What To Do With Your Leftover Pumpkin

 In Lifestyle, Sweets, Top Foodies, Top Posts

After tonight, most people dump their pumpkins. But there are so many ways to use your pumpkin before throwing them in the trash. Keep reading to learn how to repurpose your pumpkins in VERY different ways.

Pumpkin Gut Bread

Original recipe and picture from Eating Richly

This is one of my favorite pumpkin baking recipes because of how simple it is to make and how delicious and pumpkiny it tastes! When carving your pumpkin, do not throw away the guts! Use them to make this fall favorite loaf recipe!

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups pumpkin guts (no seeds)
  • 3 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons nutmeg
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup avocado oil
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 cup pecans (optional)

Directions:

  1. Separate seeds and guts (save the seeds for the next recipe)
  2. Chop the pumpkin guts into smaller size strings
  3. Mix all dry ingredients in a large bowl
  4. Add wet ingredients and chopped pumpkin guts. Stir well until you reach a batter-like consistency.
  5. Pour batter into two loaf pans
  6. Sprinkle pecans on top of batter (optional)
  7. Bake at 300 degrees for 60 to 70 minutes
  8. Let it cool before removing from pans
  9. Slice then enjoy!

Roasted Seeds

Growing up, I would always roast pumpkin seeds in the oven with my parents after I carved my pumpkin. I love this Halloween tradition and recommend turning your pumpkin seeds into a yummy snack. Pumpkin seeds are also surprisingly nutritious. Those bad boys are high in protein and fiber and contain a lot of zinc and iron.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups fresh pumpkin seeds
  • 3 tablespoons melted butter or olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon taco seasoning (I get mine from Trader Joe’s)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Line a large sheet pan with aluminum foil and lightly grease it with butter or oil.
  2. Rinse your seeds in a colander under cold running water for the most effective way to remove those pumpkin strands.
  3. Pat the seeds dry. Any excess water can prevent your seeds from crisping in the oven and prevent your seasoning from sticking onto the seeds.
  4. Combine the salt and taco seasoning with the butter or oil in a small bowl. Then drizzle the mix over the dry seeds in a larger bowl. Stir the mixture to make sure each seed is coated.
  5. Evenly spread the seeds onto the baking sheet.
  6. Bake for 45 minutes, making sure to stir and toss the seeds occasionally.

Pumpkin into a Planter

Photo By: courtesy of Adam K. Thompson

This idea will transform your outdoor space for fall, and in a week or so, it gives your plants nutrients to flourish! Turn your pumpkin into a planter and when it begins to rot, plant the pumpkin into the ground!

Directions:

  1. Use a sharp knife to slice off the top of the pumpkin. Make the opening large enough to allow for digging and planting.
  2. Use a trowel to scoop out the guts, then fill the hollow pumpkin about one-third or half-full with lightweight potting soil.
  3. Transfer the plants from its original container on top of the soil, then fill with more potting soil.
  4. Once the pumpkin begins to decay, plant the pumpkin planter in the ground and let the rotting pumpkin provide natural fertilizer to the plants.

Compost Your Pumpkin

One of my best friends LOVES to compost! This weekend I’m planning on taking my rotting pumpkins so she could add them to her composting bin. Composting is a great way to nourish your soil. Some tips when composting your pumpkin include,

  • Remove any candles or wax.
  • Cover it with a layer of leaves.
  • It will compost quicker if it is smashed or cut into smaller pieces.

Pumpkin Face Mask

I was not expecting to learn that pumpkins are great for your skin! Apparently pumpkins have a ton of beta-carotene, zinc, potassium, and vitamins A, C, and E. All of these things help fight wrinkles and can eliminate redness of the skin. I originally found this pumpkin face mask recipe from Beautylish.

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tbsp pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 tsp organic honey
  • 1/2 tsp milk (or milk substitute)

Directions:

  1. Start with clean skin. Remove all makeup and wash your face.
  2. Combine pumpkin puree, honey, and milk in a small bowl and mix well.
  3. Apply the mask using your fingers or a makeup brush. Avoid your eyes.
  4. Allow the mask to sit for about 20 minutes.
  5. Gently wash off the mask with a warm, damp washcloth and then moisturize.

Create a Pumpkin Birdfeeder

Picture from Audubon

Turning your old pumpkin into a bird feeder is a unique way to spruce up your back or front yard. It’s also such a fun activity to watch the birds enjoy their new feeder.

Materials:

  • Small or medium size pumpkin
  • Small sticks
  • Twine or rope
  • Bird food or seeds

Directions:

  1. Cut the pumpkin in half.
  2. Scoop out the guts, which leaves about a 1/2-inch thick wall.
  3. Insert two sticks across the open pumpkin to create perches for the birds.
  4. Knot two lengths of rope together at the center and tack the knot to the bottom of the pumpkin feeder. Hang the other ends of the rope in your chosen feeder location.
  5. Fill with bird food or seeds.
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