Pumpkin flower is a type of vibrant, edible flower produced by pumpkin plants.
Pumpkin plants produce both male and female flowers, both of which are known for their large, funnel-shaped flowers. These gorgeous flowers take on a bright orange or yellow color (1).
Although many people consider eating pumpkin fruit or seeds, pumpkin flower can be a nutritious and delicious addition to a healthy diet.
This article will take a closer look at the nutritional profile of the pumpkin flower, along with the benefits and potential uses of this versatile ingredient.
Although it contains only a few calories and fat per serving, pumpkin flower can help increase your intake of several important nutrients, including fiber, copper, folic acid, and vitamin A.
One cup (134 grams) of cooked pumpkin flower contains the following nutrients (
- Calories: 20
- carbohydrates: 4.5 grams
- protein: 1.5 grams
- Fat: 0.1 g
- the basic: 1.2 grams
- copper: 15% of the daily value
- Folic acid: 14% of the daily value
- Vitamin A: 13% of the daily value
- magnesium: 8% of the daily value
- Vitamin C: 7% of the daily value
- iron: 7% of the daily value
Pumpkin flower is particularly rich in copper, an essential mineral that your body needs to produce energy (
It also contains a good amount of folic acid per serving, a B vitamin that plays a key role in protein metabolism and DNA synthesis (
Additionally, pumpkin flowers provide nearly 13% of your DV for vitamin A, which supports the formation and function of the heart, eyes, and lungs (
Pumpkin flower is low in calories but rich in many important nutrients, including fiber, copper, folic acid, and vitamin A.
Although there is still limited research on the effects of the pumpkin flower, it is a very nutritious ingredient. Therefore, pumpkin flowers may offer many health benefits.
Rich in antioxidants
Pumpkin flower is a great source of antioxidants, which are compounds that may neutralize harmful free radicals and reduce inflammation in your body (
In particular, pumpkin flower is rich in several types of antioxidants, including (1):
In addition to reducing oxidative damage to your cells, antioxidants may also help prevent chronic disease (
Furthermore, the many different types of antioxidants found in pumpkin flower may provide additional health benefits.
For example, the pumpkin flower contains a high amount of carotenoids, which may help boost brain function, support the health of your heart, and protect you from certain types of cancer and chronic diseases (
However, more studies are needed to evaluate how the antioxidants in pumpkin flower affect your health.
May promote healthy vision
Pumpkin flower provides a hearty dose of Vitamin A in every serving. Your body needs vitamin A to maintain optimal eye health.
Furthermore, a vitamin A deficiency can have a serious impact on the health of your eyes. Poor eye health is often characterized by problems such as night blindness and dry eyes (
Furthermore, some research suggests that increasing your intake of vitamin A — whether from supplements or nutrient-rich foods like pumpkin flower — may be associated with a lower risk of age-related macular degeneration, a condition that can lead to vision loss over time (
May support red blood cell production
Pumpkin flower contains many nutrients that are involved in the body’s production of red blood cells.
For example, your body needs copper to produce hemoglobin, a type of protein that transports oxygen through red blood cells (
It also contains iron, another major component of hemoglobin that your body needs to make healthy red blood cells (
Deficiency of any of the nutrients can lead to anemia characterized by symptoms such as weakness, pale skin, dizziness, and fatigue (
Incorporating more foods rich in these essential minerals – such as pumpkin flower – into your diet may be beneficial to prevent any nutritional deficiencies.
Pumpkin flower is rich in antioxidants and contains many nutrients that can help promote healthy vision and support red blood cell production.
Pumpkin flower is generally considered safe. Enjoy it as part of an overall healthy diet.
However, keep in mind that many pumpkin flower recipes are baked, fried, or stuffed with high-calorie ingredients like cheese.
While these dishes can certainly fit into a balanced diet, you may want to adjust your portion sizes if you’re trying to maintain a moderate weight or achieve a healthy calorie deficit.
Additionally, while the pumpkin flower can also be enjoyed raw, it is important to clean it thoroughly before consumption to remove any dirt or debris, especially if you picked it up from your own garden.
Most people prefer to carefully remove the spiny leaves from the flowers, along with the pistil and stamen, to improve the flavor of the flower.
Like other types of edible flowers, note that the pumpkin flower has a very short shelf life and begins to wilt within 24-48 hours after being picked.
Pumpkin flowers can be difficult to find because they are not readily available in most grocery stores. It can also be expensive.
Check your local farmers market or consider growing your own pumpkins at home if you want to add flowers to your diet.
Pumpkin flower is often fried, breaded, or stuffed with high-calorie fillings. They also have a short shelf life, can be hard to find, and must be cleaned well before consumption.
The raw pumpkin flower has a light, earthy taste. Chefs may use it to add color and flavor to salads.
They can also be fried and breaded to make pancakes, which are often enjoyed as an appetizer or snack.
Pumpkin flower is also used in quesadillas or cooked with other vegetables and seasonings for a stir-fry.
Many people fill the flowers with ricotta or mozzarella cheese before baking or frying them to make stuffed pumpkin flowers. You can try making this dish at home using the recipe below.
- 10-12 gourd flower
- 1 cup (260 grams) ricotta cheese
- 3 eggs
- 1/2 cup (60 grams) breadcrumbs
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Rinse each pumpkin flower and carefully remove the spiny leaves, pistils, and stamens.
- In a small bowl, mix together ricotta cheese, 1 egg, salt and pepper.
- Pour the breadcrumbs into another bowl. Add the remaining two eggs in a separate bowl and use a fork to beat well.
- Use a spoon to stuff each flower with the ricotta filling and twist the top to seal.
- Next, dip each flower into the egg mixture, followed by the breadcrumbs. Place it on a baking tray lined with parchment.
- Bake at 400 F (205 C) for 8-10 minutes, or until cheese is melted and florets turn light brown and crispy.
Pumpkin flower can be enjoyed raw or cooked. It is often added to salads and used to make pancakes, stir-fries, quesadillas, or stuffed pumpkin flower.
Pumpkin flower is a vibrant and aromatic ingredient that has a slightly sweet flavor. It works well in a variety of dishes.
It is rich in antioxidants and contains many other important vitamins and minerals, including copper, folic acid, and vitamin A.
Consider adding this delicious, edible flower to your next shopping list and give your favorite salads, soups, and fries an exciting upgrade!