Pumpkin: delicious, healthy and beautiful!
This autumn red-haired beauty fully justifies her sunny appearance in terms of nutritional and medicinal properties. Pumpkin is truly a versatile culinary product. From it you can cook soups, main dishes, hot snacks, desserts and drinks! What is useful and how to properly store the pumpkin so that it does not lose its properties as long as possible, read below.
Orange is far from the only pumpkin color. There are also red, blue, green, cream and white colors! By the way, the tradition of using pumpkin as a symbol of Halloween is associated with an Irish legend. It says that one man named Jack wandered around the Earth waiting for the Day of Judgment, lighting his way with a piece of coal hidden from the rain into a pumpkin. More than once the pumpkin got into the Guinness Book of Records. For example, there is recorded the largest weight of pumpkin - 513 kg, which was grown by Jerry Chekton from Pennsylvania.
- Useful properties of pumpkin
- Popular table varieties of pumpkin
- Decorative pumpkin
- Recipe - Candied Pumpkin
- How to store pumpkin properly
Useful properties of pumpkin
If we talk about the usefulness of pumpkin, along with the standard set of vitamins of group A, E, C, B1, B2, B5, B6, PP, it contains two valuable and rarely found vitamins, such as T and K. Vitamin T is necessary for our body to regulate proper metabolism, and vitamin K - for good blood coagulation. In some varieties of pumpkin, Carotene is five times more than in carrots, so it is especially useful for preventing vision problems. And pumpkin is 90% water, it is low-calorie and rich in fiber.
Pumpkin seeds contain cucurbitin, which inflicts a serious blow on parasites in our body. And they also contain such an amount of protein that is comparable to its content in meat. By the way, pumpkin flowers are also eaten. This is especially practiced in Italy: pumpkin flowers fried in dough are considered to be their usual dish.
As part of pumpkin, there are two valuable and rarely found vitamins, such as T and K. Vitamin T is necessary for our body to regulate proper metabolism, and vitamin K for good blood coagulation.
Popular table pumpkin varieties
There are about 20 types of pumpkin, differing from each other in color, shape of the fruit, size. There are decorative, fodder and canteen pumpkins. Varieties are divided according to species: large-fruited, hard-skinned and nutmeg pumpkins.
This is perhaps the most precocious variety. The fruit reaches 1 kg, when ripe, has a light green color, and when ripe - cream. The spaghetti pulp has a beige hue and has a characteristic vanilla aroma. The peculiarity of this pumpkin is that after boiling it, the flesh seems to break up into individual fibers, which makes them look like spaghetti.
The fruits of this pumpkin variety can reach 6 kg. The skin at the Premiere is thick, has a green color with light green spots. The flesh of this variety is yellow, sweet and juicy. The value of the Premiere is that it is early ripe, resistant to low temperatures, has a high yield.
It has a rounded shape. Color - orange-yellow without a pattern. Reaches 7 kg at the end of maturation. This late-ripening pumpkin variety has a juicy and sweet cream flavor. Suitable for those gardeners who want a compact planting, since Aport has a small bush and short lashes.
A common variety of nutmeg pumpkin. This medium-late pumpkin has an elongated cylindrical shape, which thickens to the top. The average weight of this variety is approximately 7 kg. The peel of the Arabat pumpkin is thin and fragile, has an orange-yellow color. The pulp, on the contrary, is thick and quite dense; its palatability is juicy and sweet.
The name speaks for itself - it is a "giant pumpkin." It is not surprising, because the giant’s fruits reach 180 kg. Coloring can be yellow or bright orange. Care for this variety is quite painstaking, because the size of the fetus needs careful attention. But the taste of the Giant deserves such a departure, because it is sweet even in its raw form.
I need to say a few words about decorative pumpkins, which are not eaten, but find them successful use in everyday life.
Lagenaria. This pumpkin variety was not popular for its nutritional properties, but for the ability to use its ripe fruits as dishes. After six months of storage, it completely loses moisture, the peel becomes stiff, and the pumpkin is ready to make all kinds of crafts. The shape of the fruit is so diverse that it makes it possible to make dishes from it for all occasions: bottles, jugs, flasks with a narrow neck, balls and ovals for plates.
Cookware made of pumpkin is light, strong and durable. And in Latin America, mate vessels are made from it - Kalebasy and musical instruments - maracas and rattles. The Peruvian Indians not only loved to eat pumpkin, but also used it as a trough for bathing children in it, as well as dried the flesh and weaved rugs from it.
Pumpkin was one of the first vegetables that contributed to the emergence of the art of carving patterns on vegetables and fruits - carving. Vases were made from it, for this they were grown in special forms. And in China, pumpkin lanterns were very popular, which are still very popular.
If you want to grow decorative pumpkins in your garden, remember that it is advisable to plant them away from edible varieties. The substances contained in these species, called cucurbitacins, are poisonous and bitter in taste. Planted decorative pumpkin next to edible can be dusted with it, thereby adding a drop of bitterness to the table variety of pumpkin.
If you want to grow decorative pumpkins in your garden, remember that it is advisable to plant them away from edible varieties
Recipe - Candied Pumpkin
Candied pumpkin is much healthier than sweets, although they are inferior in taste to nothing.
Ingredients for candied pumpkin
- 1 kg of pumpkin;
- 5 g of citric acid;
- 800 g of sugar;
A method of making candied pumpkin
- My pumpkin, remove the peel and seeds. We cut into cubes about 2x2x2 cm. Pour 200 g of sugar on them and let it stand in the cold until the pumpkin pours juice.
- We put the pumpkin on the fire and simmer, constantly stirring. Cool, drain the juice. Pour one glass of juice to the remaining sugar, add citric acid and cook until sugar is dissolved. We pour this syrup to the pumpkin, put on a slow fire and cook until the pumpkin becomes transparent and the syrup is thick.
- We take out the pumpkin, dry it, sprinkle with cinnamon, powdered sugar or zest. Put in a box and store at room temperature.
See also the detailed recipe for candied pumpkin.
How to store pumpkin properly
You have harvested, and now you have the task: to keep the pumpkin safe and sound so that it does not rot and does not dry out, and also retains all the beneficial properties for as long as possible. In fact, the secrets of its storage are very simple, because this fruit, thanks to its thick peel, has the ability to maintain useful and taste for a long time.
A distinctive feature of pumpkin from other gourds is that the maximum amount of nutrients accumulates in the pumpkin after it was brought from the garden, and it will lie for another 35-40 days. After harvesting, the pumpkin contains a huge amount of starch, which is hydrolyzed after storage, which leads to an increase in the amount of sugar, and the fruits become sweeter. Therefore, be patient for a couple of months, forgetting about the pumpkin. Let yourself become tastier!
Five important rules for storing pumpkin
1. Pumpkin can ripen perfectly in the apartment, unlike watermelons. For example, under the bed, where important factors for storing pumpkins are stored - darkness and dryness, and also an insulated balcony is suitable. However, be careful: to avoid getting light on the pumpkin, cover it with any cloth.
2. Pumpkin can be stored indoors at a temperature of +8 .. + 12 degrees, which can significantly extend its shelf life up to one and a half years.
3. Make sure that the pumpkin stalk is not damaged; accordingly, before storing the tail-stalk should not be cut to prevent decay of the fruit.
4. Lay the pumpkin with the stalks up and try to prevent the fruits from touching each other.
5. If you find rotten patches on the pumpkin, remove the flesh in this place as soon as possible. After that, treat the cut with the flame of a candle or a lighter: this will disinfect and dry the damaged area. But remember that after this procedure, the pumpkin will lie for no more than two weeks.
Halloween, who came to us from the West and fell in love with the bright holiday, gave the pumpkin another purpose, making it a subject for creativity in autumn evenings.
However, do not forget the original and basic value of pumpkin, revered by our people since ancient times. Pumpkin, first of all, is a symbol of longevity, family happiness and prosperity. It was not for nothing that it was believed that if the house has a pumpkin crop, then the hunger for those living in it is not terrible. Read the traditions of our ancestors, use the gifts of our land with due respect and you will not occupy good health.