Pumpkins Repurposed: Give Gourds New Life in November
With the end of October we officially said goodbye to National Pumpkin month. Pumpkins really did reign supreme over the last few weeks with pumpkin-spiced EVERYTHING and carved and un-carved, real and manufactured versions of the fall favorite decorating front porches and lawns throughout our communities. So, now what do we do with all those leftover pumpkins? Have no fear! Just because the scariest holiday of the year is over, it doesn't mean these gourds can't find new life in the new month.
Jack-O-Lantern season is over, but pumpkins and other gourds make beautiful additions to autumn and thanksgiving displays, especially the versatile miniature sizes.
While their natural orange hue is beautiful for November, why not try spray painting them in white, or metallic silver, gold, or bronze to add a touch of elegance to your look.
Use larger pumpkins or a collection of smaller gourds for eye-catching centerpieces accompanied by pine cones and artificial berries and/or leaves. Miniatures are also perfect for mantles, wreaths, and even place holders for a festive and beautiful tablescape.
Check out this Hallmark store video for a few tips.
Not only are pumpkins a tasty ingredient for dishes like soups, breads, and pies, they are chock full of nutrients.
At just 49 calories for a one cup serving, cooked pumpkin packs a whopping 245% of your recommended daily allowance for Vitamin A, and offers a nice boost of Vitamin C (19%), Potassium (16%), Manganese & Vitamin B2 (11%), Vitamin E (10%) and Iron (8%). Pumpkin is also a great source of fiber (3 grams) and has just .2 grams a fat with 2 grams of protein.
Whether you're a novice in the kitchen or want something a little more challenging and gourmet, here is our list of some favorites that you can try your hand at this season from salty to sweet, appetizers to desserts, you can pretty much make a full meal of pumpkin with these delicious entries. Want to really wow your guests? Earn bonus points for serving the harvest soup in a carved out pumpkin bowl. We guarantee they will be impressed.
Remember all those vitamins and minerals in pumpkin that make it a healthy addition to your diet? Well, those same properties also make it a great beauty go-to. With vitamins A, C and E, and antioxidants like alpha-carotene and beta-carotene, that are known to help fight signs of aging like sun damage and wrinkles. It also has exfoliating benefits as well thanks to fruit enzymes.
If you want an easy fail-proof treatment you can whip up a hydrating body butter with just two ingredients ... equal parts pumpkin puree and coconut oil. Just slather on in the shower, rinse, and you're on your way to softer and healthier skin. You can check out more great DIY recipes like lip scrubs and facials at TreeHugger.com.
So, there you have it. We think we've proven that pumpkins are deserving of accolades past their official month of celebration and with that we leave you with a few fun facts that you may want to whip out at the Thanksgiving table ... before you enjoy a slice of pumpkin pie. Happy eating!