Creative Recycling: 4 Ways To Reuse All Those Pumpkins

Published on October 31st, 2011 | by

Halloween Pumpkin

Around 1.5 billion pounds of pumpkins are grown and sold every year. In the United States, the majority of pumpkins are sold for Halloween.

For those lucky jack-o-lanterns that make it through the night without being munched by squirrels or smashed by teenagers, November 1st will be a blessed morning. Until they’re tossed in the trash.

If your Halloween pumpkin has already been carved, or covered in toxic paint or marker, the compost pile might be the eco-friendliest option (or you can just gift it to the woodland critters as a healthy snack!). But if your pumpkins are still intact think about decorating them with paper features or non-toxic/plant-based inks. That way, tomorrow morning, you can bring them inside and “recycle” them into one of these scrumptious delights!

1. Pumpkin Puree: The foundation of any great pumpkin recipe, pumpkin puree can cost you between $1.50 and $3 a can at the store. Why not make your own instead? It’s also very easy to freeze, ensuring that you have fresh pumpkin for all those Thanksgiving dishes as well! Check out Gourmet Live’s easy-to-follow directions for recycling your pumpkin.

2. Roasted Pumpkin Seeds: While preparing your pumpkin to become puree, be sure to set aside the seeds on a cookie sheet. After removing all the icky bits of pumpkin membrane, give the seeds a quick rinse in cool water and pat them dry with a towel. Then, check out EatDrinkBetter.com’s handy guide to making delicious toasted pumpkin seeds–sweet and savory!

3. Pumpkin Chowder: If you don’t feel like blending up all that delicious pumpkin meat, think about chopping it up to make this delicious heart-warming chowder instead!

4. Pumpkin Bread: This is a classic and a staple of fall breakfasts everywhere! This easy to make pumpkin bread recipe calls for canned pumpkin, but if you’ve already made some pumpkin puree, simple substitute a cup of that for a healthier alternative.

Do you have a stand-by recipe for “recycled” pumpkin? Please share it (or a link) in a comment!

Image Credit: Flickr – SpinlierHades

 

About the Author

Beth believes many societal problems can be solved through sharing or other alternatives to the corporate system. I'm interested in exploring the growing collaborative consumption movement and how sharing is changing the way we work and play. See what I'm up to by following me on Twitter as @ecosphericblog.