Pumpkins … After Halloween

As Halloween draws closer, you may be wondering what to do with your pumpkins? If you have already carved your pumpkin, here are some options:

  1. Bury it in your garden – it will decay quickly and enrich the soil
  2. Wash, dry and save the seeds to plant next year (they will grow!)
  3. Wash and roast the seeds – they make good eating.
  4. Dump it in the trash, if you haven’t got a garden

What not to do with your pumpkin?

  1. Keep it. It will rot and stain your floor, as well as smell.
  2. Attempt to eat it or cook with it, once a pumpkin has sat out for more than 24 hours, it could be unsafe to eat. 

But, if you haven’t carved your pumpkin yet, you can still save it!  

Pumpkin Puree

Start by cutting your pumpkin down the middle. Scoop out the seeds and guts, and set them aside for later. Place your pumpkin cut-side down in a baking dish with about a cup of water, and bake for about 90 minutes or until the flesh is tender. Then, scoop out the flesh and puree in a food processor. Once you’ve made your pumpkin purée, you can use it in your pumpkin recipes, from pies to pancakes. The extra pumpkin puree can be stored in the freezer for several months, so you can use it instead of canned pumpkin for your Thanksgiving recipes.

Pumpkin Facial

Pumpkins are rich in zinc and vitamins A, C and E, so they are just as good for your skin as they are to eat. Be prepared to be pampered. Start with about five teaspoons of pumpkin purée, add three teaspoons of brown sugar – which will naturally exfoliate your skin – and a tiny splash of milk. Mix it all together, and apply to your face in circular motions, avoiding the eye area. Relax for up to 20 minutes and allow all that pumpkin goodness to seep into your skin, while you enjoy the aroma. Rinse with warm water.

Pumpkin Presents

When you cracked the pumpkin open, you separated the seeds from the guts and placed them aside. Now you can roast the pumpkin seeds for a tasty snack or prepare them for holiday hostess gifts.  Here’s the recipe for roasting pumpkin seeds.

  1. Rinse the seeds thoroughly and remove and strands of pumpkins.
  2. Place in a pot of salt water and boil for 10 minutes.
  3. Drain the seeds in a colander and dry lightly with a paper towel. They may stick to the towel, just rub them off with your fingers. 
  4. Spread seeds onto a baking sheet in a single layer and drizzle with extra virgin oil. You can sprinkle with sea salt for classic roasted pumpkin seeds, or add some brown sugar and cinnamon for a sweeter treat. 
  5. Roast seeds at 325° F for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and stir.  Return to the over and roast for another 8-10 minutes. Check during the last 5 minutes of roasting by checking a few seeds to make sure the inner seeds are not burning. 
  6. Enjoy!  You do not need to remove the outer shell, it should be crispy and easy to bite into.