What Is The Difference Between A Pumpkin And Squash?

difference between pumpkin and squash

Although the differences between a pumpkin and squash is not obvious, there are several differences between them if you look closely. 

Pumpkins and squash both come from the genus Cucurbita, from the family Cucurbitaceae. They both are fruits. And both squash and pumpkin seeds grow on a vine. Certainly, the best way to know their differences is to compare them. 

Keep reading to learn more.

What Is A Pumpkin?

Pumpkin is an orange or yellow fruit that is very popular. The first main difference you will likely notice is that the stem of a pumpkin plant is more rigid and sharper than a squash. 

Pumpkin seeds can be eaten as they are an excellent source of fatty acids, and they serve as energy for muscle contraction and body metabolism.

What Is Squash?

Squash has many varieties, including:

  • Butternut squash
  • Pattypan squash
  • Buttercup squash
  • Muscat squash
  • Turban squash
  • and many more! 

It is important to know that in general, squash from different countries differs from one another. For instance, the squash you get in Malaysia might not be the same with the squash you get in Mexico. 

Squash comes in different sizes, shapes, and colours. In fact, pumpkins are a part of the squash family.

Three Differences Between Squash and Pumpkins

1. Shape

Even though both look great, the pumpkin is thicker and more robust due to its round shape. 

The main difference between both of them is the stem. The stem is more likely to snap and break on a squash, plus it is usually too short to work with. On the other hand, the stem of the pumpkin is hard and firm, making it easier to grip.

difference between pumpkin and squash

2. Nutrition Value

Let’s begin by getting to know the nutrition value of a cup of cooked squash vs. pumpkin:

Squash Pumpkin
82 calories 49 calories
8 grams of protein 76 grams of protein
18 grams of fat 17 grams of fat
50 grams of carbohydrates 01 grams of carbohydrates

Even though both are high-nutrient food, you can already see some differences between the two. Keep in mind that the nutritional information above comes from unprocessed, cooked Cucurbita. 

You can usually see recipes where you can substitute squash or pumpkin when one or the other isn’t available. But if you are on a diet, it is an excellent idea to double-check the nutritional information before you change your fruit.

3. Different Textures

Since they are different varieties of squash and pumpkins, there is a difference between the textures. For instance, the pumpkins available in the United States are different from others around the world. 

It is essential to use the right fruit for the recipe. Pumpkins are often better for crafts and decoration, and for extracting their juice as they have a gently spiced flavor. Squash is usually used for roasting, boiling, and cooking.

Whole squash

Are Pumpkin Seeds and Squash Seeds Different?

Pumpkin seeds are well-known for their nutritional value and fantastic flavor, but so are squash seeds. Just like pumpkin seeds, squash seeds are edible and have nutritional value.

Don’t throw away squash seeds as they have a delightful nutty flavor. Both seeds can be roasted and salted, or you can spice them. Both squash and pumpkin seeds are an enjoyable nutritional snack. 

Note that even though the squash and pumpkin seeds shell can be eaten, you may prefer to boil or roast them and discard the shell. The kernels are commonly used in soups, salads, and desserts. 

The roasted seeds can be stored for long periods. They can be kept at room temperature for up to three months. If you refrigerate or freeze them, they can last up to a year.

The Bottom Line

Pumpkin seeds can be grown in many parts of the world, such as Malaysia, as they love heat while specific weather conditions are required for squash seeds. 

Both are fruits and delicious; pumpkins are very popular for crafts and pies, while the squash is frequently used in stews, curry dishes, and creamy soups. For more information, feel free to get in touch with us. 

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