When the fall holidays arrive, many people rush to the grocery store to buy pumpkins, only to throw them away after they’ve served their purpose as jack o’lanterns or outdoor decorations. However, there are several ways to repurpose those old pumpkins, from turning them into a tasty snack to adding it to your beauty regimen. Here are some of the best uses for left-over pumpkins.
MAKE A BODY SCRUB
Pumpkins are packed full of vitamin A, vitamin C, and anti-oxidants, all of which are great for giving your skin a healthy glow. For a simple homemade body scrub, scoop out a small pumpkin and remove the seeds. Place the rest in a blender and blend until it forms a puree, then combine with a tablespoon of honey and enough raw sugar to create a coarse paste. The resulting scrub will keep in the refrigerator for up to a week.
FERTILIZE YOUR GARDEN
One creative way to use a leftover jack o’lantern is to turn it into fertilizer for your garden. Just bury the pumpkin near your plants, or even fill it with soil and use it as a makeshift planter. The process of natural decomposition will do the rest, enriching your soil and providing nutrients to your garden.
ROAST PUMPKIN SEEDS
Pumpkin seeds are an excellent source of protein, fiber, and iron, and roasting them up yourself is a cheap and easy way to make a healthy snack. Just scoop out a pumpkin, pick out, rinse, and dry the seeds; toss them in olive oil and a pinch of salt, and roast them on a baking sheet for an hour at 250 degrees.
MAKE A DELICIOUS SOUP
Pumpkin adds a pleasant, subtle flavor and lots of nutritional benefits to many classic soup recipes. Pumpkin rinds simmered in chick- en broth can add an extra layer of flavor. De-seeded pumpkin, when blended and added to other vegetable soups, such as sweet potato or lentil soup, provides body and flavor without over-powering the main ingredients.
CREATE A TEMPORARY DECORATION
If you bought some pumpkins to set out on the porch for Halloween, you could keep them around to add fall color to your home. An undamaged pumpkin can even last all the way until Thanksgiving, where it can pull double duty as part of a center-piece display. You can also cut off the top of a pumpkin, scoop it out, and place a bowl or vase inside of it to add a rustic touch to your decorations.
Pumpkins are a quintessential part of the fall season, but they are useful for so much more than a decoration on the front step. These ideas can help you be less wasteful and get the most out of your money when you do your holiday shopping.