Make Your Jack-o-Lantern and Eat It Too

In honor of Sasha, this post is about eating your jack-o-lantern.

Image from RecipeTips.com

Instead of letting all the perfectly good pumpkin food go to waste, it’s possible to make tons of sweet and savory treats from your Halloween decor. Carved jack-o-lanterns keep several days before they start rotting. Cut away any rotting parts before you cook. Instead of sooty candles, the the Ultimate Cheapskate recommends using an electric light.

When cutting, remove the seeds, rinse them, dry them, salt them, season them, and bake them on a lightly oiled cookie sheet in a 250′ oven for around an hour. Stir every 20 minutes.

Scrape out as much pulp as you can. Steam it for 30 minutes or until it’s tender, then puree it in a blender.

Painted jack-o-lanterns are OK too, but make sure you don’t get paint in the food. Pop them in the oven and bake them to make the skin flake off.

How-to from Mother Earth News:
1. Remove any paint with metal pot scrubber, or peel skin off.
2. Scrape out seeds and stringy fibers with soup spoon.
3. Cut pumpkin into 4-6 pieces, or keep whole and replace the cap when scooped
4. Place on greased cookie sheet
5. Bake at 350’F until tender (about an hour, or an hour and a half if whole)
6. If whole, pour off any collected liquied
7. Cool it quickly in cold water and drain. Cut the meat away from the skin and puree it to remove lumps.
8. If you have lots of pumpkin puree, pack it into pint or quart jars or freeze.

You can make pumpkin pie, pumpkin muffins, pumpkin bread….

Some more ideas from Frugal Fun:

1. Pumpkin butter
(pureed pumpkin plus mace, ginger, cloves, cinnamon, and apples)
2. Pumpkin soup
(pumpkin, hot pepper, apple, garlic, almonds, mozzarella)
3. Pumpkin chocolate chip bars
4. Pumpkin chips
5. Chilean Squash Casserole (from Moosewood Cookbook)
(pumpkin, cheddar cheese, carrots, cumin, salsa)
6. Pumpkin latkes
(grated with eggs, onions, and flour, and fry patties)
7. Thai pumpkin curry
8. Baked pumpkin seeds
9. Pumpkin pie
10. Stuffed pumpkin
(vegetables, cheese, milk, bread crumbs, spices)

If you don’t like eating pumpkin, there are still ways to get another use out of it – Gaiam Life recommends composting or donating it to your local zoo.

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