Updated: Nov 2
When I say pumpkin you think…Halloween, right? Well, that’s one answer. While many associate pumpkins with a famously spooky holiday, these big, unusual vegetables offer us more than a chance to impress the neighbourhood with your hidden artistic skills. Pumpkins have a variety of health and wellness benefits that we should all be taking advantage of.
Although they’re most recognized for their bright orange colour, pumpkins actually come in variations of white, red, and blue as well. This winter squash also varies in use as they can be bred for different purposes.
Miniature pumpkins as well as Jack-O-Lanterns are primarily grown for decorative use; miniatures are small and can be up for display as table centrepieces while Jack-O-Lanterns are big and are used to paint, carve and display outdoors. Because of this, they tend to be less flavourful and more hollow compared to those that are bred specifically for culinary purposes. Types of pumpkins used for cooking include cheese, cinderella, pie, and jarrahdale pumpkins that are perfect for pies, soups and more!
At Nurture Growth, our mission is to fight climate change. We believe in the power of rescuing and repurposing food waste that would otherwise end up in landfills and increase our carbon footprint. While our solution is to create a 100% safe and organic fertilizer, you can help in your own way too!
With pumpkins season just about coming to an end, rather than composting them, here are a few creative ways to put them to use!
1. Pumpkin seeds make a healthy snack!
If you’re carving out your pumpkins, don’t throw away the seeds just yet. Scoop them into a bowl, wash them with warm water and separate them from their stringy fibres. Boiling them in salted water will help them roast evenly later on. Drain the seeds and dry them thoroughly with towels to remove their moisture. You can set them on a baking sheet and drizzle them with oil, butter and any seasoning you’d like. This works for any type of pumpkin! And just like that, you’ve got yourself a savory healthy snack! Ta-da!
2. Plant the seeds
Why buy pumpkin seeds at the store when you can plant your very own? To save your seeds to plant, follow the first few steps from above; remove the pulp, rinse them and dry them on a tray with paper towel. Space them out so they don’t stick to each other and place the tray in a cool and dry area. Continue to let them dry for up to a month and make sure to turn them over on each side to completely remove all their moisture. Once you’ve thoroughly dried them, place them in an envelope or brown bag to save them for the next planting season!
Tip: Save three times the amount of seeds than you plan on growing. Also choose larger seeds as they are more likely to germinate.
3. Cook Pumpkin Flesh
When collecting your pumpkin seeds, you can also save the flesh for delicious recipes. Pumpkin flesh can be used as pumpkin puree to make breads, muffins and other baked goods! They can also be made into juices and added to smoothies, soups, stocks, and sauces! Pumpkins are particularly rich in Vitamin A so don’t miss out on your chance to make something tasty and healthy!
4. Beauty Uses
Sit back, relax, and put on a facemask. Pumpkins are packed with nutrients that’ll rejuvenate your skin. They’re full of antioxidants, vitamins (A, B, C, E), zinc, fruit enzymes and more. They brighten and smooth your complexion by boosting collagen levels and controlling signs of aging by tightening your skin. For a little DIY exfoliator, mix pumpkin flesh with milk or honey and apply that to your face. You can also create a scrub by mixing pumpkin puree into your current exfoliator. Who knew that pumpkins could become such a beauty essential?
There you have it, these are our top recommendations for re-using pumpkins after Halloween. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Krystle is a Ryerson University student majoring in Marketing and minoring in French. As a business student, she has always had a huge entrepreneurial curiosity with the hopes of one day running her own business. With a passion for environmental activism, she is always looking for ways to educate herself and others in the fight against climate change. She is upbeat, energetic and loves rollerblading, hot yoga and spending time with her little dog Zeus.