If you carve a pumpkin each year (or use them to decorate for fall or Halloween), you may feel a little wasteful just tossing the pumpkin after the holiday is over. Thankfully, there are so many ways you can use leftovers pumpkins. Whether you roast the seeds for a healthy snack or feed the local wildlife, you can put those leftover pumpkins to good use.
1. Roast the Seeds
When you carve your pumpkins, make sure to set the seeds aside. You can roast the seeds in the oven at 350 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes or until the seeds are golden brown. You can then toss the seeds with your favorite seasonings. These are great on their own (my favorite!) or you can add them to homemade trail mix.
2. Make Pumpkin Puree
If you carve your pumpkin the day of Halloween, you can use the pumpkin to make pumpkin puree. All you need to do is cut the pumpkin in half and place in a baking dish. Add one cup of water to the dish and bake at 375 degrees for one to one and half hours, depending on the pumpkin's size. Scoop the cooked flesh from the pumpkin and puree in the food processor. The puree can be used in pies, bread, and all your other favorite pumpkin treats.
3. Create a Natural Air Freshener
Once Halloween is over, rub the inside of your pumpkin with your favorite spices, such as cinnamon and nutmeg. Place a candle inside and light it. The heat from the candle will warm the spices and leave you home smelling amazing. Just place the jack-o-lantern face towards the wall and no one will ever know it was your Halloween pumpkin.
4. Use as a Natural Flower Pot
Get potted mums and place them inside your hollowed out pumpkin. Just remove the plastic container from the outside of the plant and place inside the pumpkin. You'll want to drill holes in the bottom of the pumpkin so the flowers can drain. The nutrients from the pumpkin will help feed your mums and allow them to thrive.
5. Feed the Wildlife
Last, but not least, if you love watching the wildlife in your yard, cut the pumpkin into smaller chunks and scatter throughout your yard. The squirrels, raccoons, and other wildlife will love the delicious treat. You'll get to enjoy the animals and the fact that your pumpkin didn't go to waste.
If you often avoid carving pumpkins because you think it's wasteful, stop. There are so many great ways you can use the leftovers. Whether you make a homemade air freshener or use as a natural flower pot, there are ways to use leftover pumpkins.