Halloween Pumpkins: Alternative Uses to Save Money, Prevent Mess

‘Tis the season of pumpkin buying, carving and, much to your dismay, watching them rot on your front porch. This Halloween season, put your jack-o-lanterns to better use with these ideas that will cut down on the mess and help you brush up on your eco-friendly side.

Many people forget the pumpkins are edible around Halloween. We typically aren’t used to seeing pumpkin pie until around Thanksgiving, but who says the time you could spend carving pumpkins wouldn’t be more productive (and rewarding) making pumpkin pies, bars, or cakes with your family. This time of year there are hundreds of recipes floating around the web, in magazines, and in local newspapers. Imagine trading the job of pumpkin cleanup for a big piece of pumpkin pie! Just remember to always use fresh pumpkins for cooking with.

Never letting anything go to waste, save your pumpkin seeds for an extra treat. After you’re done carving pumpkins separate the goo from your seeds. Wash the seeds thoroughly using a colander and pat them dry with a clean hand towel. Preheat your oven to about 250 degrees. Spread out your pumpkin seeds on a cookie sheet and get ready for some creativity.

For those with little cooking experience try sprinkling your seeds with salt, seasoning salt, or red pepper. For those looking for a little adventure, mix together different spices and seasonings to create original flavors. Cinnamon and sugar, chili powder, and powdered ranch dressing all sound like delicious options. When you’re done experimenting, pop your creations in the oven for about twenty minutes. Test your pumpkin seeds to see if they are crispy enough. If not, continue to check them every five minutes or so until they are cooked to your taste. Let them cool and enjoy.

When Halloween is over throw your jack-o-lanterns onto the compose heap. They are loaded with great nutrition for your flowerbed. If you don’t have a compost pile, you can bury it where your garden or flowerbed is. It will decay and provide your soil with extra nourishment. If you have some uncooked pumpkin seeds you can wash, dry, and store them in a dry, cool place for next year. Come spring, you can plant them to save money on the following Halloween.

With these tips you should not only cut down on Halloween mess, but also save money (and the environment). Happy Halloween!

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