Oh my gourd! It's pumpkin season

Oh my gourd! It's pumpkin season: Make use of the entire pumpkin with these tips

Fall is here, and Halloween is right around the corner! But, before you start breaking out the carving tools for your Jack-O-Lanterns, be sure you’ve got a plan for what to do with the seeds, pulp, and finished product. Avoid throwing out your pumpkin’s treasured innards and reduce pumpkin waste by following these tips:

Roast the seeds


Depending on who you ask, half the fun is scooping out the pumpkin’s insides! But, don’t just throw all those yummy seeds in the trash. Roast them to make a tasty (and healthy) snack, or use them in other recipes. If you’re carving with others, designate someone to be the seed collector and washer to make the job faster. Here’s how to clean and roast Pumpkin seeds>

Pro tip: seasoning combinations are endless! Experiment with flavors you love and you can’t go wrong.

Pumpkin seeds and guts.  Roasted pumpkin seeds in a blue bowl.

Use the guts


Setting aside the slimy and gooey pumpkin parts can reap big rewards. Seriously, don’t throw this stuff away! Here’s how to make the best of the goo.

  • Pumpkin stock: You can use your pumpkin pulp to make delicious veggie stock. Toss it all in a pot, along with any other veggie scraps you’ve been saving. Then, just add water, simmer, strain, and you’re done!

Pro tip: want to make it later? Store the pulp in the freezer until you’re ready to make stock. Need more direction on how to make veggie stock? Here’s a recipe>

  • Pumpkin Face mask: Use the pumpkin guts to make your own DIY face mask! Simply add honey or olive oil to your pumpkin mash, then blend until the mixture has a paste-like consistency. Slather it on and relax — you’ve earned it!


Veggie scraps in a pot.  Mashed pumpkin with a spoon in it.

Photos: Left: Veggie scraps and pumpkin guts about to be made into stock, via Busted Button. Right: Pumpkin face mask, via @holy_guacamama

Compost the rest


At the end if its life, a Jack-O-Lantern (or decorative pumpkin) can still be put to good use. Compost it in your own backyard system to make nutrient-rich soil for your yard or garden. Or, if you’re a lucky Austinite that has curbside composting, place the pumpkin in the bin and the City will take care of the rest! Want to learn how to backyard compost? Take a class and get a $75 rebate on a home composting system.