If you purchased some pumpkins at one of the pumpkin patches we told you about last week or just picked up some pumpkins at a local store, you may be wondering what to do with all of them now.
Besides the “traditional” use of carving the pumpkins, there are lots of things you can do with pumpkins too – both their insides and outsides! Here are few ideas on how to put those pumpkins to good use in a variety of food-related and decoration-inspired ways.
Using Pumpkins in Food
Whether you use the insides of fresh pumpkins or opt for canned pumpkin instead, there are many creative and easy ways to enjoy both the savory and sweet taste of pumpkin this time of year.
Harvest Pumpkin Soup
½ cup chopped onion
3 Tbsp. butter
2 cups mashed cooked pumpkin
1 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. sugar
¼ tsp. nutmeg
¼ tsp. ground pepper
3 cups chicken broth
½ cup half and half
Brown onions in pan with butter. Add mashed pumpkin and all seasonings. Slowly add the chicken broth and heat thoroughly without boiling. Run soup through the blender to create a smooth texture. Stir in the cream and serve.
Easiest Pumpkin Cookies Ever!
1 package spice cake mix
1 can of pumpkin
1 bag of chocolate chips and/or 2 cups chopped walnuts (depending on preference)
Preheat oven to 350°F. Mix spice cake mix and pumpkin until well blended together (a mixer or spoon both work). Add your preferred additional ingredients and stir. Drop 2 Tbsp. of the mixture per cookie onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Bake for 20-25 minutes. These cookies have a cake-like consistency which is why they take longer than most cookies to bake. Cool cookies slightly before enjoying.
Perfect Pumpkin Snack- A sweet and savory blend
Pick your bagel of choice to slice and toast. Mix a bit of pumpkin puree with plain cream cheese and spread over the top of the bagel. Enjoy!
Decorating with Pumpkins
If eating pumpkin is not your preferred taste or you’d rather keep the pumpkins around for a while, you can use them to create fall-inspired décor.
Pumpkin Candle Holders
Carve out the pumpkin’s stem and area surrounding it to fit the size of the candle, insert the candle, and tie a ribbon around the pumpkin or add fall foliage around it. Do this with a variety of sizes of pumpkins to create a centerpiece or place them individually throughout a room.
Mini-pumpkin Place Card Holders
If you’re hosting an event or just want to jazz up family dinner, you can create easy place card holders with mini-pumpkins. Simply cut a slit into the top of one side of a mini-pumpkin (or into the stem if you prefer) and insert name cards for each guest or family member.
If your kids are too young to carve pumpkins or you just want to change things up, have each child decorate a pumpkin with a variety of finger paints. Once they dry, the kids will be so proud to see their work displayed as a decoration on the front porch or throughout the house. If you’re looking for a more sophisticated look, you can paint the entire outside of pumpkins before creating the candle holders to create a variation of a traditional pumpkin look.
We’re sure there are lots of other ideas for using pumpkins. We would enjoy hearing your creative ideas in the comment section.