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Along with the candy, costumes and spooky times comes a lot of excess during Halloween. Rather than using pumpkins for decoration and then kicking them to the curb, we suggest taking their leftovers and turning them into so much more. Hollowing out your pumpkin and turning it into a glowing jack-o’-lantern is only the beginning. And the list doesn’t end with scooping out all of the seeds to toast and enjoy! Here are a few of our favorite DIYs for turning pumpkins and pumpkin junk into festive treats.
1. Pumpkin Puree
This may seem obvious, but I couldn’t exclude one of the most forgotten tricks and treats of Halloween. Rather than going to the store and buying a can of preservatives, scoop out the junk and make your own puree from the inside of the pumpkin! Not only is this a healthier alternative, but it’ll save both money and time for fun. You can use this puree you’ve made for a variety of different recipes, including pumpkin risotto and breads. Your options are endless here!
2. Pumpkin Sugar Body Scrub
Raise your hand if you like body scrubs! Wow, look at all of those hands. Pumpkin is the secret ingredient to add to your beauty regime this winter. Chock-full of healthy nutrients for your skin (we’ll unpack this discovery later in the list), pumpkin is a great ingredient to mix into the sugar you’re using to exfoliate this season. Rather than tossing your pumpkin to the side of the road, turn it into a luxurious skin treatment that both smells delicious and feeds you from the inside out.
3. Pumpkin Spice Soap
Much like the body scrub we mentioned above, this pumpkin spice soap is a tiny luxury item. I’m a big fan of artisanal soaps, but bathing with a spicy soap that’s not only handmade but also seasonal is the royal treatment! This soap is made partly with pumpkin and partly with a variety of other natural ingredients, all of which keeps skin soft and glowing during frigid, fickle weather conditions.
4. Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
You might be shaking your head and thinking, “I know about roasting pumpkin seeds already,” but I’m here to show you how your horizons can expand a little. Sprinkle on some flavors you’ve never tasted before! There are so many seasonal flavors for you to play around with that you’ll forget what the original pumpkin seed even tastes like.
5. Pumpkin Butter
Are you a fan of peanut butter? Almond butter? Apple butter? Yes? Well, then this is the trick for you! This recipe is super easy because it involves the magic of the crockpot. You just mix all those pumpkin guts with sugar, apple juice, vanilla extract and spices before throwing them in and heating them up. What’s better than waking up from a nap only to smell the warm pumpkin butter waiting for you in the kitchen? Spread this pumpkin butter on some toast, and you’ll feel all kinds of warm and cozy!
6. Pumpkin Bowls
After you’ve scooped out the insides of your pumpkins to make your puree, you’re left with an empty lil’ pumpkin. What is one to do? Oh, just use it as a bowl to bake your warm meals, of course. This would be an adorable way to get the kids to eat something hearty before they head out to trick or treat. It’s also a great way to feed your guests if you’re having a spooky dinner party. Unsure of what to put in there? Check out this roundup for some tasty options!
7. Pumpkin Ale
Speaking of parties, let’s visit the idea of DIY pumpkin beer, shall we? Unless you’ve brewed your own beer before, this project sits on the advanced level. Are you simply a beer lover? Don’t worry about gaining new skills this year and just turn your pumpkin into a keg for the night! Yes, this is a real thing. If you do this, can you invite me?
8. Pumpkin Pie Smoothies
Pumpkins are great for your heart, vision, mood and immune system – just to name a few. Indeed, a pumpkin a day keeps the doctor away! While you have this seasonal superfood handy it makes sense to add it and all of its nutrients to your diet. Smoothies are a great way to get an abundance of good stuff into your body and have it all taste good. There are many different ways you can go about mixing your pumpkin into your smoothie regimen, but I am itching to try this pumpkin pie one!
9. Pumpkin Hair Mask
You’re probably thinking, “There’s no way there can be another awesome pumpkin project,” but there is! And ladies, this one might be the most important. If your hair is looking a bit dull after a summer in the sun and pool, allow the potassium and vitamin A-rich pumpkin to repair the dry and damaged strands. Am I going to be lathering my hair in this while watching Hocus Pocus this weekend? All signs point to yes.
10. Pumpkin Face Mask
Oh, did I mention that I’ll be sporting a face mask while pampering myself? The Alpha Hydroxy Acids found in pumpkin help brighten your skin and make a tired face look refreshed. I don’t know about you, but I’m definitely in denial about my sun kissed-tan fading away, and this is the perfect treatment to help me get glowy! Plus, I love any excuse to lather a mask on my face while having my feet up. This one requires only a few simple ingredients, and the vitamin A, C and E will help protect your skin from sun damage and wrinkles.
11. Pumpkin Dog Treats
After all of this talk about pampering myself with foods and beauty products I feel kind of bad for our furry friends. Fear not! Most dogs actually like pumpkin, and it’s healthy for them too! These pumpkin and peanut butter dog treats are easy to make and taste like something to bark about!
What do you do with your leftover pumpkins? Let us know in the comments so we can try it out this season!