Pumpkins are squashes and uniquely North American.
Wild pumpkin Cucurbita foetidissima grows in dry prairies and grasslands in the central US and Mexico and is inedible. It can be used in soap making simply by soaking the fruits in water and using the soapy liquid.You can even make a shampoo!
Pumpkins have male and female flowers and rely on bees and other insects for pollination.
Pumpkins are rich in carotenoids (Vitamin A) and potassium. Zinc and omega 3s are also found in pumpkins.
Pumpkin oil is highly unsaturated (that’s good). It’s rich in Vitamin E and has been associated with lowered cancer risk. It has a long shelf life.
The flowers are edible and contain folate, vitamin A and Vitamin C in addition to carbs and protein. Some people fry them, some stuff them with goat cheese, others sprinkle them on salads. I put them in smoothies.
Canned pumpkin loses the aroma of fresh pumpkin. This is why I grow my own pumpkins and make my own pies. Here’s my recipe. It will make two pies:Wash and bake one medium sized pie pumpkin at 350 degrees for one hour. Allow to cool.Scoop out seed. Skin pumpkin. Add flesh to a large capacity blender. Add 1 can (12 oz) evaporated milk. Blend. Add three eggs, 3/4 cup organic sugar, tsp vanilla, 1 tsp cinnamon, 1/4 tsp ginger, 1/2 tsp nutmeg, 1/4 cup molasses. Blend. Or if you prefer, mix all ingredients besides molasses and stir it in by hand to give a marbled look as shown: Pour into an unbaked pie crust. Brush crust with milk. Bake for about 1 hour at 350 degrees until pie sets. it will be slightly wobbly until it cools.