Pumpkin Flowers


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Follow Me on Pinterest Pumpkin flowers are a culinary treat found occasionally mixed in salads, soups, sautes, or cheese-stuffed and batter-fried. You may have the opportunity to buy a small bundle at a farmer’s market. If you do, enjoy the opportunity but plan to cook your pumpkin flower that day. They do not last long in your refrigerator. If you are lucky enough to have pumpkin or squash in your garden, harvest your blossoms as you are ready to prepare your meal.

Stuffed and Fried Pumpkin Flowers

Pumpkin flowers are a great delicacy and are typically served stuffed and batter fried. Your favorite cheese is a great place to start for the stuffing, as is a combination of cheese and shrimp. A tempura is great for the batter. Bonnie Azab Powell at Grist offers squash blossoms stuffed with goat cheese, wrapped in beer batter, and fried in canola oil. Chelsea at The Eat Well Guide stuffs her squash blossoms with ricotta and herbs and fries them in a beer batter.

To prepare your flowers for stuffing, soak them in water to remove bits of soil, bugs, and pollen. Remove the collar of the flower and the stamen.

Male Versus Female Flowers

pumpkin flowersYou will typically find male pumpkin flowers for sale in the market, looking almost like a bouquet of flowers. In a garden context, a male pumpkin flower is fairly easy to distinguish from its female mate: The female pumpkin flower is sitting at the end of a pumpkin. Even when the pumpkin itself is immature, you can typically see it forming just behind the petals of the pumpkin flower. A male pumpkin flower, on the other hand, working hard as a pollinator flower, has a long stem and no it growing on or within the stem. If you are harvesting male pumpkin flowers from your garden, do be sure to leave some on your plants so that they can do their jobs as pollinators.

Nutrients

pumpkin flowersPumpkin flowers do have important vitamins and minerals, but they are about ninety percent water, requiring that you eat quite a few of them to make a dent in your nutrition.

On this website, we examine most of our foods in 100 gram portions. One hundred grams of pumpkin flower is about three cups — quite a few pumpkin flowers. In those three cups, you will get nearly half of your daily required vitamin C and about 40% of your vitamin A from your blossoms. The blossoms will also provide a collection of B vitamins.

Pumpkin flowers do have a nice supply of food folate, making pregnancy an excellent excuse to eat an abundance of beer batter fried pumpkin flowers.

In those three cups of squash flowers, you will also get about five percent of your recommended intake of iron, potassium, calcium, and magnesium.

Macronutrients

Component
Amount
% Daily Value*
Calories
15
Protein
1.03 g
2%
Fat
.07 g
0%
Carbohydrate
3.28 g
1%
Potassium
173 mg
5%
Sodium
5 mg
0%
Water
95.15 g
Ash
.48

*The daily value is based on a 2,000 calorie per day diet.

Vitamins

Vitamin
Amount
% Daily Value*
Vitamin C
28 mg
47%
Thiamin – B1
.04 mg
3%
Riboflavin – B2
.08 mg
4%
Niacin – B3
.69 mg
3%
Food Folate
59 mcg
Vitamin B12
0 mcg
0%
Vitamin A – IU
1947 IU
39%
Vitamin A – RAE
97 RAE
Retinol
0 RE
Vitamin D – IU
0 IU
0%
Vitamin D – mcg
0 mg

*The daily value is based on a 2,000 calorie per day diet.

Minerals

Mineral
Amount
% Daily Value*
Calcium
39 mg
4%
Iron
.7 mg
4%
Magnesium
24 mg
6%
Phosphorus
49 mg
5%
Selenium
.7 mg
1%

*The daily value is based on a 2,000 calorie per day diet.

This post was shared at Gooseberry Patch.

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13 Responses to Pumpkin Flowers
  1. Great post!

    Thank you for your submission on Nourishing Treasure’s Whole Health Weekend Link-Up.

    Check back on Friday when the new link-up is running to see if you were one of the top 3 featured posts! :)

  2. Very interesting! :)

  3. Wow, that sounds great and more healthy than I would have thought. I have done squash flowers but not pumpkin flowers before. This would be a good use for the flowers culled to make bigger pumpkins. I am filing it away for next year. Thanks! I stopped over from Weekend Gourmet.

  4. One of my readers pointed me over here when I posted on Facebook about growing my first accidental compost garden. :D There are some big, beautiful squash (or pumpkin or zucchini) blossoms that opened today! I love that you added the nutritional info. Now we have backup when we say ‘they’re good for you’!

  5. Thanks for sharing this on Real Food 101.

    I didn’t even know there was such a thing as pumpkin flowers!

  6. How interesting, I love pumpkins, but never thought to eat their blooms, almost like summer squash blooms

  7. Thanks for linking your great post to FAT TUESDAY. Hope to see you next week!This was very interesting!

    http://realfoodforager.com/2011/09/fat-tuesday-september-13-2011/

  8. Someone told me you could eat zucchini flowers too. I haven’t tried it. I didn’t plant any pumpkins in our garden this year, and now I’m wishing I had!

    • Amanda Rose

      Yes Lisa, all of this applies to any squash flower.

  9. HI,
    Just wanted to let you know that I featured your article at my new feature called Sunday Snippets:

    http://realfoodforager.com/2011/09/sunday-snippets-september-18-2011/

  10. I had no idea pumpkin flowers were edible, nor that they were so good for you! They certainly do look absolutely gorgeous – what a lovely treat! Thank you for sharing this post with the Hearth and Soul hop.

  11. Lynn D

    Hi
    have been eating the flowers and wondered other ways of preparing them besides pulling off sepals and saute.
    The females zuc’s are soooo good and creamy tasting.
    now wondering how to increase female flowers on pumpkin, (all males so far)
    Thanks for the nutrient info. assume thats for raw flowers.
    Lynn D

  12. I’ve tried pumpkin flowers only occasionally since I get them only sometimes. Besides using it in salads, I’ve not tried combining it with other foods so what you’ve shared sounds great.

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