The different types and varieties of pumpkins
We’re looking forward to autumn, aka pumpkin season! Pumpkins are super versatile and easy to cook. They have a naturally sweet flavour that's great in both savoury and sweet recipes. There are so many dishes where it shines, like pumpkin soup, pumpkin scones, vegetable lasagne, pumpkin cake and the old favourite roast pumpkin. The skin, flesh, seeds and flowers of pumpkins can all be eaten, which is great for reducing food waste.
They’re healthy to eat, boasting a number of health benefits. Full of essential vitamins and minerals such as vitamin C, E and B, they can be beneficial for everything from your skin to your eyesight. Pumpkins are also high in fibre, which is aids digestion and keeps you fuller for longer. With a relatively low calorie count, they’re a great health-conscious choice.
Most pumpkins are in season from autumn to winter, but they can be eaten all year because they store exceptionally well. If you know how to choose a good pumpkin and store it properly they can last for up to 12 months, so we’re getting ready to stock up!
With lots of varieties available on the Australian market it’s good to have a guide of the types of pumpkins and their differences. We’ve rounded up the most popular pumpkins on the Aussie market with tips for choosing the best pumpkin for your recipe.
Average weight: 2kg
Butternut pumpkin, or butternut squash, has smooth skin that’s light orangey-beige. Its flesh is a brighter orange, and it’s relatively sweet and dry. They are known for their elongated shape, with a longer ‘neck’ than other pumpkin varieties. Its long rounded shape makes it easier to cut. It’s great for roasting, and its skin is thin enough that it doesn’t need to be peeled.
Jap pumpkin or Kent pumpkin
Average weight: 4kg
These pumpkins have ribbed green-grey skin with stripes and speckles that vary from yellow to orange. The flesh is golden yellow, with a nutty, very sweet flavour. It’s great for quiches, salads and soups.
Queensland blue pumpkin
Average weight: 4-7kg
The Queensland blue is grey-blue in colour, with yellow-orange flesh. It looks very similar to a Jarrahdale pumpkin but with deeper ribs. It’s a drier variety of pumpkin, which makes it great for steaming, boiling and baked goods. It’s particularly good when mashed for scones and cakes. Its rich, full flavour stores very well.
Average weight: 6-8kg
The Jarrahdale is a larger pumpkin with blue-grey skin similar to the Queensland Blue but not as ribbed. Its golden orange flesh is sweet and good for soups and boiling. As it has moist flesh, it’s not well suited to use in baked goods.
Golden nugget pumpkin
These mini pumpkins rarely reach more than 15cm in diameter. They have vibrant orange skin and lighter orange flesh. Their bright colour combined with their cute, rounded shape, makes them popular for Halloween decorations. Their small size also makes them great for stuffing and roasting.
Now you know the most common varieties of pumpkin, find out how to choose a pumpkin and how to store it properly before cooking one of the delicious recipes below!