Halloween may be over but the cherished “pumpkin season” has yet to come to an end. Reusing your pumpkin saves you money and creates a colorful menu for weeks to come! Before you toss your jack-o-lantern into the nearest receptacle try out a few of these fun and clever ways of reusing this halloween staple:
10 Creative Ways to Use Pumpkin:
1. Soothing Mask
As lovers of all things masks, you know we couldn’t pass up on this opportunity! Pumpkin masks are full of essential vitamins, like Vitamin A, C & E, as well as antioxidants and fatty acids. These incredible ingredients soften the skin, improve cell turnover, and brighten your complexion. Let’s not forget to mention that the zinc in pumpkin does wonders for treating acneic skin. Mix a 1/4 cup of pumpkin that has been pureed with a spoonful of honey. Apply the mask and allow to sit for 15-30 minutes. Rinse, pat dry and moisturize!
2. Fall-Inspired Smoothie
The amazing nutrients in pumpkin work wonders inside your body, too! Chop your fresh pumpkin into chunks and boil until tender, about 25 minutes. Allow to cool and remove any skin. In a blender combine the fresh pumpkin with a frozen banana, nutmeg, cinnamon, clove, maca powder and coconut milk. This delicious smoothie is full of vital nutrients and tastes like Fall in a glass! To save you time, freeze any unused, boiled pumpkin for future smoothies!
If you want to smell like a delicious Autumn treat, look no further than that lovely pumpkin. Pumpkin is full of alpha hydroxy acids, which helps with cell turnover and exfoliation. Talk about glowing skin, huh? Scoop out the insides of fresh pumpkin and place into a blender (set aside any seeds). Add in honey and cinnamon and puree until smooth. In a small bowl combine the pumpkin mixture with a few spoonfuls of sugar. Use this mixture to gently exfoliate your skin (avoid sensitive areas like your face).
4. Pumpkin Bread:
This delicious snack is the perfect treat for the holiday season. Baking with a fresh pumpkin is a wonderful way to preserve that fresh flavor while still packing your baked goodies chalk full of powerful nutrients. To create your own pumpkin puree for your bread, start by washing and halving your pumpkin (cut away the stem and pulp). Bake the halves face down covered in foil for about 1 1/2 hours at 375 degrees until tender. After cooling, cut away the skin and scoop out the insides and mash it until a puree forms. Use this puree in place of the store bought puree in your bread recipe.
5. Roasted Seeds:
It’s no secret that pumpkin seeds are just delicious. They are easy to make and are the perfect late night snack. Start by rinsing the seeds under cool water, then spread the seeds onto a baking sheet. Roast the plain seeds for 30 minutes. After roasting, season the seeds with your favorite spices and roast for another 20 or so minutes.
6. Mashed Pumpkin:
A side of mashed pumpkin is the perfect addition to any fall dish. Soften the pumpkin by cutting it into chunks and boiling them for about 25 minutes. Remove the skin and mash the chunks into a desired consistency. Add a few shakes of sea salt and pepper and voilà!
7. Pumpkin Soup:
The perfect treat for any brisk Autumn day. This delicious squash soup recipe is the perfect way to use any left over pumpkin. Simply subtitute the squash for your fresh pumpkin!
If you just can’t stand to eat anything pumpkin, just toss it right into your composter! Be sure to cut it into smaller chunks so it decomposes faster.
This Thanksgiving essential is the perfect way to get rid of your pumpkin. Boil chunks of the pumpkin for about 25 minutes. Once cool, cut off the skin and blend until a puree forms. Use this puree in place of the canned pumpkin you typically use. This preservative free puree can be frozen and used for holiday treats all season long!
This breakfast favorite is going to taste all the better when made with fresh pumpkin puree. This delicious pumpkin waffle recipe is perfect for any fall morning. Just swap out the canned pumpkin for your homemade puree (as seen in #4). Did we mention this yummy recipe has 5g of protein per serving?!
What are your favorite ways to reuse your Halloween pumpkins?
Peace, Love & Coconuts!