Pretty much since the end of September, my social newsfeeds have been filled with front steps adorned with pumpkins of all shapes and sizes. Jack o’ lanterns have been periodically popping up and smiling back at me as I scroll through Instagram and Facebook. The pumpkins – they’re everywhere, including on my own front step.
What happens to them when their door greeting décor duties are done? My guess is that the vast majority end up in dumpsters designated for yard waste. But, it doesn’t have to be that way.
3 Brilliant Ways to Get More From Your Pumpkin Decor
Let me preface by saying, all of the following are fine options for pumpkins that did not gain jack o’ lantern status. But, pumpkins with a pretty face, a.k.a. those that have been carved, DO NOT meet the food safety standards to become pumpkin puree. These pumpkins should only be used for seed saving and gut glamorizing.
Save the Seeds
And, I no I am not suggesting you save them to grow them because – whoa, that would result in a lot of pumpkins. I am saying save them to eat them. Roasted pumpkin seeds can take on a variety of flavors and happen to be one of my favorite snacks. And making them is as simple as separating the seeds from the guts (save the guts, see below), coating them in olive oil, seasoning them, and popping them in a pre-heated 300 degree oven for around 45 minutes.
I prefer a bit of a savory flavor on my seeds, but you could go with sweet, spicy, or simply salted. It’s seriously SO easy to personalize pumpkin seeds. Don’t believe me, check out this list of Roasted Pumpkin Seeds Six Ways.
Glamorize the Guts
Pumpkin guts are maybe not the most glamorous thing about the pumpkin. Okay – they definitely are not the most glamorous pumpkin feature. But, that doesn’t mean they don’t have the potential to become something a bit more fancy.
By adding them to the rest of your less than glamorous vegetable scraps, you can transform them into something beautiful – a tasty and versatile vegetable stock. And if you really want to up their glamour game, you can simply add them in right along with the flesh to make the perfect pumpkin puree (see below).
In about a month, everyone is going to be shopping for Thanksgiving and likely purchasing pumpkin puree. But, why? I mean, why not save some money and puree the pumpkins (literally) sitting right outside your door? And, please, don’t give me the “it’s too much work,” or the “what would I do with that much pumpkin puree,” rigmarole. It’s not that hard and the pumpkin puree possibilities are about near endless.
Seriously, if you can use a knife, operate your stove, and run a blender – you can make pumpkin puree. Click HERE for a list of a few different ways to go about pureeing pumpkins.
And as far as what to do with all of that puree goes, pumpkin pie is only the tip of the iceberg my friends. Squash bread (sub in pumpkin for butternut squash), pumpkin cake, pumpkin bread, pumpkin soup, pumpkin cheese dip… Heck, I’ve even heard of people making face creams and body scrubs out of pumpkin puree. Endless possibility.
Next Time on Food Saver Friday
My chicken house is due for a good cleaning. And fancy composting bin or not, my composting quest is about to begin. Next time I’ll fill you in on how the the start of my first composting project went down. So, check back to find out what I’m composting and whether I went with a fancy composting bin, or kept it simple with a compost pile.
In the meantime if you have questions or ideas for future Food Saver Friday topics, feel free to leave them here in the comments, or shoot me an email using the Contact Me page. And if you’ve missed any of the food saving goodness, click here to catch up.