Is pumpkin a fruit or vegetable? What if I told you the answer may surprise you?
Pumpkin is a fall favorite for many- but Pumpkins are the fruit of the plant Cucurbitaceae Pepo- which includes many different varieties of pumpkin and winter squash.
In the fall you start to see pumpkins everywhere. It becomes of the staple of many meals and treats- both savory and sweet. You will find Pumpkin Spice Lattes and Pumpkin Soups on menus all over town.
So– we all know tomatoes are fruits. But have you ever stopped to think about what makes a vegetable versus what makes a fruit? And where a pumpkin falls based on those definitions?
Is a Pumpkin a Fruit or a Vegetable?
If you were to get out your Webster’s dictionary, you would be told that pumpkin is the fruit of certain cultivars of the Cucurbitaceae family. But it’s not quite as simple as that. Is a pumpkin (or squash) really a fruit? Well, that depends based on who you are asking and what their criteria is for deciding.
According to Science: Pumpkin is a fruit
Scientifically speaking, a fruit is the part of a plant that develops from the flower and contains the seeds of the plant.
By this definition, pumpkin is a fruit. It develops from the flower of the pumpkin plant and contains the seeds.
This also means that lots of other “vegetables” are also fruits: all squash, beans, peppers, cucumbers, peas, and of course, tomatoes.
All other parts of the plant- roots, leaves, stalks, etc- would be the vegetables.
So in the garden- the pumpkin is the fruit of the plant. But bring it inside to the kitchen, and you may get a different answer from culinary experts.
According to Cooks: Pumpkin is a vegetable
In the kitchen and in the culinary world pumpkin would be described as a vegetable. Their less scientific criteria classifies fruits and vegetables based on sweetness and sugar content.
Pumpkins are considered a vegetable because it is lower in sugar and usually used in more savory dishes.
And even in the case of tomatoes, the law sided with the cook’s definition for the difference between fruits and vegetables when deciding if tomatoes are a fruit or vegetable.
Does It Really Matter if You Call a Pumpkin a Fruit or Vegetable?
NO! Pumpkins are delicious and have a lot of nutritional value- so no matter if you think a pumpkin is a fruit or a vegetable keep on eating them and keep on growing them!
Pumpkin is packed with vitamin A- and 1 cup will give you more than your daily needed amount. You will also gets vitamin C and dietary fiber in your pumpkin puree.
Squash and pumpkin is also a great source of minerals like potassium, magnesium, and iron.
1 cup of pumpkin puree contains approximately:
12 g Carbohydrates
3 g Fiber
2 g Sugar
So no matter if you call it a fruit or a veggie, don’t let it stop you from enjoying your favorite pumpkin-filled meals!
© 2018, Sarah R Toney. All rights reserved.