Eating pumpkins, though from the same species as the type that are carved, are typically much smaller and are bred for their sweetness rather than size. One serving of pumpkin, or 1 cup, is 50 calories and has zero fat. Pumpkin is high in vitamin A, fiber and potassium.
Pumpkins can be prepared by being cut in half, having its seeds removed and being roasted on a baking sheet in a 400-degree oven. This cooked pumpkin can then be pureed and added to baked goods for both flavor and nutrition.
Pumpkin is widely used around the world in many cuisines, where it is prepared to be sweet or savory. The seeds of all types of pumpkin are also edible and can be tossed with olive oil and roasted in a 300-degree oven until crisp, or about 45 minutes.
There is no specific botanical distinction for pumpkins, but instead the term "pumpkin" is a common name. From the cucurbita genus, pumpkins are most closely related to summer and winter squash varieties. For this reason, many varieties of pumpkin puree sold are not commonly thought of pumpkins, but instead they are pureed squash. The USDA does not make a distinction between pumpkins and squash because they are so closely related and nearly identical from a nutritional standpoint.