It is pumpkin season and many are pumpkin picking for either Halloween or Thanksgiving and using pumpkins just as decor for the fall season!
That’s what we love about pumpkin season! The versatility of pumpkins from classic pumpkin pie to roasted pumpkin seeds and beyond!
Well, what if you got double, triple even quadruple use out of your fresh pumpkins this season?!?
Learn what you can do with your pumpkins this season.
Here’s what you will learn (you can also click on any list item below to be taken right to that topic!):
- What To Make with Pumpkin Flesh
- What to make with pumpkin seeds
- What to make with Pumpkin Guts (Stringy Parts) Recipes
- What to do with whole pumpkins
- What to do with leftover pumpkins from Halloween/Thanksgiving Decor
- What to do with the pumpkin skins and stems
We have always used the flesh to either cook and eat or more specifically for those yummy homemade recipes, and we have always used the seeds to roast and eat – which is fabulous and healthy too.
But we wanted to find out how we can use the rest of it. I mean the whole pumpkin, or the guts (stringy parts) and the skin! How can those be utilized? Well, this post is going to give you ideas on how to use it all from some things we have done numerous times ourselves, to some new ideas for us too that we look forward to trying.
What to Make with Pumpkin Flesh
The most basic and obvious way to use a pumpkin is to use it’s flesh in some way, whether to roast and eat, bake, turn into a puree’ etc. So we HAVE to include the obvious, but perhaps even in the obvious use you will glean some new ideas for ways to use and eat the flesh of a pumpkin.
What is the flesh of a pumpkin? It’s the inside between the skin and the middle once hallowed out from the guts, stringy parts and seeds.
Homemade Pumpkin Puree’ from Fresh Pumpkin Flesh
First, idea to use the flesh of the pumpkin is to cook and eat or puree your pumpkin flesh for healthy eating and holiday baking. In order to use the pumpkin flesh for your baking and cooking, you will want to puree’ the flesh.
Making your own pumpkin puree is absolutely amazing and super easy with our whole pumpkin cooking hack by cooking the whole pumpkin in an Instant Pot! The skins just “melt” off the pumpkin and so there is no need for fancy knife tricks to cook the flesh. It also makes the flesh super soft for a creamy pumpkin puree’.
We think it has a fresher, richer and more delightful taste. We are a squash family, so we will eat it like pumpkin pureed, or puree it for recipes like classic pumpkin pie (of course!), traditional pumpkin bread (we include a gluten free recipe too), no churn pumpkin ice cream or even pumpkin bars with cream cheese frosting.
Bake Breakfast in a Pumpkin – Oatmeal Style!
With traditional oatmeal fixings, you can stuff a pumpkin with the traditional breakfast ingredients and pop in the oven for a truly unique breakfast experience. Not only is this a delicious baked oatmeal taste, but the experience is quite memorable for the whole family. We have a traditional to make this on Thanksgiving and Christmas morning! It does take time to bake, but actual “hands-on” time is minimal for this delicious pumpkin idea!
Roasted Pumpkin with Honey and Cinnamon
Roasting pumpkin and eating it as a side dish, or even dessert is a fantastic way to enjoy pumpkin!
It’s super simple to make Honey Roasted Pumpkin.
Ingredients for Honey Roasted Pumpkin:
- Fresh whole pumpkin
- A few tablespoons of honey
- A few tablespoons of butter
- A few dashes of cinnamon
How to make Honey Roasted Pumpkin:
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees
- Bake the slices for about 20 minutes or until tender
- Serve warm…or cool!
- Great side dish or dessert!
Simple Pumpkin Juice from Fresh Pumpkin Flesh
Another unique and cool way to use the pumpkin flesh is by using the puree’ to make pumpkin juice! Pumpkin juice is a refreshing fall drink and you can make it with an apple base or an orange juice base. We will often use an apple base for any time of the day and an orange juice base if it is to go with breakfast and specifically breakfast in a pumpkin!
Also, it’s a fast and easy recipe as well!
8 cups apple cider or no pulp orange juice
2 cups pumpkin puree
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 tsp of cinnamon
1/8 tsp cloves
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp ginger
Add to a blender and blend until smooth! Serve cold or over ice.
Other Unique and Delicious Recipes Using Fresh Pumpkin Flesh
We also wanted to share some of our fun and favorite pumpkin recipes! Most of these use pumpkin puree in some way to create a tastefully unique pumpkin experience! We have shared many pumpkin-based recipes over the years on our site here, so we’ve rounded them up in one post for you!
Browse these 15 unique and creative pumpkin recipes
What to Make with Pumpkin Seeds
You do not want to throw the seeds out! They are a delicious source of many nutrients and pumpkin seeds have many health benefits! So how can you prepare them to eat them?
Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
You can roast the pumpkin seeds for a super yummy and healthy treat. We LOVE roasted pumpkin seeds and they are a healthy treat as well. I will roast the seeds during the season and put them in a festive bowl for everyone to snack on during our Thanksgiving and Christmas celebrations.
Our roasted pumpkin seeds recipe is a sweet one instead of a salty one. But you can head to this recipe on Food.com for a salty and spicy roasted pumpkin seeds recipe.
And if you want the sweet version, check out our Pumpkin Pie Roasted Seeds recipe.
It is VERY simple to roast your own pumpkin seeds so don’t let them go to waste by creating a simple, healthy and delicious snack!
What to Make with Pumpkin Guts (Stringy Parts)
What can you do with the pumpkin guts? We actually call them the pulp or stringy parts as it is a bit more appetizing! It’s all that slimy interior part of the pumpkin. It also has lots of nutrients and can make for some pumpkin rich and moist recipes. Check out a couple of those below
Pumpkin Guts Bread
Pumpkin Guts Bread Photo From EatingRichly.com
Well, with a bit of research, we discovered that you can make a pumpkin bread out of it that is, according to the creator of it, the best pumpkin bread in the whole world. We actually really want to give this one a try this year as we don’t do much of anything with the pulp right now. The picture makes it looks very moist and delicious.
The recipe for “Pumpkin Gut Bread” is found on EatingRichly.com HERE.
Pumpkin Guts Soup or Stock
Pumpkin Guts Stock from SheKnows.com
Another option that you can use the pumpkin pulp for is to make pumpkin soup or stock. We got this idea from SheKnows.com. It is really simple and here’s how to do it:
Easy Pumpkin Guts Stock
Separate the seeds from the guts and then place the guts in a pot filled with water and boil. Add celery, carrots and a bay leaf for extra flavor. Then boil for about 30 minutes or until the water begins to change color. Strain and use in your favorite soups, stews or freeze for later!
Have you ever tried baking or cooking with the pumpkin pulp? These will be new for us 🙂
What to do with Whole Pumpkins
If you have whole pumpkins or you want a unique gift idea, consider “gifting” your pumpkins as a whole meal for a neighbor, family in ministry, family in need, friend, or for anyone during the holiday season.
Whole Dinner in a Pumpkin
In fact, we even have printable gift tags and instructions for you to make this an easy gift! Pick up seasonal wrap/baskets at the thrift store or craft story with that awesome 40% off coupon!
Dinner in a Pumpkin Gift Basket Idea
The cool part about this delicious gift idea is that it is unique, it is an affordable gift to give, it is an entire dinner in one and the whole thing can be thrown away so clean up is easy for your recipient! It’s a fun use of pumpkins!
- Thanksgiving Dinner in a Pumpkin Printables and Instructions HERE
- Christmas Dinner in a Pumpkin Printables and Instructions HERE
What to do with Pumpkins Leftover from Halloween/Thanksgiving Decor
This one is super cool! If you simply have no desire to eat the pumpkin and only had them for decor during the fall holidays and they sat on your porch, well, keep using them through the Christmas season by turning them into Christmas Decor!
Paint Pumpkins for Christmas Decor
We share more details about this pumpkin recycling idea in a previous post on How to Recycle Fall Pumpkins into Christmas Decor.
What to do with the stems and skins of a pumpkin
The final part of the pumpkin are the skins, stem and left over pieces. This one is just about as easy as throwing it in the trash….that is, use it to throw into your compost pile!
Since it is organic matter, it will be perfect for this use!
With that, you can easily use all parts of your pumpkin this year!
Please leave your favorite pumpkin uses, recipes and ideas in the comments! We would love to hear more!