Halloween has come and gone. The trick or treat candy is hidden or all the good pieces were eaten in secrecy while the children are sleep or in the closet\pantry. The costumes have been washed and put up or thrown away or given to goodwill. Yet you may be scratching your head trying to determine what to do with that old pumpkin.
There are several ways you can reuse or recycle those once beautiful jack-o-lanterns that sat on your front porch or in your window. Some of which can fill your belly, grow plants, or become a part of your holiday/Thanksgiving decor.
- Use as November/Thanksgiving Decoration. – Turn your old pumpkin into another piece of decoration for your thanksgiving table or mantle. Depending on the size of the pumpkin, it can be used as a centerpiece on any table. Painting or assembling other decor around the pumpkin can take it from just another pumpkin to a beautiful piece of Thanksgiving decor. With a few ribbons, corn husk, and maybe even a candle or two, you have transformed your pumpkin from Halloween decor to the center of your holiday decor. Or use it as a bowl to serve a dish such as rice or soup as an appetizer or during dinner.
- Freeze it. – Yes, freeze it! Why would I freeze it? And how? You can freeze it and come back to it later to make puree or put pieces in a soup. Freezing the pumpkin delays the decomposing process giving you time to figure out what you want to do with those chucks or to use at your leisure. Should you decide to freeze some chunks, it’s recommended that you cut them into small pieces of 2-3 cm. You may also consider turning it into a puree then freezing it. You can freeze the puree up to about a year. Either way you can store the pumpkin contents for another day. When you are ready, remove it from the freezer, allow it to defrost and make pumpkin pie, cookies, pancakes or soup.
- Roast the Seeds. (Yummy!) – The seeds of a pumpkin are a healthy snack to have in between the trick or treat candy, pies, and other holiday snacks. They are very easy to make and delicious as well.
- Make Pumpkin Puree. – Who doesn’t like pumpkin pie or pumpkin pancakes, right? If you do, turning your pumpkin into puree gets you one step closer to these yummy meals/snacks. You can either make it before chopping up the pumpkin and freezing it or use the frozen pieces. The puree can also be used for pumpkin soup.
- Make a yummy dish or two or three. – Pumpkin can be used to make some favorites holiday season staples such as pumpkin pie, soup, and cookies. If you’re feeling a little adventurous, you can even make a pumpkin spice latte.
- Compost – This is an awesome ideas for those pumpkins which have begun rotting. Throw it into the compost pile if you have started one. Or throw them into your garden and let nature take it’s course of breaking it down. It may take a few weeks to breakdown, but the nutrients from the pumpkin will enrich the soil.