Three After-Halloween Uses for Your Pumpkin

by on March 9th, 2015
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Pumpkins are part of the Halloween tradition, and a good excuse for kids to get dirty while gutting their pumpkins in preparation for a carved masterpiece. Pumpkins are fun, but a little too wasteful for my family’s taste. After our daughter’s second Halloween, I had the surprise of watching a moose stumble upon and eat our Halloween pumpkin. It was at that point I decided there had to be more that could be done with a leftover pumpkin than just make pumpkin pie.

Pumpkin puree
Pumpkin puree is one of the most obvious (and delicious) ways to recycle your kids carved pumpkin. You should use your pumpkin within a day or two of carving it, so don’t set your pumpkins out until the day before Halloween at the very earliest. You can then steam, boil, and grind your pumpkin down into pumpkin puree, which can be used in pumpkin pies, pumpkin cookies, pumpkin rolls and nearly every recipe that calls for pumpkin puree. This puree can be frozen and used year round!

Make a planter
Rotten fruits and vegetables make great fertilizer for any garden. Use your pumpkin as a planter by filling it with dirt and letting your kids plant bulbs, or annual seeds in the dirt. Take the entire thing, pumpkin and all, and dig a hole just as high as the top of the pumpkin (excluding the lid and stem) and bury it, leaving your potting soil exposed, or covered with a very small (less than an inch) amount of dirt. Next year, you’ll have some beautiful flowers to admire, aiding by the decomposition of the pumpkin.

Use the pumpkin as a serving dish
One year, my friend’s mother threw some broccoli, cauliflower, okra, sweet potatoes and egg plant into a carved pumpkin and loaded it up with brown sugar and butter and let it bake. The result was a delicious vegetable dish and we could even eat the “bowl” of pumpkin too!

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