Recently, I posted a very easy DIY about making your own Pumpkin Puree and I hinted that we found uses for nearly all the parts of the pumpkin. Here’s all that we did with our $1.29 pie pumpkin:
Made our own Pumpkin Puree a can of pumpkin at the grocery store can cost $2 or more. I got about a quart and a half of puree, so right there, we’ve already saved money!
Roasted our own pumpkin seeds we love snacking on these delicious roasted seeds! Coat with some olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt before roasting, or get fancy and add some spices – either sweet like cinnamon, savory like garlic or spicy like cayenne pepper! Roast on a cookie sheet in a 350 degree oven for about 15-20 minutes. To get them nice and salty, soak the seeds in salt water for a couple hours first. By the pound, roasted pumpkin seeds can cost $4.99.
Made pumpkin stock from the guts I simply added the stringy membranes, or “guts”, to a sauce pan and covered with water. Bring it to a boil and then simmer for 30 minutes. Strain the stock and use for soups, cooking rice or pasta, etc. I got about a quart of stock. I know I took a few pictures of the pumpkin stock I made, but they seem to have evaporated from my camera. It looked almost like orange kool aid, but not unnaturally orange. I used it in soup and even chili. It didn’t have a strong pumpkin-y flavor, but added a little something to whatever I added it to.
Made a pumpkin facial mask from the guts I strained after making pumpkin stock. I found pumpkin facial masks on Amazon running anywhere from $8 (for .25 oz!) to over $50! Granted, some of them were fancy enzyme peels, but I prefer to know what is in my beauty products. I would never eat a fancy enzyme peel because it would probably make me sick, what with all those ingredients that I can’t pronounce. I could, however, eat the leftovers of my facial mask while I was waiting to rinse it off, if I wanted!
The stem and skins can be composted, although there might be use for the skins too – I just didn’t find any.
All in all, from that $1.29 pumpkin, I got what amounts to at least $13 or so of products! It didn’t take a lot of effort, but produced a great return. I used a pie variety, but you could use any kind. For the puree, pie pumpkins will have a sweeter flavor, but regular pumpkins still have all the great nutritional and antioxidant benefits. Plus, they’re bigger so you’d get more yield.
I picked up a few more pie pumpkins, but they’re decorating my porch at the moment. I’ll be roasting them and making more puree and other goodies before long. Pumpkin Roll, I hear you calling my name…
How many uses have you found for pumpkins?