Are you a fall fanatic? A pumpkin spice enthusiast? Are you not quite ready to let go of the pumpkins that you and your children so proudly carved? We have good news: you don’t have to! Take a look at some of our favorite ways to recycle your leftover pumpkins.
Pumpkin Face Mask
Beat the insides of a small pumpkin until creamy, then mix it with ½ tsp of organic honey and ½ tsp of skim, soy, or almond milk. Make sure to wash and dry you and your child’s face before putting on the mask! Apply the mixture, avoiding the eye area. Relax for 20 minutes, wash it off, and follow up with your favorite moisturizer.
Homemade Pumpkin Butter
Why not turn your pumpkins into an excellent addition to breakfast toast? You need 4-4.5 cups of fresh pumpkin puree, which you can get from roasting a 4-pound sugar pumpkin. Mix together the pumpkin flesh, without skin, and ¼ cup apple juice in a blender until it’s smooth. Then, add 1 cup brown sugar, 3 or 4 tbsp of maple syrup, 1 tsp ground cinnamon, and ½ tsp nutmeg to the blender and blend until smooth.
Next, spoon the mixture into a pot, cover with a lid, and prop it open with a wooden spoon. Let the mixture start boiling at medium-high heat, then lower to low-medium heat and let simmer for 10 minutes. When finished, remove from the heat, and add 1 tsp of vanilla extract. Let it cool, add 1 tsp lemon juice, and a pinch of salt, and you’re done!
Here’s an easy, tasty way to make use of all that leftover pumpkin. Mix together these ingredients:
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- 1 can chickpea (drain them, rinse them, and keep some liquid)
- ¼ cup chickpea liquid
- Olive oil drizzle
- Juice from ½ lemon
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- ½ tsp cumin
- Sea salt and cayenne to taste
Once you’ve mixed them together, your hummus is done!
There’s a lot you can do with pumpkin flesh, but what should you do with the skin? Try making them into chips! Tear the skin into pieces, and lie them on a lined baking sheet, then sprinkle with paprika, sea salt, and chili powder. Set your oven on the lowest setting, and let the chips bake with the door open just a little bit — this will effectively dehydrate them. When they start to turn golden, take them out, let them cool, and enjoy the snack.
If you have a garden, you can compost your pumpkin by removing the insides and any candles you may have put inside it. You and your child can have fun smashing the pumpkin in your yard! Once you’re done, simply cover it with a layer of leaves, and leave it alone. Don’t worry about a foul smell; since the pumpkin is in the open air, it won’t develop an odor.
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