Sweet Potato & Pumpkin: What’s the Difference?

Both pumpkin and sweet potato are versatile vegetables used in a variety of dishes. They are a recommended part of our daily diets. If you’re wondering which one to choose, let’s answer the question, what’s the difference between pumpkins and sweet potatoes?

Sweet potatoes come from the convolvulacea family while pumpkin comes from the winter squash family. Both go well with almost any type of dish but pumpkins are better used in desserts. Sweet potatoes are soft and stringy while pumpkins are creamier.

This article will dive deep into all the comparisons possible between the two:

Sweet Potato vs. Pumpkin Taste and Texture

Both of these vegetables are healthy and contain many nutrients. Therefore, the taste and texture of each one may make a difference to you when choosing one for a meal. 

  • Sweet Potatoes have a soft stringy texture. When boiled or baked without seasoning, sweet potatoes have a sweet, starchy flavor. 
  • Pumpkins are usually smooth and creamy. They can be bitter. It is for this reason that most people add sugar or other spices when used for desserts.

Can You Substitute Sweet Potato for Pumpkin?

There may come a time when you are looking to make a dish requiring either pumpkin or sweet potato but you don’t have all the ingredients you need. This will make you wonder, can you can substitute pumpkin for sweet potato or sweet potatoes for pumpkin?

Pumpkin and sweet potato can be substituted for each other. The taste of the dish will change, but the texture will remain close. Pumpkin alone doesn’t have much flavor which is why cinnamon and nutmeg are used a lot with it, especially around Thanksgiving time. Substituting sweet potato will increase the nutrients and won’t minimize the flavor.

If you’re out of sweet potatoes and only have pumpkin, they both have similar cooking times and can be cooked the same way. If you’re looking to match the sweetness of the sweet potato, remove the slightly bitter pumpkin skin.

Pumpkins vs Sweet Potatoes: Storage

Both pumpkin and sweet potatoes have similar storage methods. Although larger pumpkins need more room, they can both be stored in the same places.

How to Store Pumpkins

  1. Cured pumpkins should be stored in a single layer and not piled on top of each other.
  2. Pumpkins shouldn’t be touching each other.
  3. Pumpkins should be kept in temperatures of 50-55 degrees Fahrenheit and away from heat.
  4. Discard any pumpkins showing signs of decay or rot.

How to Store Sweet Potatoes

  1. Don’t store sweet potatoes in the refrigerator.
  2. Store sweet potatoes in a cool, ventilated container.
  3. Basements or other places away from heat are ideal.

Pumpkin vs. Sweet Potato: Nutritional Values

The nutritional value speaks more about the vegetable than anything else. Knowing what you can expect to get out of your vegetables can help you better plan your meals.

Sweet potato contains more vitamin A, Vitamin B6, magnesium, potassium, copper, manganese and fiber than pumpkins. Pumpkins contain more vitamin C and iron.

Sweet potatoes contain many more calories and carbohydrates than pumpkin. This may be important for those looking to consume a low-carb diet like Keto.

Pumpkin vs. Sweet Potato: Which is Healthier?

Both pumpkins and sweet potatoes have health benefits. It is important to remember the nutritional values can seem misleading when you compare them with each other. Just because one has more sugar, fat or carbs than the other doesn’t make it bad for you.

This comparison leads us to the question, which is healthier, pumpkins or sweet potatoes?

Sweet potatoes are healthier than pumpkins because they contain more magnesium, potassium, fiber, copper and vitamins A and B6. Sweet potatoes provide antioxidants like beta-carotene which helps support the immune system.

While pumpkin may seem like the healthier option because it has fewer calories and carbs, it is vital to remember it has fewer vitamins than a sweet potato.

Although pumpkin is a healthy option also and provides a large amount of vitamin C and other minerals. For these reasons, it is recommended having a healthy portion of both sweet potato and pumpkin in your diet every week.