This Fall, Use The Whole Pumpkin
In honor of Pumpkin Month (otherwise known as October), we’ve put together a handy guide of best pumpkin carving practices as well as a list of our favorite ways to use up the pumpkin “refuse” that results from carving. In an era of unprecedented food waste, taking the time to use all parts of your vegetables can have huge environmental impacts for the better– plus, you can get more bang for your buck while harnessing all the benefits that each component of the plant has to offer. From the seeds to the pulp to the decoration-ready exterior, pumpkins are an ideal example of a harvest item that can be used in its entirety. Check out our tips for using the whole pumpkin below!
Make Superfood Pumpkin Seeds
Most people know that you can save your pumpkin seeds while carving and that (after a thorough cleaning) one can roast and eat them. Pumpkin seeds are loaded with health benefits and make a delicious topping for salads. But if you’re looking for even more bang for your buck, try loading your seeds up with coconut oil (the ultimate superfood kitchen item), ginger, turmeric, and other warming Fall spices like cumin. Toss in a bit of fresh, minced cilantro, roast at 350ºF, and voilà! Instant flavor you can take on the go.
Treat Yourself To A Restorative Winter Face Mask
As the weather starts to turn cold, your face often takes the brunt of the temperature shift. But dry skin and chapped noses don’t have to be par for the course. While you’re cleaning out your pumpkin, set aside the insides to make a pumpkin puree, which you can use to make yourself a face mask. Pumpkin is high in Vitamin C, which helps protect skin from damage. Check out our go-to, four ingredient pumpkin face mask recipe on Wellness Mama.
Try These Best Practices for Carving
To make your carving experience easier, knock on your pumpkins before you bring them home– the more hollow the sound, the thinner the walls (which makes for an all-around easier carving experience). Try using a cookie cutter and hammer for easy decorating– just place your cookie cutter and hammer away! When you’ve finished carving, rub vegetable oil mixed with lavender, peppermint, and rosemary essential oils along the surfaces that have been carved to keep the pumpkin from drying out and to prevent mold from growing.