What did you do with those jack-o-lanterns you have carved during Halloween? With all the money, hard work and love you have exerted, it will be a waste to just throw those things out.
However, you don’t have to throw your effort with the pumpkin you have used next time because it’s a very versatile food. Aside from being tasty, a lot of things could be made out of this. But, you must remember that this list is applicable for uncarved pumpkins because once a pumpkin is already carved, the flesh must not sit for more than 24 hours for it to be safe to eat.
So do not worry anymore because we have these several tips for using your pumpkin. What are you waiting for? Check. This list out!
1. Create a Pumpkin Pot
This pumpkin planter is good not only for uncarved pumpkins but also for the carved ones. You can go to your favorite local nursery and pick some annuals, then use the pumpkin as a planter. After being used as a festive decoration, your pumpkin can still be usable by planting it in your backyard. It will compost naturally and will even provide fertilizer for plants. For uncarved pumpkins, simply remove the seeds, flesh and guts by cutting the top of the pumpkin. You can save these things for later use. However, skip this step if your pumpkin is already carved. Then put potting soil in the pumpkin until about one-third of it. It could be hard to do this if you have carved pumpkin because of some holes. Place the plant in the pumpkin, then fill it with more potting soil.
You can plant this whole thing by digging a small hole or leave it first as a decoration for few days.
2. Make a Pumpkin Stock Out of its Guts
The stringy pieces around the seeds, which are called the guts, are usually the most difficult one to use. To make it useful, you can use the guts for making stocks. First, remove the seeds from the guts to use those in making tasty snacks. In a pot with water, put these guts and bring them to boil. To add more flavors, you can put other unwanted pieces of vegetables like carrot tops or celery tips. Boil this for 30 minutes or until the color of the water changes. Strain the stock and reserve your broth. Set aside the unwanted vegetable pieces, including the guts, to be composted. Pumpkin stock is good for adding flavor to your dishes like soups. You can also store the extra stock in the fridge to use next time.
3. Whip up some pumpkin puree
You should never leave this puree out of our list because of its convenience and taste. You can make this with little effort by cutting the pumpkin in the middle. Remove the guts and seeds of the pumpkin to be used later. Put the pumpkin down with the cut-side facing the baking dish with one cup of water. Bake this for 90 minutes or until flesh is already tender. Then, scoop the flesh and put it in a food processor to be a puree.
The pumpkin puree you have made could be used for other pumpkin recipes from pancakes to pies or even soups. The good thing about this is, it’s not just effortless but also storable for several months. You can skip all those canned pumpkins with this homemade pumpkin puree, which you can easily make.
4. Create a classic pumpkin seed dish
After separating the seeds from the guts, rinse those seeds thoroughly. Put the seeds in a single layer on a baking sheet with oil. Then, stir the seeds around to be coated with oil. With your roasted pumpkin seeds, which are an all-time favorite, you can use them for other tasty snacks. You can just add salt if you opt for a classic one or add some sugar and cinnamon if you want something sweeter. If you want to make crunchy candied apples, make them crunchy with roasted pumpkin seeds. You can also use these in brownies or any other baked treats. If you’re in a sugar crash after the holidays, then just use these roasted seeds as a garnish in your salads.
5. Pumpkin face mask
Pumpkins have a lot of vitamins and minerals such as vitamins A, E, C and zinc, which makes it healthy to eat and even apply on our skin, thus making it good for a DIY mask for our face. With five tablespoons of pumpkin puree, a splash of milk and three tablespoons of brown sugar, you can already make your own face mask. Mix those ingredients together and put it on your face in a circular motion but avoid putting the mixture on the eye area. Let it sit for 20 minutes and relax. Just feel the pumpkin goodness be absorbed in your skin. There’s no need to worry because this pumpkin goodness is not just delicious to taste but also to smell.
6. Pumpkin snacks for the wildlife
Instead of throwing away the unconsumed pumpkin, this could be a delectable snack for your feathery or furry neighbor. Pumpkin lanterns can be tasty food for deer; its seed that you were planning to throw away may be a perfect food for birds. Slice into fourths the good ol’ Jack and place it on the front of your yard a little farther away from your house; later on, you will notice Bambi loo-a-likes enjoying their palpable pumpkin as their snacks. On the other hand, place the unconsumed pumpkin seeds in the container of your likes or in the bird feeder. After quite some time, enjoy bird watching while chilling with your morning tea or coffee.
7. Mix up pumpkin cocktail
Do you know that you can produce your own tasty cocktail out of your Halloween pumpkin? Thanks to the different variety of vodkas in the store. For a perfect pumpkin cocktail, fill your shaker with the desired amount of ice, add one tablespoon of puree of pumpkin, and add two ounces of vodka with a flavor of your choice. We recommend to use ginger, cinnamon or vanilla. Add a tiny amount of honey and lime juice; strain and shake into the glass with fresh ice. For kids, you can use pumpkin puree to make a delectable milkshake. Mix cup of milk, three tablespoon of puree of pumpkin, a little amount of cinnamon and some scoops of ice cream in your blender. I’m sure the kids will definitely enjoy this pumpkin milkshake.
8. Spice up a dinner party with pumpkin serving bowls
Instead of throwing away those pumpkin shells, impress your guest by turning these shells into pumpkin bowls. With just an ounce of creativity, you can turn your pumpkin shells into unique serving bowls. Place your pumpkin on your baking sheet along with the aluminum foil. Brush the pumpkin all over with a few amounts of vegetable oil, and season with your likes. Bake these for half an hour or 35 minutes at 350 degrees, and you’re finally done! You can now use these bowls to serve your desired dips or soups.
9. Make a Post-Halloween Treat
If you have some extra time and would like to have some therapeutic stuff to do during Halloween, you can make candy out of pumpkin for the trick-or-treaters instead of buying it for yourself. Pumpkin Candy is a well-known tradition in Mexico, but if you’ve tasted the candy itself, you’ll likely never get enough of these candies.
First, we will need a pumpkin as the main ingredient; start by cutting it in half. After removing the seeds and guts, slice the pumpkin carefully into small chunks and using a sharp peeler of vegetables, deliberately remove its skin. Cut the pumpkin into bit-sized once you have removed all of the skin and place the bit-sized pumpkin into a saucepan, add enough of water, boil and cover the saucepan.
When you noticed that the pumpkin had already softened, you can now add the desired amount of brown sugar or spices. We recommend little cloves, nutmeg, and cinnamon. Cover the pot with its lid and resume boiling, waiting until the sugar turns into syrup. In order to enhance the taste of the candy, let it soaked in the sweet syrup overnight, later on place the candies on a tray and let it dry. Sprinkle additional spices of your choice or sugar if desired.
10. Have organic pumpkin butter for breakfast
If you are looking for a perfect addition to your fall breakfast, fruit butters are there to the rescue! Luckily pumpkin butter is one of the simplest to make. Put two cups of pumpkin puree in your saucepan; add one cup of sugar, preferably brown, one cup of apple cider or water. Afterward, add variety of spices that you like. We recommend common spices for pumpkin pie such as ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, and cloves with a salt sprinkle. Mix all the ingredients together and stir. Boil these ingredients, lower the heat after a few minutes, and simmer and wait for about 25 minutes. Once the mixture has cooled, you can now put it in a mason jar inside the refrigerator. Now, your pumpkin butter is now ready to be used on your biscuits or toast. This also makes a perfect topping for oatmeal and pancakes, too.