What Else Can You Do With Pumpkins?

Don't let the great pumpkin go to waste

5 fun “green” ideas for pumpkin use that go beyond the jack-o’-lantern.

  1. After you’ve scooped out the innards of your jack-o’-lantern, save the seeds! Wash and dry them, toss them in olive oil and sprinkle with your favorite spices. Even a dash of sea salt and pepper tastes great.

    Some people like sweeter seeds accented with cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger. Others enjoy the savory taste of cumin, coriander, and rosemary. And of course, some people love them hot—spiked with chili powder or cayenne!

    Eat by the handful, toss over salads, or use them to enhance recipes. Here's a simple roasted pumpkin seed recipe.
  2. Once Halloween is over, if your jack-o’-lantern is not moldy, cut it into fourths and put it in your yard—just not too close to the house! Your wildlife friends will thank you. 
  3. If you’ve used the smaller sugar or pie pumpkins to accent your fall decorations and they’re still in good shape—not moldy or damaged in any way—put them to good use in your kitchen. You can make great purees from their flesh that can be used in many recipes from pies to breads to soup.

    A favorite recipe is this Roasted Squash with Leek and Barley Pilaf.
  4. Freeze extra puree in an ice cube tray. Save the pumpkin cubes in a freezer bag or container, and use them in recipes throughout the year. Pumpkins are packed with good nutrition!
  5. Compost your jack-o’-lantern. But first remove any wax or other substances that won’t compost. And be sure not to compost the seeds, unless you want to create a pumpkin patch next summer! 


Skip the Canned Pumpkin

Fresh pumpkin puree can be frozen for up to a year. Store it in one-cup portions in freezer containers or bags. Be sure to label with the date. Use in recipes just as you would canned pumpkin.

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