You went to the pumpkin patch, you picked your pumpkin, carved it and are about to toss out the seeds and pulp, but I’m not going to let you do that! It’s a tradition to make an annual trip to a pumpkin patch, pose with some pumpkins and use the carved gourd as decoration. Well I’ve got some news for you. The pumpkin’s seeds and pulp have just as much value as the pumpkin itself. This Monday, I’m teaching you how to carve a pumpkin…the right way!
Let’s start with the seeds. Pick, clean, rinse and dry the pumpkin seeds. You have your pick of either a savory or sweet pumpkin seed. Can’t decide? Do what I did and separate them into two piles. One pile for a savory seasoning and one pile for a sweet flavor.
Savory Pumpkin Seeds
Preheat oven to 300°F. In a zip-bloc bag, add seeds and melted butter (for a healthier snack, I added olive oil). Seal bag and shake until coated. Add dashes of salt, garlic, cayenne pepper, old bay and paprika. Seal bag and shake until coated. Evenly spread coated seeds on a baking sheet and bake for 45 minutes, or until golden brown, shaking pan occasionally.
Sweet Pumpkin Seeds
Preheat oven to 300°F. In a zip-bloc bag, add seeds and melted butter (once again, a healthier substitute is acceptable). Seal bag and shake until coated. Add brown sugar, pumpkin pie spice and a dash of cinnamon. Seal bag and shake until coated. Evenly spread coated seeds on a baking sheet and bake for 45 minutes, or until golden brown, shaking pan occasionally.
Now, onto that leftover pulp. Rather than tossing away the pumpkin’s insides, turn the remainders into an essential ingredient. Once you use this recycling technique, you’ll use it for every pumpkin you carve. The pulp from my carved pumpkin ended up making tons of puree. So much that I’ll have enough to make pie, bread, soup and, dare I say, pumpkin chai lattes! Follow these simple instructions and there will be no need to buy canned pumpkin puree during the Fall season.
Pumpkin Puree Directions
- Extract any extra, smaller seeds as well as harder inside pieces from pulp.
- If you have a steamer, steam pulp for 30 minutes. If you do not have a steamer, steam the pulp in boiled water for 30 minutes.
- Use a food processor or blender to create a puree.
- Use puree immediately or store in freezer friendly storage with a splash of lemon juice then place in the freezer.
Sweet Pumpkin Treats
This time around, I used my homemade pumpkin puree for pumpkin bread. Although you can make a number of pumpkin-added foods, I find this recipe easy to follow and it’s more than likely you’ll have all the ingredients you need already in your kitchen (this includes the chocolate chips…you should always have chocolate chips in your pantry).
Pumpkin Treat Recipe
*You can either bake this in a loaf pan or cupcake tin. It’s neither bread or muffins, it’s a treat!
- 1 ½ cups flour
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- ½ cup olive oil
- 2 beaten eggs
- ¼ cup water
- Pumpkin pie spice – as needed
- Walnuts – as needed
- Chocolate chips – as needed
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Sift together flour, sugar and baking soda – If you do not have a sifter, use a strainer.
- In a separate bowl combine pumpkin, oil, eggs, water and pumpkin pie spice.
- Combine mixture with dry ingredients (without over mixing).
- Stir in walnuts and chocolate chips.
- If making “bread,” pour batter into greased loaf pan and bake for an hour or until center is cooked.
- If making “muffins,” pour batter into greased and/or lined cupcake tin and bake for 20-25 minutes or until center is cooked.