Halloween is almost here, bringing with it many traditions from decorating the house to trick or treating. But, one such tradition is a firm favorite for adults and kids alike — namely carving pumpkins. This is a creative and fun way to celebrate this time of year. The trouble is, there’s usually a lot of waste involved in the process.
For those that don’t regularly eat pumpkins, the innards will just be disposed of without a second thought. This doesn’t have to be the case though — why not make use of those guts and seeds and get the most out of your pumpkin? If you want some guidance or inspiration, here are 6 things you can do with pumpkin guts and seeds. You don’t even have to like the flavor of pumpkin to take advantage of some of these!
Thinking about growing your own pumpkins? My sister grew her own pumpkins for Halloween — and the results were huge.
1. Try cooking with pumpkins
First of all, pumpkin guts and seeds are both entirely edible, so consider using them in everyday recipes. The pulp is particularly delicious whether pureed, roasted, added to a soup or even stockpiled for broth. But, keep in mind that these types of pumpkins aren’t typically used for pumpkin pies. These require ‘sugar pumpkins’, which as the name suggests are generally sweeter. If you’re new to pumpkins, you will find the flavor to be similar to sweet potato once cooked, with nutty tones.
You’ll want to separate the seeds from the guts — but, don’t throw these away as they’re just as delicious in their own right. This is a timely process and you will need to do it by hand, but it’s worth it. Once separated, if you’re not ready to get cooking right away, you can also refrigerate or freeze the pulp for later.
2. Roast the seeds
Pumpkin seeds are both delicious and nutritious; however you’re going to want to roast them for the best flavor. Wash the seeds and then let them dry out completely — don’t worry if some remnants of the pulp remains. Then toss with olive oil and season to taste; you can just use salt and pepper, but feel free to get creative.
Be sure that the seeds are distributed evenly across a baking sheet and cook at 350°F for 15 minutes, shaking the seeds every few minutes. Once time is up and the pumpkin seeds have turned a golden brown color, they’re good to serve. You can eat them on their own as a snack or use them to garnish your pumpkin pulp recipes.
3. Make pumpkin juice
If you want a Harry Potter-esque Halloween, you can even create your very own pumpkin juice. Simply run the pulp of one pumpkin through one of the best juicers, and combine with the juice of three carrots, one apple and up to 1 inch of ginger root. Then mix in ½ tsp cinnamon powder, and you’re ready to serve. The orange glow of this juice is bound to impress.
You can also add the pumpkin pulp as a puree to a number of smoothie recipes if you own one of the best blenders instead. It’s a pretty versatile ingredient.
4. Make pumpkin spiced lattes
For something a little warmer, try making your very own pumpkin spiced lattes. To do this, you’re going to need to puree your pumpkin pulp as well as have access to some pumpkin pie spice. According to Next (opens in new tab), all you need to do is combine your chosen milk with pumpkin puree, pumpkin pie spice, vanilla extract and sugar, and then heat on the stove top. Once ready (be sure not to burn it), mix directly with your coffee and top with whipped cream.
For every cup of milk, we recommend using 2-3 tbsp pumpkin puree, 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice, 1-2 tbsp sugar and 1 tsp vanilla extract.
Sprinkle with cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice to garnish. Then your fall-inspired latte is ready to serve. You can also turn this classic drink into an iced pumpkin spiced latte by adding some ice cubes.
5. Try a body scrub
Even if you really can’t stand the taste of pumpkins, you can still use the excess. In fact, the guts contain beneficial qualities for our skin — providing vitamins and nutrients we may be lacking. With this in mind, one thing you can do with pumpkin pulp is create a body scrub.
There are countless recipes out there which combine a number of fragrances, but the gist of the method is to puree the pumpkin pulp and mix it with sugar and oils before storing in the fridge. Scrub your skin with the solution to exfoliate, then rinse away. It will give your skin a smoother appearance.
6. Make a face mask
Expanding on from the above, you can also use pumpkin pulp to create a face mask which will be beneficial to your skin. According to Next, pumpkins contain Vitamins A, C and E as well as antioxidants, all of which helps preserve the skin.
Again, you need to puree the pulp for this method. Next suggests blending your pureed pumpkin with honey before applying evenly around the face. You should then rinse it away with cold water after 15 minutes.
Also check out 12 tips to get your home ready for fall.