After halloween, 1.3 billion pounds of pumpkins will be carried to the landfills- YIKES! That’s a lot of pumpkins, not to mention a lot of waste. You can help change that with a few ideas we collected.
If you didn’t carve up that pumpkin, we have a fantastic Pumpkin Seed Recipe from Jon in San Diego (full recipe below). However, if you did carve up that pumpkin, here are some great ideas:
CREATE COMPOST** - Pumpkins are great for home composters. They can even be buried in the ground to nourish your soil.
TURN IT INTO A BIRD FEEDER** - These creative looking bird feeders are fun and practical. Many birds will eat the leftover seeds or even the pumpkin flesh.
FEED THE LOCAL WILDLIFE** - This vegetable broken up into chunks makes a great snack for small animals.
DONATE IT** - Many local farms or zoos accept pumpkin donations as well as some city programs.
All those pumpkins don’t have to go to waste after our fun Halloween events. As you can see, we can all do a little bit more not just with our pumpkins but for the things, more importantly, the people around us as well.
How To Roast Pumpkin Seeds in the Oven*
First, place the pumpkin seeds in a bowl of water and give them a good agitation. Swish them around!
Second, skim the seeds off the top and transfer to a colander. Rinse the seeds under running water. Discard the water and solids.
Third, transfer the seeds to a towel and cover with another towel. Blot dry. Be patient here, this takes a few minutes. As you continue to blot, some of the pumpkin solids will fall away. If you have time, allow the seeds to air dry further for about 30 minutes.
Fourth, preheat to 300F. Place the dry seeds (they’ll still be a bit slippery) on a parchment or silpat lined baking sheet. Sprinkle 1 Tbs of coconut oil over the seeds. Use your hands to toss the seeds until they are all coated. I recommend about 1 Tbs of coconut oil per cup of seeds.
Fifth, sprinkle the seeds with the smoky sweet spice blend (or create your own favorite blend!).
Next, toss with hands to distribute the seasoning.
Last, roast seeds for about 30-35 minutes or until lightly golden.
A Few Recipe Notes
- For this homemade pumpkin seeds recipe, you’ll roast the seeds for about 30-35 minutes. I sometimes push this to upwards of 40 minutes because I like my seeds extra crunchy. Due to oven variations, keep an eye on them! Roast until golden to golden brown without burning the sugar. The transition from extra crispy to burned can happy quick!
DIY SPICE BLENDS: Make your own spice blend and play with those flavors! Try a Cajun spice blend, pumpkin pie spice or BBQ. The possibilities are endless! If mixing and matching, mix the spices in a small bowl and taste before adding the seasoning blend to the oiled seeds.
- For one cup of seeds, you’ll need 1 tablespoon of oil and about 1 teaspoon of spices (this doesn’t include the salt and brown sugar).
*Recipe courtesy of https://vanillaandbean.com/how-to-make-pumpkin-puree-how-to-roast-pumpkin-seeds/Click the link to get the full recipe and watch the video
**from https://www.newsweek.com/pumpkin-waste-compost-wildlife-1634633 by Eleanor Lees
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