Why Are Some Pumpkins White?—Find Out the Origin of White Pumpkins
Scientists and pumpkin growers have worked to make pale pumpkins that are white. A professor at the University of New Hampshire named Brent Loy was able to grow a white pumpkin he called Moonshine. This was one of the first white pumpkins ever made.
White pumpkins, botanically known as Cucurbita maxima, grow on long trailing vines and are related to gourds and squash in the Cucurbitaceae family. Full Moon pumpkins, Silver Moon, Ghost pumpkins, Luminas, Valenciano, and Casper pumpkins are just a few of the types classified as white pumpkins. They have grown in popularity and are particularly developed for their ghostly tints. They were once assumed to be a mutation in the field of typical orange pumpkins. Although they’re most commonly employed as a decorative element in fall displays, several varieties can also be cooked and used in baked meals.
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History of White Pumpkins
Pumpkins have been farmed since prehistoric times in Central America and Mexico. Because of its slow rise in popularity, the history of White pumpkins is unknown. However, many of the varieties we find today were purposefully developed in the United States during the early 1980s and 1990s. The Hollar Seed Company and George Perry & Sons introduced Lumina pumpkins in 1990, while Johnny’s Selected Seeds developed Valenciano pumpkins in 1988. Jerry Howell in Ontario, Canada, produced Casper pumpkins in the early 1990s and marketed them in 1992.
What Color Do White Pumpkins Have on the Inside?
There are two basic shapes of white pumpkins: globular and uniformly round with shallow ribbing and squat and noticeably flattened with prominent ribbing in shape. An ivory-white or ivory-colored rind covers a dense and firm flesh filled with pulp and flat, cream-colored seeds in a central cavity. The skin of the insides should be a faint yellow or creamy-yellow.
Can You Eat White Pumpkins?
Yes, you can absolutely eat white pumpkins. They are sweet and can be cooked just like orange pumpkins. The wonderful texture combined with solid sugar content makes for an amazing dessert. You will not find them on every grocer’s shelf, but you may have to travel a little more to get your hands on this unique variety of pumpkins. They are low in calories, but it is generally felt that the flavor of an egg-sized pumpkin would be less than appetizing or, in other words, not worth eating very much of them as a whole food source.
Health Benefits of White Pumpkins
Since there’s no significant difference between white pumpkins and orange pumpkins, aside from the color, white pumpkins share the same nutritional value as orange pumpkins.
Pumpkins are a delicious and versatile vegetable that can be used in many different recipes. In addition to their nutritional value, they also have various health benefits. Here are five of the most common:
- They are high in minerals such as phosphorus, magnesium, zinc, and calcium. These nutrients help to maintain good bone density and support healthy nerve function.
- Potassium is important for healthy cells and maintaining a steady heartbeat and muscle function.
- It’s a good source of fiber that helps regulate digestion and improve overall gut health. It is also rich in antioxidants that protect cells from damage by free radicals. Fiber is important to maintain a healthy digestive system. It helps prevent colon cancer, may lower cholesterol, and help with weight loss. It also prevents constipation by increasing water flow through the colon and improving nutrient absorption.
- Pumpkin is loaded with beta-carotene, which provides antioxidant benefits and assists in preventing diseases such as cancer and heart disease.
- It contains vitamin A which supports optimal vision health.
- Pumpkins contain significant levels of anti-inflammatory compounds like indoles.
- It’s rich in iron and folic acid. These nutrients are necessary for healthy blood oxygenation and immune function.
- It also contains selenium, a trace mineral that supports the immune and cardiovascular systems.
- It does have manganese, a trace mineral involved in the enzymatic reactions of amino acids and protein formation.
Unfortunately, some studies have found that white pumpkins have fewer vitamins than orange pumpkins, owing to their pale color. White pumpkins have less vitamin A due to decreased carotenoid synthesis. The majority of vitamins are similar.