Eating Pumpkin Raw: Is That Possible?

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The first colorful leaves to fall from the trees herald the start of pumpkin season. The pumpkins do not have to be prepared elaborately in order to eat them. You can even eat some pumpkins raw. However, you have to keep a few things in mind. Here we explain which pumpkin you can eat raw and what you should pay attention to!

Eating pumpkin raw: dangers

There is one important rule to keep in mind. You can eat pumpkins raw without hesitation and they are therefore ideal for raw food dishes. However, you should keep your hands off ornamental pumpkins! They are poisonous both raw and cooked. The reason for this is the bitter substance cucurbitacin, which can be toxic even in small amounts. After consumption, you feel nausea and heart palpitations can occur. Before you can eat your pumpkin raw, you should play it safe and get more information!

Tip: If you feel signs of poisoning, you should call the poison control center immediately. Find out what the number is in your region, as it depends on the state.

Which pumpkin to enjoy raw?

A pumpkin that you find in the supermarket can often be eaten raw. According to the Federal Center for Nutrition, the poisonous cucurbitacin was bred out of most pumpkins. Mushroom squash, butternut squash, and Hokkaido squash are particularly suitable as raw vegetables. You can even eat the raw skin of the Hokkaido pumpkin.

Eat your own harvest raw?

No matter how proud you are of your home-grown pumpkin, you should urgently refrain from eating your harvest raw. Even if you use squash seeds, a reverse mutation can occur, where cucurbitacin is produced again. Even with tested organic seeds, there is a risk that the pumpkin will cross paths with an ornamental pumpkin. This does not necessarily have to be in your garden. It can also be a decorative pumpkin from your neighbor’s garden. Therefore, you should be more careful and only eat raw pumpkins from the supermarket.

Tip: Having trouble peeling your pumpkin? Here we show you how to peel Hokkaido and here we show you how to peel your butternut squash.

Do a taste test!

You can easily test whether a pumpkin contains toxins or whether you can eat it:

  • First, a small piece of the pumpkin will be cut out.
  • Try the piece raw and unseasoned.
  • Spit out the pumpkin completely after the taste test!
  • If the pumpkin tastes bitter, it may contain harmful bitter substances and should not be eaten raw or cooked!

Tip: You should never eat pumpkins from friends or neighbors raw, as you never know which pumpkins they are and how they were grown.

Don’t be afraid to eat!

A pumpkin that can be eaten raw can be used in many ways. You shouldn’t have any concerns about eating either if you’ve informed yourself well enough. The pumpkin is suitable for raw salads, pasta dishes, cold soups, and even smoothies. Especially for convinced raw food lovers, the pumpkin is hard to imagine. It is very healthy as it is packed with vitamin A and vitamin C. The pulp has a lot of minerals. In addition, the pumpkin is very low in calories with 25 kilocalories per 100 grams, which makes the orange vegetable a slimming product.

Don’t neglect the kernels!

Not only the pulp should get your attention, but also the seeds, as they contain a lot of zinc, which is good for the brain, skin, and immune system. Furthermore, you can easily get the seeds out of the pumpkin and process them further. For example, you can roast your pumpkin seeds in a pan and spice up salads and soups.

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