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The Nutritious Pawpaw

Pawpaw fruit.
Juanita Mulder [CC0 1.0] via Pixabay
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Pawpaw fruit.

Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. Pawpaws and bananas both are soft fruits that lend themselves to being smushed up for smoothies, custards, and ice cream, and both are relatively high in carbohydrates. Pawpaws, however, come out ahead in overall nutrition, with large amounts of vitamin C, riboflavin, niacin and potassium. The lists goes on and even the fats in pawpawas are the ones considered good guys. 

This was fortunate for members of DeSoto’s expedition across the southern united states as one member said he ate sixty in one day. As Lewis and Clark made their return trip to St. Louis via the Missouri River, records show they didn’t stop to hunt but did make landfall to collect pawpaws, which flourish on the sunny edges of those waterways. With all the rich, nutritious pawpaws they could eat, they arrived home in good health, despite their other rations being one biscuit per day.

Amanda McNulty is a Clemson University Extension Horticulture agent and the host of South Carolina ETV’s Making It Grow! gardening program. She studied horticulture at Clemson University as a non-traditional student. “I’m so fortunate that my early attempts at getting a degree got side tracked as I’m a lot better at getting dirty in the garden than practicing diplomacy!” McNulty also studied at South Carolina State University and earned a graduate degree in teaching there.