How to Reuse a Pumpkin After Halloween

November 2, 2020

Yen Pham, Eco Rep

A fun Halloween activity of pumpkin carving also ends in a less delightful result: an abundance of pumpkin guts left to waste. Luckily, there are many great uses out of pumpkin leftovers that people often toss in the trash after Halloween. These ideas also make for some fun activities to follow your pumpkin carving time!

Toast the pumpkin seeds

Toast the pumpkin seeds

Wondering what to do with pumpkin seeds after taking out the guts? When toasted and seasoned, pumpkin seeds can make a tasty fall snack! You can eat them by themselves, with trail mix, or get creative and use as a crunchy topping for other foods.

  1. Rinse and scrape your seeds of attached fibers.
  2. Cook seeds in a medium saucepan of boiling salted water until they begin to look translucent (5-7 minutes).
  3. Drain and transfer to a baking sheet, patting well to dry.
  4. Season the seeds with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, salt and pepper, and add on one of the flavorful combinations if you wish to spice it up. However, the seeds will be just as delicious with simple salt and pepper!
    1. 1/2 tsp turmeric and chile powder
    2. 1 tbsp sugar and 1/4 tsp cinnamon
    3. 1/2 tsp Aleppo pepper and 1/2 tsp ground cumin

Make overnight pumpkin butter

Make overnight pumpkin butter

Pumpkin butter is delicious with so many simple foods, and also makes for a great gift idea if you are looking to gift a homemade item! The recipe does require the guts from two pie pumpkins (small pumpkins) and a crock pot.

  1. Remove outer rind and cut the pumpkin into small cubes
  2. In a crock pot, combine the following:
    1. Pumpkin cubes
    2. 2 cups of brown sugar
    3. 1/4 cup apple juice
    4. 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
    5. 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
    6. 1 teaspoon ground ginger
    7. 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
    8. 1/4 teaspoon cloves
  3. Give crock pot a stir
  4. Set to cook on low for 8 hours
  5. Once the pumpkin pieces are soft and the mixture is done, use a blender or food processor to puree the mixture

The pumpkin butter will keep refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks. Serve on toast or pancakes (recommended), swirl in with oatmeal or yogurt, serve on banana bread, or add onto crepes. The options are really endless!

Try out a new fall recipe

Try out a new fall recipe

Pumpkin is versatile and can be used to create many delicious meals. Here are several ideas to help you start. These might even lead you to your new fall favorite.

  1. Pumpkin Ravioli
  2. Pumpkin Bread
  3. Pumpkin Soup

Have a spa night

Raw pumpkin has some amazing enzymes that can rejuvenate the skin and is also packed with lots of antioxidants, Vitamin A, and Vitamin C. You can use any leftover pumpkin guts to create a body scrub or pumpkin face mask for spa night.

For the pumpkin-salt/sugar body scrub, use the pumpkin guts to make pumpkin puree. Then using 1/2 cup pumpkin puree, mix in 1 cup sugar or salt, 1 teaspoon honey, and 1 tablespoon sweet almond oil. This body scrub is perfect if you happen to have some leftover pumpkin puree!

Try out a new fall recipe

For the pumpkin face mask, using the pumpkin guts with seeds removed, add in honey or olive oil and blend until you have a paste-like consistency. Then you can go ahead and apply it to your face.

These items go to show how much use you can make out of any food scraps you have lying around your home. In general, any leftover veggies can make for great vegetable broth or for you to regrow in your garden! It’s amazing what you can create when you think outside the box and adopt a lifestyle after the 5 R’s “refuse, reduce, reuse, recycle, and rot.” Now you know how to make the most out of your pumpkin after you finish carving!

 

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