October traditions lead to massive pumpkin waste! In November when pumpkins begin to decompose, unfortunately they turn in to methane. That, of course, is a harmful greenhouse gas that plays a huge part in climate change.
Transforming a plain old pumpkin into a jack-o’-lantern is one of the highlights of Halloween. But once we’re done, second nature – we throw them away instead of disposing them in an eco-friendly manner. Pumpkins are organic waste, which means you can compost them, but we often fail to do so. Here are some ways to extend the life of your used jack-o’-lantern and uncarved pumpkins.
Firstly, what you’re going to want to do is split the pumpkin seeds and guts apart. Then cut the pumpkin in half. With the seeds you can either roast them, creating a delicious plant protein snack, or you can store the seeds to grow your own pumpkin patch.
To roast them you simply preheat the oven to 320°
-Boil the seeds in salt water and drain
-Scatter them on a cooking sheet
-Add olive oil and a little bit of salt
-Roast for 10 minutes and you’re done with an easy healthy snack.
Now for the guts – many overlook the endless possibilities of how you can use the guts – If you have a juicer you can juice the pumpkin with apple, ginger or cinnamon, creating a healthy drink. You can use the pulp for these recipes- but if you don’t have a juicer, you can use the guts of the pumpkin for various recipes.
If you have a savory sweet tooth but want to stay healthy around the holidays this might be the perfect drink for you –
Pumpkin Pie Milkshake (Vegan)
-Steam the pumpkin guts for 30 minutes
-Let it cool and using a blender purée
(If using pulp you can skip this step^)
-4 tbsp purée or pulp
-Either 3 ice cubes and a Banana or 1 cup vanilla vegan ice cream
-¼ cup of any plant-based milk (my favorite, oak milk)
-½ TBSP vanilla extract
-½ tbsp pumpkin spice, cinnamon or nutMeg
And enjoy a healthy holiday dessert!
This next recipe will make your dogs love you a little bit more around the holidays – pumpkins are considered one of the best “people foods” you can give your canine companion, supporting their urinary and digestive health!
Pumpkin Flaxseed/oat Dog Treats
Blend: the pumpkin pulp
-1 ½ cups of flaxseeds or oats
-¼ cup of water
– *2 tablespoons of coconut flakes or peanut butter (If desired)
Roll into ball shapes and freeze them
With this same recipe you can make a brightening face mask filled with vitamin A and C
All you do is you the same ingredients, minus the peanut butter and freezing.
If you don’t want to do any of these sustainable recipes you can always donate pumpkins to local animal sanctuary. The animals love them. You can also compost in your own backyard, or find a local composting facility or community garden that will utilize the pumpkins.
Make the most out of your pumpkins this season and let’s all be less wasteful together!