What to Do With Your Pumpkins After Halloween

Pumpkin Carving at the Gallaghers
Pumpkin Carving at the Gallaghers

Are you wondering what to do with your pumpkins after Halloween? Don’t kick your them to the curb just yet. Whether you carved them, or left them whole, this mighty squash has plenty of life in it yet.

Composting is a wonderful way to recycle your pumpkin. If your city offers a composting program, then make use of it, especially if your jack-o-lantern has been out for a while. However, if you have a garden, compost it yourself. It is as easy as burying it in the ground. Worms love the soft flesh of pumpkins! Burying it also keeps any smells below ground, keeps unwanted bugs away, and keeps your soil happily full of nutrients before next year’s planting season. Needless to say, make sure to remove any candles, wax, or foil beforehand.

Here are three blogs that will give you tips on what to do with your pumpkin, once the ghouls and goblins have left.

1. What to Do With Your Pumpkin: Did you know that pumpkins are fruits? They are part of the same family as melons and cucumbers. If you have whole pumpkins with seeds still intact, this blog will give you plenty of ideas to make the most of this nutrient dense fruit.

2. Fantastic Benefits of Pumpkin: Plus get my recipes for roasted pumpkin seeds.

3. Interesting Fact About Pumpkin Pies: Read this link to find out why you may need to do some baking. Attention, men!  🙂

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Dinner Tonight: Pumpkin Pancakes

pumpkin‘Tis the season for all things pumpkin flavored, from candy to your morning coffee… and even beer. In fact, in the last 5 years, pumpkin sales have increased a whopping 34% (USDA). Pumpkin is loaded with antioxidants that contribute to good vision, healthy skin, a strong immune system, and bone and teeth development. It’s also a good source of vitamins A, C, K, and E, as well as the minerals magnesium, potassium, and iron.

However, if you really want to reap the benefits of this winter squash, skip the candy, beer and coffee and enjoy it pureed in this delicious pumpkin pancake recipe. I cheat a little with this recipe and use a pre-made pancake mix (I like Bob’s Red Mills).

1 cup organic soy or almond milk, unsweetened
1 egg
1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup organic pure pumpkin purée, unseasoned
3/4 cup whole grain pancake mix
2 Tbsp wheat germ
1 tsp cinnamon
butter (for frying pancakes)

In medium bowl whisk together milk, egg, oil, and pumpkin. Add pancake mix, wheat germ and cinnamon. Stir well.

Heat a large frying pan over medium heat. Add a small amount of butter to lightly coat the pan. Pour 1/4 cup batter for each pancake and cook until deep golden brown. Flip and cook the other side until done. Serve with a little maple syrup and some chopped nuts!

I actually make smaller versions of these and stack them up in a short, squat thermos, and they stay hot for my son’s school lunch.

Photo from here, with thanks.

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Fantastic Benefits of Pumpkins

The last few days around our house have been spent carving pumpkins and roasting seeds. Although pumpkins aren’t only for Halloween, many people have at least one hanging around this time of year. Pumpkins are a winter squash and they are chock full of nutrients.

Pumpkins contain a rich supply of beta carotene and alpha carotene. Loaded with fiber, vitamins and minerals, you’ll get a mouthful of potassium, magnesium, selenium, and lutein in every bite, plus a good dose of vitamins A, C, and E.

My favorite part is the seeds! By weight, they contain more iron than liver, are rich in omega-3s, and are a good source of protein, making them great for vegan and vegetarian diets.

There are many healthy benefits of pumpkins. Eating pumpkin has been linked to a lower incidence of type 2 diabetes, and its natural anti-inflammatory properties aid in fighting asthma and arthritis. Pumpkin also helps maintain fluid balance, regulate blood pressure, modulate the immune system, and prevent cataracts and arteriosclerosis. A digestive aid, pumpkin soothes the stomach and decreases bloating and flatulence.  Continue reading “Fantastic Benefits of Pumpkins”

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