Pumpkin Blossom: Nutrients, Benefits, and Uses
Pumpkin blossom is a type of vibrant edible flower produced by pumpkin plants.
Pumpkin plants produce both male and female flowers, both of which are distinguished by their large, funnel-shaped blooms. These striking flowers take on a bright orange or yellow hue (1).
Although many people think of eating pumpkin fruit or seeds, pumpkin blossom can be a nutritious and tasty addition to a healthy diet.
This article will take a closer look at the nutrient profile of pumpkin flower, as well as the potential benefits and uses of this versatile ingredient.
Although low in calories and fat per serving, pumpkin blossom can help boost your intake of several important nutrients, including fiber, copper, folate, and vitamin A.
One cup (134 grams) of cooked pumpkin blossom contains the following nutrients (
- calories: 20
- Crabs: 4.5 grams
- Protein: 1.5 grams
- Big: 0.1 gram
- Fiber: 1.2 grams
- Copper: 15% Daily Value (DV)
- Folate: 14% of DV
- Vitamin A: 13% of DV
- Magnesium: 8% DV
- Vitamin C: 7% of DV
- The iron: 7% of DV
Pumpkin blossom is particularly rich in copper, an essential mineral your body needs for energy (
It also contains a good amount of folate per serving, which is a B vitamin that plays a key role in protein metabolism and DNA synthesis (
Additionally, pumpkin blossoms provide about 13% of your DV for vitamin A, which supports the formation and function of the heart, eyes, and lungs (
Pumpkin blossom is low in calories but high in several important nutrients, including fiber, copper, folate, and vitamin A.
Although little research remains on the effects of pumpkin flower, it is a very nutritious ingredient. Therefore, pumpkin flowers may provide several health benefits.
Rich in antioxidants
Pumpkin blossom is an excellent source of antioxidants, which are compounds that can neutralize harmful free radicals and reduce inflammation in your body (
In particular, pumpkin blossom 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 (
Additionally, many of the different types of antioxidants found in pumpkin blossom may have additional health benefits.
For example, pumpkin blossom contains a high amount of carotenoids, which may help improve your brain function, support your heart health, and provide protection against certain types of cancer and chronic diseases (
Still, more studies are needed to assess how the antioxidants found in pumpkin blossom may impact your health.
May promote healthy vision
Pumpkin blossom provides a healthy dose of vitamin A in every serving. Your body needs vitamin A to maintain optimal eye health.
In addition, a vitamin A deficiency can have serious repercussions on the health of your eyes. Poor eye health is often characterized by problems like night blindness and dry eyes (
Additionally, some research suggests that increasing your vitamin A intake — from supplements or nutrient-dense foods like pumpkin blossom — may be associated with a lower risk of age-related macular degeneration. a condition that can cause vision loss over time. (
May support red blood cell production
Pumpkin blossom contains several nutrients that are involved in the production of red blood cells by your body.
For example, your body needs copper to produce hemoglobin, a type of protein that carries oxygen through red blood cells (
It also contains iron, another key component of hemoglobin that your body needs to build healthy red blood cells (
Incorporating more foods rich in these essential minerals – like pumpkin blossom – into your diet can be beneficial in preventing any nutritional deficiencies.
Pumpkin blossom is high in antioxidants and contains several nutrients that may help promote healthy vision and support red blood cell production.
Pumpkin blossom is generally considered safe. Enjoy it as part of a healthy, balanced diet.
However, keep in mind that many pumpkin blossom recipes are breaded, fried, or stuffed with high-calorie ingredients like cheese.
While these dishes can certainly fit into a balanced diet, you may want to moderate your portion sizes if you’re trying to maintain a moderate weight or achieve a healthy calorie deficit.
Additionally, while pumpkin blossom can also be enjoyed raw, it’s important to clean it thoroughly before consuming it to remove any dirt or debris, especially if you’re picking it from your own garden.
Most people prefer to carefully remove the spiny leaves from the flowers, along with the pistil and stamen, to enhance 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 to 48 hours of picking.
Because they’re not readily available at most grocery stores, pumpkin blossoms can be hard to find. They can also be very expensive.
Check your local farmer’s market or consider growing your own pumpkins at home if you want to add the flowers to your diet.
Pumpkin blossom is often fried, breaded, or stuffed with high-calorie fillings. It also has a short shelf life, can be difficult to find, and must be cleaned thoroughly before consumption.
Raw pumpkin blossom has a subtle, slightly earthy taste. Chefs can use it to add a splash of color and flavor to salads.
It can also be breaded and fried to make fritters, which are often enjoyed as an appetizer or snack.
Pumpkin blossom is also used in quesadillas or cooked with other vegetables and spices to make a stir-fry.
Many people also fill the blossoms with ricotta or mozzarella before baking or frying them to make stuffed pumpkin blossoms. You can try making this dish at home using the recipe below.
- 10–12 pumpkin blossoms
- 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 prickly leaves, pistil and stamens.
- In a small bowl, mix the ricotta cheese with a beaten egg, salt and pepper.
- Pour the breadcrumbs into another bowl. Add the remaining two eggs to a separate bowl and use a fork to whisk well.
- Use a spoon to stuff each flower with the ricotta filling and twist the top to close.
- Next, dip each flower in the egg mixture, then in the breadcrumbs. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Bake in 400°F (205°C) oven for 8 to 10 minutes or until cheese is melted and flowers are light brown and crispy.
Pumpkin blossom can be eaten raw or cooked. It’s often added to salads and used to make donuts, stir-fries, quesadillas, or stuffed pumpkin blossoms.
Pumpkin blossom is a vibrant and fragrant ingredient that has a slightly sweet and earthy flavor. It works well in a variety of dishes.
It is rich in antioxidants and contains several other important vitamins and minerals, including copper, folate and vitamin A.
Consider adding this tasty edible flower to your next shopping list and give your favorite salads, soups and stir-fries an exciting update!