Pumkins’ characteristics from Pancha
Huerta de Pancha’s pumpkins are of the butternut variety, peanut-shaped, or also known as fiddle pumpkins. They weigh between 750 grams and 2 kg. Their skin is orange, hard and thin compared to other pumpkin varieties, but thicker than other fruits of the same genus, such as the courgette; being hard, it must be peeled hard. Its flesh is creamy and sweet, with a slight nutty flavour, and in which we can find a cavity where the seeds are lodged.
Pumpkin pulp can be eaten raw (grated or blended), or cooked (boiled, roasted, microwaved or pan-fried). There are many dishes that can be made with this vegetable, such as angel’s hair, which is used in confectionery.
Its seeds can be roasted and salted, eaten raw or steamed.
Pumpkins types that exist
There are four main groups of pumpkins. Within them, there are a number of varieties, but we will mainly talk about the groups. They are the Pepo pumpkin, the moschata, the maximum pumpkin and the mixed pumpkin.
Pepo squash is orange or green, small or medium sized. It is the typical pumpkin that we see during the months of October and November, coinciding with Halloween. The varieties of Pepo pumpkins are the curcubita máxima, Pepo espagueti, Patisson, kabocha or Japanese, acorn, crooked neck and the rondin pumpkin.
The moschata or moscadas pumpkins are golden or orange in colour, and their size is medium. Their shape is not rounded, but rather oblong. They are characterised by their sweetness. The most typical butternut, Tamalayote, Provence and Loche pumpkins are the most common.
The colour of the maxi pumpkins is yellow, but they can also be blue or blue-green. They come in all sizes, and their flesh is the most bitter. These varieties are the Banana, Hubbard, Giant, Jarrahdale or Aladdin.
Finally, mixed pumpkins can be of various colours, and are not very large. In this case, they are not only used for eating, but mainly for decorative purposes.
How you will receive Huerta de Pancha’s pumpkins
Our pumpkin is harvested at its optimum point. This point is not the same as the ripening point. For packaging, although it is not a fragile product, we try to protect it from damage during transport. The pumpkin is delivered to your door ready to eat.
Our pumpkins retain all their freshness and natural flavour because they do not go through cold storage. They are a real delicacy.
Pumpkins cultivation from our ochard
Pumpkin is a creeping annual plant, which has very long stems covered with coarse hairs. These stems can reach up to 10 metres in length. Its leaves are lobed and heart-shaped, and its flowers are large and beautiful, with yellow or white petals.
For optimal cultivation, it is necessary to have plenty of light daily and a temperature of between 20 and 25ºC. It is advisable to remove the soil, in order to avoid weeds.
This pumpkin needs a large amount of water for its vegetative development; watering must be frequent and regular. In addition, care must be taken to find the middle ground where water is not lacking, but where the soil does not become waterlogged and the roots rot.
It is essential to prune the plant, eliminating secondary branches.
Harvesting is done by cutting off about 5 centimetres of stem rather than pulling them directly from the plant. Harvesting is done about six months after sowing, thus obtaining the best ecological pumpkins in La Axarquía.
The properties of pumpkin are innumerable. It contributes to the good condition of the skin, bones and teeth, as well as the nervous system and the digestive system.
Its main component is water, which together with its low carbohydrate content and its zero fat content, make it a low-calorie and very satiating food.
Pumpkins are high in fibre, vitamins A, C and E, and several B group vitamins.
This vegetable is also rich in minerals, among which potassium stands out, and in amino acids.
Pumpkin seed’s properties
Pumpkin seeds deserve a special mention, as they are a superfood in themselves with important nutritional properties. They have a mild, slightly sweet taste and can be eaten raw, dried and roasted. They are rich in magnesium, a mineral that is essential for the health of the gut, heart, teeth and bones, as well as regulating blood pressure; zinc, which strengthens the immune system and regulates mood, is also very present.
Pumpkin seeds contain tryptophan, which helps regulate sleep. They also contain Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids, and have strong anti-inflammatory properties.
How to eat pumpkin
The flesh of the pumpkin can be eaten raw, mainly grated like a carrot or liquefied to make juice. Traditionally it is mainly consumed cooked, it can be boiled, roasted, microwaved and even pan-fried. It is used in numerous culinary preparations: in cream, soups, broths, purées, baked, steamed, boiled, sautéed, sautéed, sautéed, au gratin, as a complement to stews, as a garnish, in pies, cakes, flans, on pizza, etc. It is also used to prepare jams, tartlets or marmalades. The angel’s hair used to fill sweets and cakes is made with the confectionery variety.
Pumpkin seeds can be roasted and salted, but then some of the oils they contain are damaged. They can also be eaten raw or steamed together with the pulp and then eaten by peeling them with the teeth. In this way they retain all their properties better.
How to cut pumpkin
When you see the shape of the pumpkin it seems impossible to cut it and remove the skin, but we are going to explain step by step an easy way to cut it so you can do it without any problem.
First of all, you need to have a sharp, decent quality onion knife or chef’s knife because the skin is very hard.
The fingers holding the pumpkin should be flexed before cutting, at a 45-degree angle and resting your knuckles on the blade of the knife. This will ensure that you do not make a cut.
Now we are going to proceed to cut the pumpkin. The first step is to cut the TWO ENDS (the stem part and the base) as a slice.
Then we are going to cut it in half. A trick to make it easier for you is to pass the knife, marking the whole contour, and then place your palm on top of the knife and force it downwards.
You can use a spoon or a pair of scissors to remove the seeds inside. Now, place each of the pieces with the bases facing upwards and peel from top to bottom, removing the outer skin. And voilà, it’s peeled!
It can be cut into slices, slices, sticks, small squares or chunks.
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