What to Do With Seasonal Pumpkins: 21 Fun, Creative Ideas


Here’s the latest Halloween scoop: Pumpkins have an afterlife just like ghosts.

They aren’t just for jack-o’-lanterns any more. Whether you’re into sustainable composting, pumpkin pancakes or Pinterest-worthy holiday decor, your pumpkin serves so many more purposes than just a scary face.

When you make that all-important fall rite of passage and pick out the perfect pumpkin from a patch or the grocery store, consider all of this fruit’s possibilities. (Yes, it’s a fruit.) Get the most of your money and use that pumpkin for at least two, three or four purposes.

What to Do With Your Pumpkin After Halloween

Whether it becomes a tasty snack or a creative project, you can get a lot more wear out of your pumpkin.

Eat Your Pumpkin

Eating your pumpkin is probably the most enjoyable way to reuse it. There’s a pumpkin recipe for every part of your gourd — even those stringy guts.

While carving pumpkins aren’t quite as flavorful as other varieties (such as sugar or pie pumpkins), they’ll still work for any of these dishes.

Pro Tip

You’ll find the best prices for pumpkins at farmers markets, independent seasonal stands and church pumpkin patches. The average pumpkin costs about $3 but expect to pay more for an oversized gourd.

1. Make Pumpkin Puree

While it doesn’t sound appetizing on its own, pumpkin puree is a the gourd’s gift that keeps on giving.

It’s incredibly versatile: You’ll be able to turn your puree into pumpkin muffins, breads and soups down the road — even a delicious Thanksgiving pumpkin pie. Pumpkin puree is the base for most of the dishes on this list.

Creating the puree is simple: Just boil, bake or steam your pumpkin, according to Good Housekeeping. If you used a real candle in your jack o’ lantern, make sure to cut off and discard any burned sections or leftover wax.

The puree freezes well for future use; I like to use zip-closure freezer bags, filled and partially flattened for easy…



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