After carving a pumpkin for a jack-o’-lantern or using it in a delicious recipe, you’re usually left with a mess. However, hold off on throwing that stuff in the garbage just yet! Contrary to popular belief, there are a variety of uses for the stringy pumpkin guts (also known as the pulp and seeds; see how to separate them). Continue reading to find out more about their health advantages and what to deal with any remaining pumpkin guts.
Pumpkin provides excellent health advantages in addition to being festive for autumn. The following are a few possible health advantages that you should aware of:
- Boost your immunity: Pumpkin has a lot of vitamin A, which is essential for boosting immunity as well as contributing to the orange color of the fruit.
- Destroy cancer cells: Pumpkin is a food that is high in carotenoids, like other orange fruits and vegetables. Beta carotene, a carotenoid found in fruits and vegetables, may improve your body’s capacity to eradicate cancer cells.
- Improve your eye health: A greater carotenoid diet reduced the chance of advanced macular degeneration, the main cause of vision loss, by 25% to 35% in a study of over 100,000 people monitored for 35 years.
Don’t overlook the seeds, however! They also provide a considerable number of health advantages:
- Rich in antioxidants: Antioxidants are abundant in pumpkin seeds, which help preserve your cells and lessen inflammation.
- High in magnesium: Pumpkin seeds are an excellent source of magnesium, which supports the health of your bones, heart, blood pressure, and blood sugar. Magnesium also aids in promoting rest and sound sleep.
How to store pumpkin pulp & seeds
After separating the seeds from the pulp, you may store it in the refrigerator for two to four days until you’re ready to use it. Alternately, store it in a container that is well packed in the freezer, where it will keep for up to three months. If your planned purpose calls for it, you could purée the pulp first. Frozen pulp should defrosted overnight in the refrigerator.
Make careful to get rid of any pulp that is clinging to the pumpkin seeds when you rinse them in a colander, strainer, or the basket of a salad spinner. The seeds should spun in a salad spinner before being poured onto paper or linen towels to dry. After transferring the seeds to dry cloths, let them outside all night. It’s critical that the seeds be completely dry to prevent the formation of mold. Dry seeds may frozen with the pulp to preserve them for (at least) three months, or they can stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator and used within a week.
What to do with leftover pumpkin pulp & seeds
Making your own vegetable stock is easier than you would think. It just needs a little preparation. Always have a gallon-size reusable bag in your freezer, and fill it with vegetable scraps as you cook. When your bag is full with onion, celery, carrot, and pumpkin trimmings, scraps, and pulp, put everything in a saucepan, cover it with water, and set the heat to boil. Depending on how you want to use the stock, feel free to add any aromatics and spices. You’re not just wasting less food, but it’s also simple and tasty! Make your favorite soup using it as the foundation for your subsequent batch.
Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
Remember to take advantage of the seeds’ health advantages! Roasting pumpkin seeds is simple and quite versatile. Try the Cinnamon-Sugar Pumpkin Seeds if you’re craving something sweet. Trying to find something tasty? Try making homemade Everything Bagel Seasoning for Pumpkin Seeds. For your next journey, you may also include them into granola bars, loose granola, and trail mixes.
When you have roasted seeds on hand (you can keep them in the fridge for at least a month in an airtight container), sprinkle them over salads or even nachos for a wonderful, nutty crunch.
To enhance the taste of pumpkin-based dishes like pumpkin bread, purée the pulp on your own and add it to canned pumpkin puree. For pumpkin butter, you can also just add the puree to dishes like oatmeal, rice, risotto, hummus, and butter. Cook the pureed pulp first by sautéing it until the color deepens, that raw flavor is gone, and the puree smells sweetly of pumpkin before adding it to items that are either raw or previously cooked. It ought should simply take five to ten minutes.
If you’re a fan of pumpkin spice, you can add some to any of the aforementioned dishes (or while sautéing the pulp puree separately) to get the comforting taste profile that honors everything about fall.
You may include it into your homemade or preferred store-bought hummus. Don’t limit yourself to hummus however; you can also add your pulp to a number of spreads and dips, such as Skillet Sun-Dried Tomato Dip. When you add your cooked puree and a dash of pumpkin spice, even plain old cream cheese becomes a bit more interesting.
Don’t simply heap up some old newspaper with pumpkin guts on it, package it, and throw it away. Both the pulp and the seeds have a wide range of applications. When you utilize the whole pumpkin, you produce less waste, get more value for your money, and expand your menu of delectable, healthful foods. This goes for soups, breads, and crispy snacks.
Jennifer Weiss analyzed by Geometry Dash LLC and registered dietitian Emily Lachtrupp, M.S.