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Frugal Ideas for Your Post-Halloween Pumpkin

By Alyssa Davis

Before you know it, those pint-sized ghost and tiny goblins will have come and gone . and you will be left with one or more pumpkins on your front porch. Most people leave the pumpkin out until Thanksgiving and then toss it in the trash, but there are some better fates for your pumpkin. Pumpkins are good for much more than just fabulous harvest dér. Native Americans knew this and used them for both food and for medicine. The frugal ideas that follow will help you make better use of your post-Halloween pumpkin this year.

Cooking Pumpkin

Yes, pumpkin pies are easiest to make when you open the canned pumpkin from the supermarket and pour it into a crust. And .real. pumpkin tastes a bit different from what you can buy pre-mixed in a can at the market. Pumpkin tastes somewhat like squash, it is soft and sweet, almost like the taste of a sweet potato. And while canned convenience is always nice, why waste what you already own? With just a few spices and other ingredients, you can make an authentic pumpkin pie just like they did in Colonial America. In fact, the origins of pumpkin pie lie in the practice of removing the seeds from the pumpkin, filling the insides of the pumpkin with honey, spices, and milk, and then baking the pumpkin over hot ash. You can find many good pumpkin pie recipes online that call for whole, cooked pumpkin. Other ideas for using that leftover pumpkin in recipes include pumpkin cookies, pumpkin cakes, pumpkin bread, pumpkin casserole, and fried pumpkin.

Pumpkin is a healthy food that is rich in zeaxanthin and lutein, which are free radical scavengers that help promote eye health and reduce the incidence of cataracts and other eye diseases. Pumpkin is also rich in iron (for healthy red blood cells), zinc (for healthy bones), and fiber (for bowel health).

Make a Crunchy Treat

Pumpkin seeds are not only tasty, but they are also quite good for you. (When carving a pumpkin to create a jack-o-lantern, be sure to reserve the seeds for making roasted pumpkin seeds). Pumpkin seeds are a rich source of protein . just one ounce has seven grams! Pumpkin seeds have also been shown to reduce blood cholesterol levels. The salted and toasted seed of the pumpkin has a somewhat nutty flavor, although you can add savory or sweet spices as you see fit to create your own special crunchy treat. To roast pumpkin seeds, simply rinse them to remove strings and pumpkin pulp and allow to dry overnight. Next, place them in a single layer on a lightly oiled cooking sheet. Add a sprinkle of salt across the seeds and bake them in a 325 degree oven for around thirty minutes, stirring every ten minutes or so. For a sweeter taste, allow dried seeds to soak in sugar water overnight, then dry them out and follow the steps above.

Compost Heap

And last of all, you can always return the pumpkin to the earth from which it came. If you have a compost heap, your carved jack-o-lantern can be thrown onto the compost heap and allowed to decompose. If you didn't carve your pumpkin, you can still cut it and toss it into the compost pile to create rich compost.

These are just a few of the ways that you can use your post-Halloween pumpkin! With some creativity, you may be able to think of other ways to put something that ordinarily gets tossed into the trash to good use.

Alyssa Davis, is a design specialist and writer at, and she offers many suggestions and unique ideas for designing with black metal wall art and outdoor wall art ideas.

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