Pumpkins

Buying pumpkins and cooking them means you are contributing to your health. This vegetable is low in calories (only 15 per 100 grams) with considerable satiating power. It is rich in potassium, calcium, phosphorus, and fiber and like all orange vegetables and fruits, pumpkins have moderate amounts of vitamin A and C.

Recent studies show that eating pumpkin on a regular basis helps prevent cancer and heart attacks. Pumpkins are also a good laxative and diuretic. They can also be used as beauty masks, simply finely grate the pumpkin’s pulp and mix it with honey. This mask can help those with oily skin by making it less greasy and more luminous.

Pumpkins come in many shapes and varieties and they are very different depending on the country and the latitude where you live.

In the are where I live you mostly find:

ZUCCA VIOLINA (below)
This variety is suitable for risotto, dessert preparations, has a nice bright orange color, and is best used steamed.

ZUCCA MARINA DI CHIOGGIA (below)
This compact variety with yellow flesh is ideal for gnocchi or ravioli filling, as a base for casseroles, or simply slices roasted in the oven with a little rosemary. Cooking this pumpkin in the oven brings out its flavor.

ZUCCA MAMMOUTH (below)
This variety derives its name from its size since it can reach up to one hundred pounds. It has deep yellow flesh and is suitable for creams, soups, and risottos. It is also used as a lantern (after the pulp is taken away) on the night of the feast of Halloween.

ZUCCA VENETA (below)
This variety was once grown along with corn and its pulp was used to make a cream from corn flour and milk called “Zuf”. This was a sweet breakfast peasants often used to eat during the winter. The orange-yellow flesh, with shades of green in some varieties, has almost a hint of chestnut and is well suited for all uses including bread.

DECORATIVE PUMPKINS (below)
These pumpkins take on infinite forms and colors. This month they are nice to buy for decorating your house and also your table.

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