I save money by making sure everything that comes into my home does double duty. That includes our Halloween pumpkins! My husband likes to carve a pumpkin using a pumpkin carving kit we bought on super duper mega sale after Halloween.
I like to paint at least one of our pumpkins so I can use it for food after the holiday. It was a smart and inexpensive way to circumnavigate the Great Canned Pumpkin Shortage of 2009. In fact, my family enjoyed pumpkin flavored treats well after Christmas!
How to Roast Pumpkin Seeds
- Scoop the seeds out of the pumpkin.
- Rinse the seeds in water to separate the stringy flesh from the seeds. Keep the seeds and compost or dispose of the stringy pumpkin goo.
- Spread the seeds to dry on a cookie sheet.
- Once the seeds are dry, sprinkle salt over the seeds. If you like sweet pumpkin seeds, try sprinkling a mixture of sugar and cinnamon over your pumpkin seeds.
- Bake the pumpkin seeds in a 250 degree oven until they are brown, approximately 25-45 minutes. Keep an eye on them, because they can burn quickly!
- When the baked pumpkin seeds cool, eat!
How to Bake & Puree Fresh Pumpkin
- Cut the pumpkin in half and remove the seeds and strings.
- Put the pumpkin rind side facing up on a cookie sheet.
- Bake the pumpkin at 350 degrees for 1 hour.
- Remove the baked pumpkin from the oven and allow it to cool.
- Scrape the baked pumpkin pulp from the rind.
- Puree the pumpkin pulp with a potato masher or hand mixer.
- Your pumpkin puree is ready for cooking, baking or to freeze for later.
Generally the small pumpkins taste a little sweeter and are often sold as Pie Pumpkins. I have had success cooking our large pumpkins and using them for soup. The large pumpkins have a bit more water in them, so I like to let the excess water drain in a pasta strainer after I puree the pumpkin pulp and before I freeze it.
I freeze my pumpkin puree in two cup containers because two cups of pumpkin equals one can of pumpkin.
Last year I bought our Halloween pumpkins for $1.99 each. I got 6 cups of pumpkin puree from one pumpkin which means my baked pumpkin puree only cost me $.66 a can (2 cups.) Baking pureeing, and freezing your Halloween pumpkin is a great way to spread a little pumpkin cheer throughout the year at very little expense to you!