
- Roll out pastry on a lightly floured board and place in a tart or flan tin.
- Mix all filling ingredients together and place in the uncooked tart base.
- Bake in a moderate oven until the tart base is cooked, about 25 minutes.
- Serve warm or cold with cream or ice cream.