Creative Ways to Repurpose Your Halloween Pumpkin

Want a mouth-watering treat? No need to head to the grocery store when you already have a nutritious pumpkin on hand. There are ways to squeeze out every cent you spent on your pumpkin without wasting any part of it.

You probably never thought about recycling your pumpkin guts after the carving fun is over. That’s right, you can actually use the pumpkin guts to make homemade pumpkin puree.

Here’s a simple tip from Lindsay Mattison, Wide Open Eats, on how to make pumpkin puree:

  1. Separate the seeds from the guts after removing them from the pumpkin.
  2. Blend the guts in a food processor until smooth.
  3. Substitute the same portion of pumpkin guts and use as purée in your favorite pumpkin recipe.

Who knew that you could use pumpkin puree in so many different ways? Check out these suggestions from Sommer Collier, The Pioneer Woman:

Pumpkin Smoothies or Milkshakes

A spoonful (or two) of pumpkin puree will turn your morning protein shake into something spectacular.

Pumpkin Snack Dip

Mix cream cheese, pumpkin puree, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Then use as a dip for graham crackers and apple slices. This also makes a great spread for bagels and toast.

Pumpkin Oatmeal

Add a little pumpkin puree to your morning oatmeal to make it extra thick and tasty.

Pumpkin Chili

Substitute canned tomatoes for pumpkin puree. You’ll be amazed at how rich and earthy your chili will taste.

Pumpkin Soup

Simmer the pumpkin puree with onions, garlic, cumin, cayenne pepper, and a little wine or vinegar. Then puree!

If you prefer to try a simple recipe  that offers flavor of the actual pumpkin (taste is similar to butternut squash), Jessica Ransom with GoodtoKnow recommends roasted pumpkin:

  1. Roast the pumpkin before peeling as the skin comes off easier after roasting it.
  2. Drizzle the pumpkin slices with olive oil. Scatter over some sage leaves, salt and pepper and roast at 200C/Gas 6 until cooked.
  3. The cooking time will depend on how small the cut pieces are, but it will usually take 25-45 mins.
  4. Smoked paprika, sumac or thyme work as great flavors to go with the pumpkin (you could also substitute sprinkling any of these instead of sage).
  5. Once cooked, roasted pumpkin also mashes well and can also be used as an alternative to mashed potatoes.

 If you don’t have time to experience a recipe, just chop, bag and freeze the pumpkin (and guts ) for a later time.

There are other creative ways to use your leftover pumpkin.  Here are few ideas from Jeff & Amy Davis, Ready Store Preparedness Blog:

  • Floating candle

    Remove the pumpkin’s stem. Place a tea candle on top of a small pumpkin and trace its outline. Carefully cut out the tracing to a depth that will fit the depth of the candle. You can then place the candle snuggly in the pumpkin and then float it in a bowl of water as a fun Thanksgiving decoration.

  • Air freshener

    Bring a festive smell to your home by rubbing your favorite spice on the inside of the jack-o-lantern and light it with a tea candle. You might have to turn the pumpkin so the Halloween face isn’t obvious, but the scent will still be great.

  • Flower Pot

    Use a medium-sized narrow pumpkin and cut a hole in the top that is the width of a mason jar. Carefully remove all the innards of the pumpkin. Place your flowers inside of a mason jar of water. Lower the jar into the pumpkin along with the flowers and you’re done!

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Theresa Grant

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