Pumpkin

Availability: September to October

What to look out for

The best pumpkins out there are usually the ones which present a deep orange colour, firm stem, flat bottom, and it sounds hollow when knocked, as it indicates that the pumpkin is ripe.

Try to avoid the pumpkins that express excess bruises, discolouration, and soft spots.

Storage

Pumpkins can be stored accordingly to the current state of the vegetable:

    1. Whole Pumpkin (Counter/Kitchen): The best way to store uncut whole pumpkin is allocating it upside down (stalk at the floor) in a cool place, over a mat or a cardboard. Pumpkins can be stored this way up to 4 months.
    2. Cut Pumpkin: In case, the pumpkins are already cut, it must be placed inside the coldest drawer in the fridge, and wrapped by a plastic/beeswax wrap. It will last up to 1 week in this way.
    3. Freezer: Freezing the Pumpkins is another option. It can be achieved by firstly removing the skin and seeds of the vegetable, chopping it into small cubes, and flash freezing it for a few hours over a baking tray with parchment paper. Lastly, transfer the frozen pieces into a freezer-friendly bag or container. It will last up to 6 months.

Benefits

Eye Health Promotion

With only 1 serving of pumpkin (around 250g), it gives the body 200% of the daily intake of Vitamin A, therefore benefiting the eyes and lowering the risks of age-related eye diseases and degeneration.

Cancer Risks Reduction

The vitamin A present in pumpkins not only will give protection to the eyes, but it will also minimise the risks of certain types of cancer, such as lungs and prostate.

Boost of Immune System

Pumpkin is a vegetable that is rich in nutrients, minerals, and vitamins. Apart from the known high levels of Beta-Carotene, pumpkins offer also good levels of Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Potassium, Iron, and Folate, thus strengthening the body’s immune system.

May Support Hypertension

Pumpkins are also rich in Potassium, such compound is known for being crucial at not only lowering blood pressure, but lowering the risks of strokes, kidney stones, and type 2 diabetes.

Can Promote Health Weight

The vegetable is extremely high in fibre and low in calories, in other words, it’s possible to feel full easily by increasing the consumption of pumpkin without the spikes of calories.

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