It’s now November and Halloween festivities have passed. Seasonal decorations are wonderful, but soon enough, we will be asking ourselves what to do with all of the leftover pumpkins?
Don’t just throw them out! Did you know pumpkins are part of the squash family and you can eat its contents instead of just for carving eyes and a scary mouth? Not only is this fall signature squash versatile to use in the kitchen, but it is low in calories and loaded with vitamin A, potassium, and a great source of fiber to keep our bellies full and our waistlines small. They also help support vision, heart health and immune function.
Here are some great ideas in using your pumpkin not just for the carving contest but as a seasonal fall favorite food!
1.) Juices and Smoothies:
Juices and smoothies are some of the best places to add pumpkin, especially in the colder weather. Enjoy these juices and smoothies with your leftover pumpkins.
2.) EASY Roasted Pumpkin Seeds:
Don’t throw out the pumpkin seeds from your pumpkin! They are loaded with nutrients and an excellent snack to have on hand. Here is a quick and easy way to make the best out of them:
- Clean the seeds and give a good rinse using a colander.
- Boil for 10 minutes (these make the seeds easier to digest and provides crispier outer shell after roasting in the oven).
- Drain seeds and spread on baking sheet drizzled with extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle of coarse sea salt (spread out seeds to prevent overcrowding on sheet pan).
- Roast at 375 F for 10 minutes, turn off heat stir and keep in oven for an additional 8-10 minutes, until crispy.
- You can use the roasted seeds on salads, in granola, a garnish for soups, desserts, and baked goods.
3.) Enjoy Pumpkin for Breakfast
Pumpkin is a nourishing and nutrient-dense way to start your morning, so try making these delicious breakfasts with pumpkin!
4.) Enjoy Pumpkin for Lunch and Dinner:
Pumpkin adds a huge burst of flavor to some of the most common dishes. Try them out in the following recipes.
- Easy Creamy Pumpkin Soup/Stew
Use your crockpot to have ready to eat and a seasonal smelling home after a long day at work:
2 Tbsp. coconut oil
1 onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1 ½ lb pumpkin flesh, roughly chopped (or organic canned pumpkin puree)
2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled, roughly chopped
4 cups/1 liter low-sodium vegetable broth
1 cup/250 ml. coconut or almond milk
Sea salt and fresh black pepper to taste
1. Heat coconut oil and chopped onion in large pot until onion is soft.
2. Add garlic and cook another minute.
3. Add chopped pumpkin and sweet potatoes and cook for several minutes.
4. Add stock, salt & pepper, and bring to a boil and let simmer for about 25 minutes until flesh of potatoes and pumpkin are tender.
5. Stir in milk and use blender or immersion blender to obtain consistency of puree.
6. Add dashes of nutmeg or cinnamon just before serving.
5.) Enjoy Pumpkin for Dessert:
Yes, you can even have pumpkin for dessert! Try these super easy and decadent treats at your next holiday gathering.
- Pumpkin Dip:
Mix equal parts coconut milk yogurt with canned or fresh pumpkin, add 1 teaspoon cinnamon, ½ teaspoon ginger & ½ teaspoon nutmeg.
Serve with roasted pita chips or apple slices.
- Pumpkin Dessert Trifle Parfait:
1st (bottom) layer: crushed graham crackers or gingerbread
2nd layer: pumpkin dip (recipe above)
3rd Layer: Coconut Milk Yogurt
4th Layer: 85% dark chocolate pieces or cacao nibs
1. Repeat layers and top with drizzle of melted dark chocolate.
2. Serve in glass trifle or clear plastic cups for full effect of layers.
What do you do with your leftover pumpkins? Let us know in the comments below!