Most Americans think of pumpkin as a Halloween or Thanksgiving food, or maybe a fall spice now that “pumpkin spice” coffee has become a sign of autumn. It doesn’t have to be just baked into a sweet marshmallow-topped casserole or whipped into a frothy coffee drink, however. It’s a delicious and healthy vegetable that should (and can be) enjoyed year round.
Pumpkin is a type of squash, which are a staple year-round in most of the blue zones regions. The easiest and most affordable way to enjoy pumpkin year-round is to buy canned pumpkin puree at the grocery store. Different from pumpkin pie filling, the canned pumpkin that you find in groceries (Libby’s 100% pure organic pumpkin) is usually a blend of different squashes similar to butternut squash. (The round and orange pumpkins we carve into jack-o-lanterns are bred for beauty and are not good for cooking.)