11 ways to use a pumpkin
Pick up some pumpkins at your local farmers market and try out the items on this list for a fun autumn afternoon!
Fri, Oct 29, 2010 at 09:40 AM
So many uses for pumpkin — eating, decorating, body care, fulfilling a fairy godmother’s quirky sense of curfew, you name it. As one of the most popular crops in the United States, there are a whopping 1.5 billion pounds of pumpkins produced each year — no wonder we have found so many ways to use this orange wonder of the fruit kingdom. If you’ve been reading my posts for a few autumns, you know I have a particular penchant for pumpkins — one that includes heart palpitations and weak knees. (Hello, pumpkin bread pudding. And by the way, this is the best pumpkin for pies, in case you were wondering — and, ha! just like that, I managed to sneak two more uses for pumpkin into this slideshow!) So as the mercury starts its succession of dips and bows, and the fake cobwebs get their turn on suburban porches and in city windows … let’s talk pumpkins.
1. Have a little leftover pumpkin in the can? Need gorgeous skin? Skip the jack-o’-lantern face and try a honey pumpkin exfoliating mask.
2. This rough recipe for a really good stuffed pumpkin comes from doriegreenspan.com. Even better? This recipe for cornbread-stuffed pumpkin with sauteed greens. No serving dish required.
3. Some may call it hedonistic (hurray for hedonism!) but slathering yourself in a luscious DIY pumpkin body butter made of pumpkin puree, coconut milk and cinnamon is as good for your skin as it is for your senses.
4. All those pies, pumpkin desserts and holiday cakes; all that dairy-ness! Go animal-loving with this vegan pumpkin pecan pie.
5. Illuminated jack-o’-lanterns are kid-cute; DIY floating pumpkin candles are adult-cute.
6. Harvest pumpkin soup with things like leeks, apples, and ginger — a blast of autumn in a bowl. Just … yum.
7. Sometimes you just need to have a pumpkin mask. Trust me. Read about the spa treatment pictured at the Treats to Share blog, or use this super simple DIY formula for a vitamin-rich pumpkin face mask.
8. Pumpkin biscuits. Can you see my toes curling? Can you hear the involuntary sighs? Try these from the Farmer’s Almanac, or our rockin’ recipe for pumpkin biscuits from James Villas’ "Biscuit Bliss".
9. Martha Stewart has these directions for pumpkin pie potpourri; we’ve expanded on that with a DIY fresh-pumpkin air freshener.
10. Remove the top from pumpkin, scrape out slime and seeds, toss. Or, wait, don’t toss! Use the scraped pulp in soup stock or to feed the birds, and make this lip-smacking, bursting-with-nutrients snack: Slow roasted pumpkin seeds!
11. Had enough pumpkin? For me, never — so it’s nice to know there’s a way to sneak pumpkin into chocolate cake. The best of all worlds? Chocolate pumpkin bundt cake. Mmmmm.
Do you have any favorite pumpkin tricks? Share with us, and leave a comment below.
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This story was written by Melissa Breyer. It originally appeared on Care2.com and is used here with permission. Visit Care2.com to discover more than 5,000 ways to enhance your life — from holistic health and wellness to pets and family life, the experts at Care2.com share great tips for living a healthier, happier and more sustainable lifestyle.