Published: Oct. 20, 2021 By

It’s a great time of year! The leaves are changing, the weather is finally cooling down, and everything is pumpkin flavored. This is also the time of year for pumpkin carving and pumpkins more generally as decorations. Pumpkins make great decorations for this time of year because not only are they festive, but when you no longer want them around your house, you can use virtually every part of them to make delicious treats! There are few decorations that are more zero waste than that. Also, did you know that pumpkins are basically a super food?!  So, let's dive into how you can use your pumpkin without any waste.

The Meat of the Pumpkin:

The best thing to do with the meat of the pumpkin is to make pumpkin puree! This is the same stuff that people generally buy in cans at the grocery store when they want to make virtually anything pumpkin related, but you can have it as fresh as possible this way!

  • The process is quite simple, as long as you have a food processor or blender or something of the sort that can puree the pumpkin after you have cooked it. 
  • This allows you to use a large part of the pumpkin that is more commonly wasted than the seeds. 
  • The fresher the pumpkin, the better whatever it is you are making with it will be! 
  • Check out this recipe for how to do this yourself!

The Seeds:

  • Roast the seeds for a quick snack! 

    • Pumpkin seeds are a great, healthy snack. 

    • One of the best parts of roasting them yourself is that you get to decide how you want them to be flavored. My personal favorite is with garlic powder, but there are so many options to personalize them for your tastes! 

    • Check out this list of pumpkin seed recipes 

  • Seeds can also be saved in order to grow your own pumpkins next year. 

    • This saves you money on next year’s pumpkin because rather than having to go pick and purchase a pumpkin, you can grow one right in your backyard. 

    • Not only will you save money, but you get to personalize your pumpkin picking experience the following year.

Check out this article for some directions on how to harvest and store pumpkin seeds 

What to do with an inedible pumpkin:

  • Pumpkins are often used to make jack-o-lanterns. Of course, it is not going to be quite so feasible to consume your jack-o-lantern as it rots on your front porch. So, here is what to do with a pumpkin in a situation like this, where you cannot eat it, but the pumpkin is at the end of its life. 

  • Pumpkins are compostable! They can be composted in either a backyard compost or in an industrial compost facility. If you want to learn more about composting, or need help setting up a backyard compost, check out the links above.