After the trick-or-treaters have gone and most of the candy has hopefully been handed out, what’s left? Typically, there are Halloween decorations to be stored away and a carved pumpkin or two sitting by your front door.
This year, instead of tossing your pumpkin in the trash or letting the neighborhood squirrels feast on it, consider recycling your pumpkin. There are many ways pumpkins can be reused as they hide a lot of hidden benefits inside.
1. The Seeds Make a Nutritious Snack. Pumpkin seeds are an excellent source of dietary fiber and mono-unsaturated fatty acids, which are good for heart health. In addition, the seeds are concentrated sources of protein, minerals and health-benefiting vitamins. Roasting is easy – Preheat your oven to 300 degrees. Rinse the seeds and then toss them in a bowl with a small amount of olive oil. Place them on a baking tray and roast for 30 minutes.
2. Compost Your Pumpkin. Just like most fruits or vegetables, pumpkins make wonderful compost that will break down and can be used in a garden to provide nutrients to the soil.
3. Make Pumpkin Puree. Instead of buying canned pumpkin to use in Thanksgiving pumpkin pie recipes, soups or baked goods, you can make homemade puree. To make the puree, cut the pumpkin in half and place the two halves face down on a baking tray. Add a cup of water to the tray and bake for 90 minutes at 400 degrees. After the pumpkin has cooled, scoop out the inside and puree in a food processor. The puree will last for up to a week in the refrigerator.
4. Turn it into a Bird Feeder. Cut a large whole in the front of the pumpkin and fill it with bird seed. You can place the on the ground or tie string around the steam to hang it from a tree branch.
5. Discover the Taste of a Real Pumpkin Spiced Latte. Create your own pumpkin spice lattes at home by whipping together pumpkin puree, vanilla extract, pumpkin pie spice, milk or non-dairy alternatives, sugar and espresso.
6. Relax and Have a Facial. For an all-natural, at home spa facial treatment, that won’t break the bank, combine pumpkin puree, honey, and coconut oil or whole milk. Apply mixture to your face, and sit back, and relax.
7. Pumpkin Decorations Aren’t Just for Halloween. Uncut pumpkins can last for a long time. And, with Thanksgiving on the horizon, you can transform your Halloween pumpkins into beautiful centerpieces by placing mums, dried corn, fruit and candles around them.
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To find a doctor or schedule an appointment, visit Steward DoctorFinder™.