Pumpkins are much more than a seasonal decoration.
Credit: Photo: Kelly Sillaste / Getty

While most of us probably associate pumpkins with jack-o'-lanterns and Halloween night, this fruit (which is sometimes mistakenly referred to as a vegetable) goes way beyond the scope of spooky décor. Full of flavor, health benefits, and culinary uses, pumpkin is easy to adore. Below, we've listed three of the many reasons we love this versatile winter squash. 

Full of Fiber (and Vitamins!)

The vibrant color of pumpkins (both inside and out) hints at their vitamin-rich nature. Just one cup of cooked pumpkin packs over double of your daily Vitamin A needs, plus a hefty boost of Potassium and Vitamin C. At just under 50 calories per one cup serving, pumpkin gives you several grams of fiber, which keeps you fuller longer. As it turns out, pumpkin might just be the best superfood that you've never previously considered. 

Waste Not, Want Not

It's not hard to use up a whole pumpkin when they're in season. The flesh is perfect for puréeing into desserts, chopping up for curries and stews, or mixing into baked goods. The seeds, which can be scooped out, seasoned, and toasted, make a delicious snack while the main dish cooks. While the tough outer skin cannot be eaten, it can easily be composted to contribute towards your fall garden

Endless Options

A diverse gourd, pumpkin is easy to incorporate into sweet and savory breakfasts, lunches, and dinners. Start the day with Pumpkin Pancakes for One, make Roasted Kabocha and Kale Salad for lunch, give yourself a caffeine boost by sipping on a Healthy Pumpkin Spice Latte, and end with Whole Stuffed Roasted Pumpkin for dinner and Pumpkin Pie for dessert. While that menu may be overkill for anyone who isn't a devoted pumpkin lover, you can easily find healthy recipes to incorporate into your everyday meals with our collection of Best Pumpkin Recipes