Pudgy orange veggies clutter the shop aisles. Their cousins tumble over one another in great mounds at the street corners. Yet, the masses seek them as if expecting a shortage. From giant prize winners to tiny table toppers, people gather them into their trunks. Addicts line up for regular doses of seasonal flavored caffeine. We’ve reached that time of year. The world has gone out of its gourd.
If the season beckons you to join the obsession, enjoy the fun. Go pumpkin crazy! Those holiday delights can benefit your health, beauty, and dwelling place. The numerous ways and reasons to celebrate autumn with pumpkins might surprise you.
A single cup of pumpkin contains all our daily needs for vitamin A and twenty percent of the required amount of vitamin C. This autumn celebrity is loaded with fiber, beta carotene, potassium, andother vitamins. It’s low in fat and has zero cholesterol. For the greatest health impact, cook your own and avoid adding salt. Canned pie filling has added sugar, anyway. Options to include the nutrient-packed veggies in your diet abound, but I’ve plucked a few unusual concepts to share with you.
Edible Pumpkin Delicacies
To streamline these recipes, I recommend making a batch of cooked pumpkin. Save the puree to use in various applications.
1. So the first concept is an old standby. But, we just can’t have a fall season without the marvelous PSL. Here in the tropics, we rely heavily on flavors and synthetic decor to create autumn. When it’s eighty degrees outside, you turn down the AC and enjoy a DIY Pumpkin Spice Latte. I’d personally substitute the sugar with stevia. You could also try using coconut milk or dairy alternatives.
2. Pumpkin Spice Buns would make a great companion to the latte, don’t you think?
3. This cinnamon recipe of Homemade Pumpkin Butter sounds like a great way to pretend Florida experiences autumn.
4. Don’t throw the guts away! Compost or uses as an extra source of fiber in smoothies or breads. If you don’t use all the seeds in your pumpkin gut bread below, try roasting them with pink himalayan salt and olive oil. Experiment with chili powder or cayenne, if you want a little extra kick.
5. I also found a health-packed recipe called Pumpkin Gut Bread. This baked goodie uses the entire pumpkin while offering a fiber-rich treat. Of course, one must have bread for painting on thick slatherings of pumpkin butter.
6. Had I not seen it, I would never have thought of making Pumpkin Lasagne. But, I mean, how can you go wrong with LASAGNE? Everything tastes good with cheese and cream. And pumpkins have so much fiber and vitamin content, it might just cancel out the negatives. If you eat it before running a marathon.
7. I love how adorable Pumpkin Soup looks when served in hollowed mini-pumpkins. This could dress up a Thanksgiving table or impress your favorite guests.
8. I love a spa day as much as I enjoy saving money by making my own beauty rituals happen at home. We absorb nutrients and toxins through our largest organ, the skin. With a Honey Pumpkin Exfoliating Mask, the toxins are sloughed away and the complexion enjoys vitamin infused nourishment.
9. To pamper more of your skin for all-over health benefits, add a Pumpkin Sugar Body Scrub.
Seasonal Home Decor and Gifts
10. Create a bio-degradable planter. Add rocks or poke drain holes in the bottom of your hollowed gourd. Fill with potting soil. If you’d still like to draw a face, go aHEAD (sorry, couldn’t resist the pun). The plant can serve as hair for your jack o’planter. Aloe, mums, or wheatgrass offer a few of the many fun options you could choose from. After Halloween, you can dig a hole and drop the whole thing into your favorite spot. The shell will decompose and nourish the soil.
11. Use miniatures as inexpensive candle holders. Hollow out small pumpkins. Be sure to leave an open space at the top to allow for the flame. Depending on the size, you might need to leave the stem circle off entirely. Add tealights. The flame warms the pumpkin flesh just enough to release a hint of its fragrance. Voila! An adorable way to scent your home for the season.
12. Paint your pumpkins. Experiment with abstract patterns or favorite themes. Enlist your children or grandkids to craft a few of their own. Kids too young to carve can feel more included in the creative process when allowed to decorate with paints or markers. Consider having family members or friends draw outlines and trade to paint, for a new twist on the coloring book fan.
13. Create a 3-D collage. Layer gourds of different sizes and colors. Include painted, carved, or natural pumpkins. Add straw bales, crates, or burlap-wrapped boxes to create more dimension.
14. Photograph your family’s gourd artwork. Place the photos inside mason jars and fill with candy corn for table top decor. Use leaves to frame kids’ masterpieces for next year’s decor or save them for your family albums.
15. Offer someone an autumn embrace, virtually speaking. Matte a photo of family members with the painted gourds with pumpkin oil and pie-spice scented paper. Send the photo as a gift to your distant loved ones.
What are your favorite uses for pumpkin? Did you try any of the above? Share your gourd-geous ideas with us in the comments below. As always, I look forward to hearing your thoughts. Have a great week.