Monday, October 20, 2014

Simple Fall Science - Comparing Pumpkins


Pumpkins come in all sorts of sizes, and varieties.  We bought a couple of pie pumpkins, and one larger "carving" pumpkin.

The girls cut them open...


...and discovered the pumpkins were different inside and out.  Not only were the seeds of the large pumpkin larger (not surprisingly)...


...but they were more densely packed in the smaller pumpkin.  The large pumpkin had a good deal of empty space in the middle - the smaller pumpkin did not.


The larger pumpkin contained a large amount of stringy, fibrous strands surrounding the seeds.  The fibrous strands (or guts, as we like to call them) of the smaller pumpkin were more gooey than stringy.


The pie pumpkin contained a thin layer of smooth flesh.  The larger pumpkin had a thicker layer of stringy flesh (it was almost like a spaghetti squash).


We roasted the both pumpkins, and pureed them.  Or at least, that was my plan, so we could compare the taste of each...


...as well as the water content, weighing a cup of each puree.  Unfortunately, we didn't have a particularly good pie pumpkin, and once roasted, it only produced a small amount of very bad tasting puree.  The carving pumpkin roasted up nicely, and the puree was delicious, if a little more watery than the canned variety.  For all the hype of the superiority of canned pumpkin, and importance of using sugar, or pie pumpkins over the carving variety, our puree baked up quite nicely...


...in a batch of our favorite pumpkin chocolate chip muffins (click here for the recipe).  I didn't take any pictures of the muffins, but that's just as well, as I would never be able to them justice.  You will simply have to take my word for it - it's a fantastic recipe - really, one of our fall favorites.  As for the seeds...


...we fulfilled another item from our fall leaf list, and roasted them (with cinnamon, of course) and then combined them, large and small together, with cranberries and butterscotch chips for a delicious fall snack.

8 comments:

Angelic Scalliwags said...

I love how you slip what is essentially academic work seamlessly and effortlessly into your unschooling day. It all seems so relaxed and yet such a lot of learning happens!

Karin Huber said...

Very interesting! I haven´t heard about eating the white seeds yet. We have to try it!
I love Cinnamon and I use it as Spice "Garam Masala" in salty dishes.

Ticia said...

I've had very mixed results with pureeing pumpkin I baked, now you've got me wondering if I just picked up a bad one.

Amber Hockman said...

I just adore how natural learning is in your household!

maryanne @ mama smiles said...

How fascinating that the carving pumpkin tasted better! I have, like Ticia, had very mixed results with pureeing pumpkin I baked.

Natalie PlanetSmartyPants said...

That sounds delicious. I've tried roasting pumpkins last year, and it was relatively tasty, but a lot of work with all the gutting and cleaning!

Joelle said...

What a great way to teach and learn about sciences! Thank you for sharing! I will be sharing this too!

GmaLibby said...

Wonderful site! I, too, have a large pumpkin that was filled with flesh more like spaghetti squash. I Googled it and found little except your article and photo! I wonder if it was cross pollinated or is it a variety of its own? Friend who gave the pumpkin to me can't remember where she got it. It was really difficult to cut as it was so hard. I baked slices like butternut squash. Also baked loose flesh in a pie plat. Looked like spaghetti. Tasted great!