Simple, Practical and Enjoyable Ways to Recycle Pumpkins After Halloween
The pumpkin is one food that is in absolute abundance following Halloween. Unfortunately, the vast majority of pumpkins go to waste once the festivities are over. There are a number of ways that you can recycle pumpkins and enjoy some of the nutritional benefits that they provide. Let’s take a look at a few suggestions that you can try out for yourself once Halloween is over.
Perhaps the most common way to recycle pumpkin is to bake their seeds after they are moved while carving. If you’ve never baked pumpkin seeds, it is a very easy process, and the seeds are absolutely delicious. You don’t need to remove the shells, and they can be eaten right away or stored in an airtight container for up to a couple of weeks.
The first step is to cut away the seeds from as much of the meat as possible until you’re left with a moist, stringy mess of seeds and fibers. Place them in a colander and rinse until the seeds have completely separated from the fibers. Pat down the seeds with a paper towel before placing them in a single layer on a baking sheet. Coat them with a thin layer of oil and sprinkle some kosher salt on top of the seeds. Place in a 300 degree oven and let them bake for about 10-15 minutes before giving them a toss and baking until they are dried out and crispy on the outside.
You will get a sense of what to look for after you’ve done it a couple of times. You can also add different seasonings or spices, and there are many combinations out there, to add some unique flavors to the seeds as well. When finished, let the seeds cool before eating right away or storing them for later.
Pumpkin puree can be used in a lot of recipes as well as on its own with some butter, salt and brown sugar. All you need to do to prepare the pumpkin is cut it in half from top to bottom, scoop out the seeds and center fibers before placing the halves face-down onto a baking sheet. Carefully pour in about a cup of water, place the tray into a 300 degree oven, and bake for for about 90 minutes. When finished, let the pumpkin cool enough to remove the skins or scrape out the meat without getting burned.
Place the softened meat into a bowl and mush. You can stop here and serve it as you would some squash, or place the pumpkin into a blender or food processor. Run it until it turns into the consistency you desire, and feel free to add a little bit of water to thin it out if necessary.
You can take the puree and use it as a base for a very simple and highly-nutritious vegetable soup in a few easy steps. Scrape the puree into a stockpot before adding 5-6 cups of vegetable stock. Slice up some carrots and onion and place them in the mix. Add some salt, pepper or other herbs or spices to taste, mix everything together and let simmer for about 30 minutes to an hour or until the vegetables become tender.
Pumpkin can make for an excellent and nutritious addition to vegetable stock, and it is also very easy to prepare. Take the fibers and tough pieces of the pumpkin that were left over after gutting and removing the seeds and add them to your favorite recipe. It will add a nice smooth flavor to the stock while also infusing it with a load of beta carotene and Vitamin C. You will also get a handful of minerals that include magnesium, copper, riboflavin, iron and niacin.
These are just a few ideas to consider before you carve and discard your pumpkin after Halloween. It’s a great way to reduce waste while giving your diet a tasty and healthy boost at the same time. What other ways can you think of in order to get the most out of your pumpkins this year?