Pumpkins are a part of Halloween traditions in many households. Central to holiday décor, they may be left whole or painted, while others are carved into jack-o-lanterns.
Yet, once Halloween passes, and the excitement dwindles, many of these pumpkins go to waste. We’re highlighting several ways to get the most use out of your Halloween pumpkins after October 31st.
For one, you can eat your pumpkin – if it has been left whole. Every part of your pumpkin is edible, delicious, and nutritious (minus the stem). There are many simple recipes that require pumpkin as the only ingredient – which saves a lot of time, effort, and money!
- Eat the seeds. Rinse your pumpkin seeds under water and spread them on a baking sheet. Drizzle them with olive oil, a pinch of your favorite seasoning, then roast them in the oven (300 degrees F for 30 min).
- Make pumpkin skin chips. Peel the pumpkin skin and tear it into chip-size pieces. Sprinkle with paprika, sea salt, and chili powder. Bake them in the oven on a baking sheet at 400 degrees F for 25-30 minutes.
- Make pumpkin puree. Cut your pumpkin in half, scoop out the guts and seeds. Place the two halves face down on a baking sheet. Add a cup of water to the sheet and bake for 90 minutes. Scoop out the inside of the cooked pumpkin and puree it in a food processor or blender. Store in a plastic container or zip lock bag and freeze until you’re ready to use.
How can you use pumpkin puree?
- Pumpkin pie. Thanksgiving is coming up soon! If you love pumpkin pie, skip buying the canned pumpkin puree at the store and use yours.
- Pumpkin soup. Combine four cups of your puree with six cups of chicken stock, salt, pepper, onion, garlic, parsley and 1% milk (optional) to turn it into a delicious soup.
- Pumpkin pizza. Replace the tomato sauce on your pizza pie with some of your pumpkin puree.
- More recipes: http://dish.allrecipes.com/healthy-pumpkin-recipes/
You could turn your pumpkin into household decor. Once the insides have been scooped out, pumpkins can be used as:
- Serving bowls
- Birdfeeders (directions here)
Lastly, if your pumpkin had already been turned into a jack-o-lantern, you could compost it. Cut your pumpkin into small pieces and toss it in the compost pile, then mix it into your soil next spring.