It is pumpkin season and so many of these wonderful fruits get thrown to the wayside after jack o' lanterns come down and autumn fades into winter. Please don't throw your pumpkins away, use them! All the pumpkin drinks and snacks, center pieces, and decorations are here for a reason. They are awesome!!
Did you know pumpkins are amazing for your skin, very low in calories but bursting with nutritional value, a great wildlife food source, and an excellent ingredient for snacks and cocktails. Get creative with your porch decorations and use every last bit of those pumpkins from flesh to seeds.
Here are a few creative ways to utilize those beautiful fall fruits:
- Pumpkin Face Mask- This beauty treat is bursting with skin nourishment. Pumpkin contains alpha hydroxy acid which smooths and brightens complexion. Vitamins A, C, K, and E all pack their own punch of beauty benefits from softening the skin to boosting collagen production. Did you know that the molecular structure of pumpkins is really small? This means it will penetrate deeper when applied topically which is great for aging and dull complexions as it will even that skin tone from within. There are tons of wonderful pumpkin mask recipes out there so find you favorite and get the spa feel right at home! We like this simple recipe below!
- Gather 1/4 cup of pumpkin and add one egg white which will tighten the skin
- Add 2 teaspoons of raw organic honey which is great for dry skin and has many anti-bacterial properties OR add a splash of apple cider vinegar instead of the honey if you have oily skin that needs an astringent.
- Whisk it all together! For a bonus effect add 2-3 teaspoons of brown sugar to use as an exfoliater.
- Apply to your face and neck, relax, breathe deep, and let this pumpkin potion work its magic. Sit for 15-20 minutes and rinse with warm water.
- Use the Seeds- Roasted pumpkin seeds are a wonderful snack and full of antioxidants and minerals. Consume the seeds for a good dose of zinc! You can add salt to taste or cinnamon and brown sugar to bake up a sweet treat.
- Feed the Birds- Use the seeds you don't want to toast up as an addition to your bird feeder, your feathery friends will love this treat! You can take it a step further and cut your pumpkin in half and use the shell as the feeder itself.
- Spike it- Make a tasty cocktail with one teaspoon of pumpkin puree, a dash of vanilla and cinnamon, a squeeze of lime juice, and a drop of honey. Add to a shaker of ice and 2 ounces of vodka. Enjoy!
- Make Pumpkin Puree- Scoop out the seeds and guts. Place your pumpkin in a baking dish with a cup of water (make sure the cut side is facing down) and bake for about 90 minutes or until the flesh is tender. Scoop out the flesh and puree in a food processor. Now your ready to bake your pies, mix it in with hummus, add it to soup, or spice your coffee!
- Explore your Tasty Options- Check out this delectable recipe for pumpkin risotto from Marian Burros.