HOMEGROWN asked, and you answered with a vengeance! We recently posted a Facebook query inquiring what you do with all those leftover pumpkin parts—seeds, guts, meat, even the gourd itself—once your pies have been baked and your jack-o’-lanterns carved. The answer? A lot! (Here are parts 2 and 3 of that original conversation.)
While we love the creative range of suggestions, from worm feed to pumpkin frittatas, we especially love that so many of you put your leftovers to work in so many ways! A common response involved at least three different uses: roasting the seeds, turning the pulp into purée for baking, and composting the jack-o’-lantern when the witching hour has passed.
Below is a comprehensive tally of your recommendations, with some recipes and a few favorites from the HOMEGROWN archives thrown in. Happy Halloween and beyond!
WHAT TO DO WITH LEFTOVER PUMPKIN PARTS:
1. “Feed it to the chickens!” say Delphine, Erin, Linda, Smooring En Farm Friends (“I’ve read that it serves as a natural dewormer”), Cate, Suzy, Julie, Liz, Sandy, and Wendy, who shares her complete chicken-feed routine:
“I put the pulp, seeds, plus the rind (if not too hard) through the Champion Juicer, making purees with anything else from the garden—like garlic, veggie stalks, potato peels, apple cores, etc. Mix a little dried chicken feed into the puree, and the chickens/ducks will gobble this up in a heartbeat. Serve in a large zucchini bowl, which they peck down to the rind. Which is then pureed, as well. Not only nutritious but anthelmintic.”
3. “To the pigs!” say Chantel, Farm Fresh Feasts, and Lisa.
4. “To the worms!” says Farm Fresh Feasts.
5. “To the dogs!” say Debra (“for soothing doggie tummy aches”), Christina, Sarah, and Patty, who shares this recipe for pumpkin dog treats.
6. “Pitch it into the woods for the deer!” says Cheryl.
8. “Compost it!” say Dan, Dave, Cheryl, Bob, Nichole, Patrice, Chantel, Get Local Flavor, Debra, Farm Fresh Feasts, Anne, and Electra.
9. “Let it decompose in the garden and you might discover new pumpkins—aka ‘volunteers’—next year!” say Tobin and Farm Fresh Feasts.
10. “Save the seeds to grow next year!” say Ryan, Bob, Sarah, and Christina.
11. “Roast the seeds!” say Dave, Cheryl, Sherri, Patrice, Jinny, Sarah, Get Local Flavor, Debra, Amber, Mary, Liz, Anne, Sandy, and A Life Beyond Money.
12. “Warm and dry store it!” says High Mowing Organic Seeds. Here’s how.
13. “Turn it into a face mask!” says Hilde. Here’s a DIY recipe from the spa director of the JW Marriott in Palm Springs, courtesy of She Knows.
14. "Or a beer cooler!" also from Hilde. Once again, Aunt Martha has you covered with a how-to.
15. “Use the meat for cooking!” say Jinny (pastas, frittatas, rice); Debra, Anne, and Laura (puréed for baking); and A Life Beyond Money (cooked and frozen or dehydrated for use all winter). Not all varieties are created equal when it comes to pie—we don't want to put pie pumpkins out of a job, after all—but the following recipes aren’t too persnickety.
Have a question about any of the above? Or another pumpkin suggestion to float? Post it below, and we'll grab it and add it to the body of the 101. You might also be interested in 101s on jar-o'-lanterns and mummified Mason jars, homemade candy corn, homemade apple cider caramels, and making a book-page pumpkin. You can always find more things to make, craft, plant, grow, cook, preserve, and reuse in the HOMEGROWN 101 library.