Every year, the United States grows over a billion pounds of pumpkins. And come November, after the Halloween hubbub has ended, Slow Foods estimates that two-thirds of those will simply be thrown away. And though we enjoy pumpkin-flavored everything, why don’t we indulge that often in the fruit itself?
For runners, pumpkins can be especially beneficial. Just one cup of cooked pumpkin provides more than the daily recommended intake of vitamin A, 20 percent of your daily vitamin C, and has more potassium than a banana. It’s also full of fiber. That translates to better immune and gut health, electrolyte balance, and added protection for your skin and vision.
Adding more pumpkin to your diet takes a little more than just cooking your jack-o’-lantern, which doesn’t have the best flavor. But there are many other varieties of pumpkin that have been bred for their decadent flavor.
Jeff and Lori Fiorvich, owners of Crystal Bay Farm, have been farming pumpkins for more than 20 years. “When I first started growing, we just had a pumpkin patch. We were growing mostly orange pumpkins and some squash,” says Jeff. Like most people, he had no idea what kind of variety existed among winter squash. Now they are pumpkin pros.