Why? Because we live to pumpkin spice everything in sight.
Ah pumpkin – the most festive of gourds. Traditionally relegated to Thanksgiving pies and Jack-o-lanterns (and of course, in post-September lattes), pumpkins are actually surprisingly versatile. Here are just a few of the ways you can use pumpkin this fall.
Pumpkin happens to be pretty darn healthy, as it contains 3 grams of fiber (and only 50 calories) per cup as well as a heap of vitamin A, which helps maintain healthy skin, teeth and bones.
While pumpkin chunks can be added to any roasted veggie medley, the potential for mush can put some people off. But we love how filling and comforting a nice curry pumpkin soup is on a chilly autumn day!
-2 tablespoons olive oil
-1/4 cup minced yellow onion
-1/2 cup minced celery
-1/4 teaspoon salt
-2 clove garlic, minced
-1 teaspoon curry powder
-2 tsp. fresh ginger, grated (or 1 tsp. ground ginger)
-3 cups chicken or vegetable broth
-1 can (15 oz) 100% pure pumpkin puree (use a 2 1/2- lb pie pumpkin if you don’t want to use canned)
-1 14-oz. can light coconut milk
Saute onion and celery until clear, then add your spices. Add broth and pumpkin puree and bring to a simmer. Only add your coconut milk right before serving and garnish with (unshelled) pumpkin seeds if desired.
They are crazy healthy for you AND an addictive snack! Pumpkin seeds contain a lot of zinc, plus they’re rich in beta-carotene and other antioxidants with cancer protective properties.
To prepare them, all you need to do is scoop out the inside of your pumpkin (the kind you use for jack-o-lanterns works great) and separate it from the stringy parts. Clean them thoroughly, and let them soak in saltwater overnight (about 1tbs salt for 4 cups water). Then, drain and dry them, before mixing with oil and the spices of your choice (we love adding a bit of chili powder!). You can then spread them on a baking sheet and roast in the oven at 300 degrees for 20-30 minutes. Easy as pie! (Sorry – we had to.)
Yes, pumpkin pies are amazing, but sometimes you can’t justify all that baking for little ‘ol you. Thankfully, Popsugar has your back:
We’re absolutely in love with Too Cool for School’s Pumpkin Sleeping Pack (seriously, what don’t we love from that brand?) but you can also use pumpkin to make your own DIY exfoliating mask while you’re making any of these other creations.
-1 Tbsp Pumpkin Puree (packed with vitamins and enzymes to brighten skin)
-1 Tbsp Honey (hydrates skin, and when raw has antibacterial properties)
-¼ Cup Brown Sugar (softer than white sugar, it’s perfect for exfoliation)
-3 Tbsp Coffee Grounds (Offers anti-inflammatory properties to tighten and smooth your skin)
You can add a tsp of cinnamon, which may help clear up acne, but be careful if you have sensitive skin, as it may be irritating.
Mix your dry ingredients before adding the pumpkin and honey – it should be quite thick. Once you apply, wait 10 minutes before gently exfoliating your skin using your fingers and rinsing. In a sealed jar, it should last about a week in your fridge.
Originally from Vancouver, Canada, Lane Baumeister is a staunch proponent of the em-dash and made-for-TV movies.