Each year pumpkins are bought during the fall season for decor and carving. Also during this time pumpkins start to make their culinary appearance and pumpkin dishes and drinks emerge. Sadly most pumpkin recipes that are featured each fall call for canned pumpkin even though many people have fresh pumpkins sitting by their front door.
Help Reduce Food Waste By Eating Your Halloween Jack-O’-Lantern
Each year, thousands of acres of farmland are used to grow Halloween pumpkins only to have tons of jack-o’-lanterns sent to the landfill once the holiday is over. This is a waste of a valuable, nutritious, and delicious food — it’s also a waste of your money.
Thankfully, there are much better uses for Halloween pumpkins than throwing them in the garbage. Once Halloween is over, we suggest you turn your jack-o’-lantern into delicious homemade food, which is a surprisingly easy way to help cut down on your food waste.
Before using your Halloween pumpkin, you should wash it thoroughly to remove any pesticide residue since most Halloween pumpkins are not grown organically. You may also wish to remove the pumpkin’s skin, which is quite easy to do once the pumpkin is cooked.
Now, with that info in mind, here are a bunch of delicious uses for Halloween pumpkins that are WAY better than putting them in the trash!
Roasted pumpkin seeds:
The first step to reducing food waste starts when you carve your jack-o’-lantern. Pumpkin seeds can be scooped out with a spoon, tossed with a little olive oil and salt, and baked or wok-fried to create a healthy and delicious snack.
Make pumpkin puree:
After you’re done using your jack-o’-lantern as a decoration, and you’ve removed the seeds for eating, you’ll want to make pumpkin puree. You’ll want to do this before your jack o’ lantern is showing signs of spoilage. Whole pumpkins can be stored for many months, but once they’ve been carved, they should be used within a few days.
Pickled pumpkin rinds:
It may sound a bit odd at first, but pumpkin pickles are actually really tasty. They’re a great way to preserve a lot of pumpkin if you have too much to use before it spoils or your freezer is already full of pumpkin puree.
Make your own pumpkin spice latte:
Pumpkin spice lattes contain almost no pumpkin. And at $5/cup, a month’s worth of pumpkin spice lattes would cost you $150. Instead, why not make your own pumpkin spice lattes using pumpkin puree from your jack-o’-lantern?
Make pumpkin chili:
Pumpkin chili is a delicious and seasonal way to warm up on a chilly fall day. We can say with certainty that this pumpkin chili with turkey and black beans recipe is amazing.
Share pumpkin with your animals:
If you don’t like pumpkin or really feel you can’t use all of yours, you may want to share some with your pet. Many animals such as chickens, pigs, and dogs can have pumpkin. Just be sure to do your research or talk to your veterinarian before making changes to your pet’s diet.
You’ve probably had apple butter before, but pumpkin butter is also a tasty way to use your excess pumpkin. Pumpkin butter is quick to make and can be eaten on toast, crackers, or frozen for later use.
Make homemade ravioli:
You can replace butternut squash with pumpkin in any squash ravioli recipe you find on the web.
So how are you going to use your jack-o’-lantern this year?