6 Clever Ways to Recycle Leftover Pumpkins
Wondering what to do with your pumpkins after October? Instead of simply piling them up for trash day, check out these 6 clever ways to recycle your leftover pumpkins!
1. Treat your backyard critters and birds to leftover pumpkins.
- Remove any candles or wax and do not use old pumpkins that have been painted, as it may be toxic to the animals.
- Both the pumpkin flesh and seeds are enjoyed by a number of animals.
- Cut up the fruit into small pieces for animals like squirrels and birds.
- You may also make a pumpkin feeder with either a pumpkin cut in half with the pulp removed or with an already cut up pumpkin. The feeder can be filled with birdseed and pumpkin seeds.
2. Enrich your soil by composting pumpkins.
- Remove the insides to avoid volunteer pumpkin plants.
- Find a sunny spot in your yard to speed up the composting process.
- Place the pumpkin in a designated spot and allow your kids to have fun smashing it.
- Cover the smashed pumpkin with a layer of leaves.
- Let nature do its work. Worms will turn your pumpkin into nourishing compost.
3. Donate leftover pumpkins to local farms or animal shelters to be used as a seasonal treat.
4. Create an autumn centerpiece.
- Slice the top off the pumpkin and scoop out the seeds and pulp.
- Line the inside of the pumpkin with cellophane to create a waterproof lining.
- Insert floral foam inside the hollow pumpkin.
- Fill the pumpkin vase with fall flowers or colorful autumn foliage. You may also fill the pumpkin with potting mix for cacti and succulents.
5. Roast pumpkin seeds.
2 cups fresh pumpkin seeds
3 tablespoons meted butter or cooking oil
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Line a large sheet pan with aluminum foil and grease it with butter or oil.
- Use a sharp knife cut around the top of the pumpkin and remove the lid. Use a large spoon to scrape the insides of the pumpkin to remove the seeds and pulp. Place everything in a large bowl.
- Separate the pulp from the seeds. Once you’ve removed most of the pulpy pieces, rinse the seeds under cold running water and pat them dry with a towel.
- Mix the butter/oil, salt, and Worcestershire sauce in small bowl and drizzle the mixture over the dry seeds. Stir to make sure each seed is coated.
- Spread the seeds evenly in a single layer on your baking sheet. Bake for 45 minutes, making sure to stir and toss the seeds occasionally.
- Store cooled seeds in an airtight container.
6. Clean any uncarved pumpkins and use the fresh pumpkin puree in any recipe that calls for the canned version.
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
- Cut the pumpkin in half, stem to base. Remove seeds and pulp. Cover each half with foil.
- Bake in preheated oven, foil side up for 1 hour or until tender.
- Scrape pumpkin meat from shell halves and puree in a blender. Strain to remove any remaining stringy pieces. Store in the freezer in freezer safe bags.