Eat Your Halloween Pumpkin!

pumpkins

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

  1. Scoop the seeds out of the pumpkin.
  2. 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.
  3. Spread the seeds to dry on a cookie sheet.
  4. 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.
  5. 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!
  6. When the baked pumpkin seeds cool, eat!



How to Bake & Puree Fresh Pumpkin

  1. Cut the pumpkin in half and remove the seeds and strings.
  2. Put the pumpkin rind side facing up on a cookie sheet.
  3. Bake the pumpkin at 350 degrees for 1 hour.
  4. Remove the baked pumpkin from the oven and allow it to cool.
  5. Scrape the baked pumpkin pulp from the rind.
  6. Puree the pumpkin pulp with a potato masher or hand mixer.
  7. 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.

Image Courtesy Kathy McGraw

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!

What do you think?

*

Comments

  1. 2

    Hi Wendy! The pie pumpkins are sweeter and I prefer them for baking. The large Halloween type pumpkins are good for cooking as an add in vegetable for pumpkin soup. It’s another way to stretch a budget, especially if like in many people in my area the economy has them choosing between buying decorations or putting food on the table.

  2. 3

    While it is possible to eat Halloween pumpkins, most sold for that purpose are bland and tough. I much prefer butternut, acorn, carnival, or pretty much ANY other winter squash.