The Seminole Pumpkin not only has a very interesting long history in South Florida, it is a great low-calorie snack, and an excellent source of the following nutrients:
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin E
- Vitamin A
It will be hard to miss this thick, round, orange to pale-tan (sometimes even green) colored globe in your shares! It may be about the size of a child’s head – they aren’t as large as jack-o-lantern pumpkins!
Studies from South Korea have shown that the protein in pumpkin meat can combat vaginal yeast infections and diaper rash. The Pr-2 protein was also able to inhibit the growth of 10 other fungi, which could mean that pumpkin protein may be used as a natural medicine to cure fungal infections.
Zinc, omega-3 and carotenoids, which are all found in pumpkins, have also been studied for their contribution to prostate health.
The zinc in pumpkins is also a good promoter of bone health and can prevent osteoporosis from developing.
The Omega-3s, particularly alpha-linolenic acid, help reduce the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis and can even mimic the effects of NSAIDs, minus the side effects.
The vitamin A that is produced from beta-carotene and other carotenoids is good for vision, hearing and skin.
FUN — USE IDEA!!
Mashing up pumpkin meat or using a canned puree to make a face cleanser is a unique way to fight acne.
Seminole pumpkin (Cucurbita moschata) is well adapted to our Everglades, having exceptional tolerance to pests and diseases that will devastate the average pumpkin. For the American Indian, its domestication was paramount to their survival in Florida.
Seminole pumpkin is a vigorous, heat-resistant vine that can grow on a trellis or climb on a tree. This plant has been improved by the American Indian through selection and use over the centuries to be adapted to our Everglades, having exceptional tolerance to pests and diseases that will devastate the average pumpkin.
The vines will climb on a trellis or a tree and can reach heights of 25 feet or more. Fruit set is best when the vine is within a tree or on a trellis; vines on the ground are poor fruiters.
The fruit have a deep orange flesh and are sweet and highly nutritious. They can be used as one would use any butternut squash, and for my taste there is no better pumpkin pie in the world than a Seminole pumpkin pie.
The pumpkins store well at cool room temperature and should be kept dry and out of the sun. Their shapes and colors are highly variable and lend themselves to fall decorating as well as eating. As the fruit mature, the vines will die.
The seeds are also an excellent food in themselves, roasted and lightly salted.