Mesilla Valley Maze

Amaris Jauregui, 2, explores and delivers pumpkins at the Mesilla Valley Maze in Las Cruces, NM

FRUIT OR VEGGIE?

It has seeds, so botanically it’s a fruit.

But it’s considered a vegetable in the culinary world.

FAMILY ROOTS

Members of the gourd family; annual vine with vast root system

Believed to have originated in Central America by Native American Indians

RELATIVES

A type of squash from the gourd family, which includes melons, cantaloupe, watermelon, zucchinis and cucumbers

ANATOMY

Stem is green while growing and browns and curves when ripe

Tendrils twist around fences or other plants to anchor pumpkin

Leaves grow on vine and absorb sun energy

Skin, or rind, is protective layer and not edible

Pulp is the “meat” used in cooking 

Brains are the mushy strings and seeds; strings should be discarded

Seeds can be planted to grow pumpkins (or family members); or used to feed birds

NUTRITION

Low in calories, fat, and sodium and high in fiber

Good sources of vitamins A & B, potassium, protein and iron

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