Pumpkins surface in mid-September in preparation for the fall season with the first holiday being Halloween.
But what do you do with your pumpkins after Halloween is over? After you have carved your Jack-o-Lanterns or just placed your pumpkins on the front doorstep as decoration, there are many ways that you can use your leftover pumpkins after Halloween.Read More »
Fun Fact: Did you know that more fresh pumpkins come from Michigan, California, and Virginia than Illinois, who processes about 80% of their pumpkins for pie filling? The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) reports that this is due to the large acreage area in the state of Illinois versus the three other states.
1. Repurpose Leftover Pumpkins as Earthy Thanksgiving Decorations
Make your leftover pumpkins into lovely and simple Thanksgiving food table decorations.
Steve Reiners is a horticulturist from Cornell University. He stated in a NPR article that pumpkins last anywhere from 2-3 months as long as they are not carved. Jack-o-lanterns last a much shorter time at 10 or less days.
With this in mind, if you have any unopened, uncarved pumpkins, you can provide a festive, earthy, and colorful decoration for your family’s next fall holiday just from repurposing your Halloween stock.
Thanksgiving is only about 4 weeks after Halloween. That is still within the date range that they stay good, so you can use them in other ways after you are done using them as Thanksgiving decorations.
2. Use Pumpkin Seed to Plant Pumpkins for Next Year
If you have a green thumb (or in this case orange because of pumpkins), try your hand at planting your own pumpkins. Rinse some of the pumpkin seeds you extract from your pumpkins under water and path them dry. Keep them handy in an airtight sandwich bag or container until between May and July of the next year.
According to Tree Hugger, northern states should plant pumpkins in the later part of May. Those who live in the the more southern areas of the United States should plant their pumpkins in the first 1-2 weeks of July. Following these rules of thumb ensures that you grow the best pumpkin possible before Halloween. Do not plant your pumpkins too early to avoid them becoming mushy and rotted before Halloween.
3. Pumpkin Roll With It!
Vary up your treat selection at home by making pumpkin rolls instead of just pumpkin pie out of your leftover uncarved pumpkins. Try out Trisha Yearwood’s pumpkin roll recipe from the Food Network.
Yes, her recipe calls for canned pumpkin, but you can substitute the 2/3 cup of canned pumpkin for 2/3 cup of fresh pureed pumpkin straight from your leftover pumpkins. Double or triple the recipe for more pumpkin roll goodness, especially if you have a large enough pumpkin to yield enough fresh puree.
4. If You’re a Parent, Make Pumpkin Baby Puree
Baby food can get expensive over time, especially with the many jars that young infants and toddlers need throughout the week. Make your own pumpkin puree baby food using a leftover, uncarved pumpkin.
Check out this baby pumpkin puree recipe from Parents.com to get started!
According to HGTV, fresh pumpkin puree can last in the freezer for about 9-14 months. Measure out 4-6 ounces of your baby pumpkin puree into small freezer bags to plan out meals throughout the month or even the year, so that it maintains its freshness.
5. Get Your Little Pumpkins (Kids) Involved!
Speaking of infants and toddlers, let’s talk about getting your older children involved if you are a parent.
Try out some of these pumpkin craft and cooking ideas.
- Clean the pumpkin seeds, paint them orange, and have your children paste them into a pumpkin template for a fun afternoon craft.
- If you have tiny pumpkins that still have not been carved or painted, have your children decorate their pumpkins to have them sit as an outside or inside decoration until Thanksgiving.
Cooking with Pumpkin
Have your older children help you with baking or cooking your favorite pumpkin recipes such as:
- Pumpkin risotto.
- Pumpkin soup.
- Pumpkin puree for a variety of pastries such as biscuits, bread, and more!
- Pumpkin and fruit salad (try apples and pears with it).
- And more!
The World is Your Pumpkin Patch!
There are so many ways to creatively use pumpkins after Halloween. The world is your pumpkin patch! While we have only covered 5 creative ways here, what is your favorite avenue for repurposing leftover pumpkins?