I do love pumpkin. I like it in just about anything—coffees, pies, breads, muffins. So while it is not a problem to consume all things pumpkin, it can become an issue to use up so much leftover pumpkin all at once (after all, two back-to-back holidays feature this round orange treasure). Here are some creative—and often quite tasty—ideas for using up leftover pumpkin…now and later!
If you use all five of these ideas, you will enjoy savings from $63.05 to $260.82!
1. Make pumpkin butter
Anything delicious is even more delicious with butter, right? So here, you can flavor this year-round staple to pump up the gourmet pumpkin in all your favorite holiday treats!
- What you need: 2 cups pureed pumpkin, 1 cup brown sugar, 1 cup apple cider (or spring water), pinch salt, dash of your favorite spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, etc.), saucepan
- What to do: Combine all ingredients in the saucepan and stir. Bring to a boil (while stirring). Reduce to a simmer and stir occasionally for 25 minutes. Remove from heat and let the butter cool. Refrigerate in an airtight jar.
- How to use: Spread your pumpkin butter on top of muffins, breads, pancakes, waffles, toast.
- How you save: A jar of pre-made pumpkin butter costs anywhere from $6.95 – $19.99 (Google shopping). Plus, it is often made with nuts (pecans) which can be a problem if you have allergies.
2. Make fun and festive holiday pumpkin serving bowls
If you have smaller leftover pumpkins, why not hollow them out and make delicious serving bowls for flavorful, spicy pumpkin soup, dip or sweet potato pie?
- What you need: Your extra small – medium pumpkins, a large spoon, baking sheet, foil, vegetable oil
- What to do: Hollow out each pumpkin. Line your baking tray with foil and place each pumpkin shell onto it. Drizzle a bit of oil onto the cut top and inside each shell. Heat the oven to 350 and bake for 30 minutes. Remove and allow to cool.
- How you save: A set of four festive holiday pumpkin serving bowls (pumpkin shaped with tops) will cost you anywhere from $30 – $90 (Google shopping). Plus, you have to store them all year long!
Note: You can compost your bowls after use—or why not make them into sweet garden planters! Just pack them 1/3 – 1/2 full of dirt and add seeds or young plants. The pumpkin will act as a nutritious source of starter and fertilizer.
3. Whip up a rejuvenating pumpkin facial
Pumpkin is packed full of vitamins and minerals—zinc, A, C, and E are all equally healing and restorative for your insides and outsides.
- What you need: 3 tsp pumpkin puree, 1 Tbsp milk, 2-3 tsp brown sugar, small dish, spoon
- What to do: Mix all ingredients together until smooth. Gently smooth onto the skin of your face and neck (except for the delicate skin around the eyes). Leave on for 10-20 minutes, then wash off with cool water and a soft cloth.
- How you save: You will pay upwards of $16 (Amazon) for a pre-made pumpkin-base facial. At a salon, expect to pay $135 or more (without tip)!
4. Make pumpkin stock
Pumpkin-flavored stock can become the basis for a literal plethora of tasty soups and other holiday dishes.
- What you need: Pumpkin innards and strings (basically, the parts attached to the seeds), water, pot
- What to do: Fill your pot with spring water and add the pumpkin innards and strings. Boil for half an hour, then let the stock cool. Store until needed (you can even freeze it).
- How you save: It’s not easy to find pumpkin soup stock in stores—you can buy pumpkin spice mix (to make stock or soup) or pumpkin soup, but about the closest you will find is Williams-Sonoma pumpkin soup starter for $9.71 – $12.95.
5. Make pumpkin puree
No pumpkin recipe is complete without that non-negotiable ingredient: pumpkin puree. I just bought a single can of organic pumpkin puree from Whole Foods for $2.99! You can make your own with the pumpkin you already bought and enjoy holiday delicacies all season long!
- What you need: Pumpkin with innards/strings and seeds removed, knife, 1 cup spring water, baking dish, big spoon
- What to do: Cut the pumpkin down the middle (so you have two halves). Place the halves inside-side down in the baking dish. Add the 1 cup water. Heat the oven to 350 and bake for at least 1.5 hours or until the inside feels tender. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Scoop the soft insides out and puree (you can use a fork, a mixer, or a food processor). Store in an airtight jar in the fridge or freezer until you need to use.
- How you save: Even with coupons, you can still expect to pay around $1.00 per can—and without coupons, $2.88 and up is common even for non-organic puree (Walmart).