8 Yummy Ways to Recycle Your Leftover Pumpkin

10.30.2013 / Blog Posts Recipes

Kimberly Young, Founder Healthy Little Cooks and author of 5-Minute Lunchbox 

Pumpkin is an excellent source of vitamin A, beta-carotene and potassium.  Beta-carotene, which can help reduce cancer risk, is thought to provide anti-aging benefits.  Studies also suggest that chemical compounds in pumpkin can regenerate damaged pancreatic cells, possibly increasing insulin production and helping diabetics.  So, this season after you’ve carved the face on your favorite pumpkin, opt out of throwing away the inside and make one of these recycled treats.  Your body and skin will thank you!


1. Create a moisturizing DIY Pumpkin Spice Sugar Scrub
How to make it:  Mix ½ cup pureed pumpkin, 1 cup sugar, 2 tablespoons coconut oil and a dash of vanilla or powdered cinnamon (if your skin is sensitive, omit the cinnamon) in a bowl.  Use immediately, the scrub will only last 2-3 days so share with friends or turn it into a party favor

pumkin seeds

2.  Fire up the oven and roast Pumpkin Seeds
How to make it:  Remove all of the pumpkin string from seeds and rinse well.  Preheat oven to 325.  Boil the seeds in salt water for 10 minutes rinse, drain and dry slightly (it’s ok if they are damp).  Mix 1 cup of seeds with ½ tablespoon of canola or coconut oil and spread evenly on a baking sheet.  Sprinkle generously with salt and cook for 8-10 minutes.

3.  Whip up a Pumpkin Moisturizing Facemask
The seasonal varying temperatures can cause havoc on our skin.  Pumpkin is packed full of moisturizing benefits that can help. Whether you have oily, dry or sensitive skin, pumpkin offers a “mask full” of benefits.  Check out these DIY recipes here.                              

4.  Make a healthy Pumpkin Spice Milkshake
How to make it:  In a blender, add 2 tablespoons of pumpkin puree to 1 cup of low-fat vanilla ice cream, ½ teaspoon of pumpkin spice and ½ cup of low-fat milk.  Mix well until all lumps are gone.  Top with whipped cream and a dash of ginger or your favorite spice. 

5.  Turn your pumpkin into compost 
To do this, you’ll need to remove the pumpkin seeds first.  Whole seeds, unlike pumpkin flesh don’t break down in the compost process easily.  When removing the seeds, you can roast and eat them, break down their structure in a blender and add them to your pumpkin compost or throw them in the trash.

6.  Smooth together an Avocado Pumpkin hair mask
Synthetic vitamin A is often used in hair products to smooth and condition the scalp and potassium has a reputation for contributing to hair growth.  Why not use your pumpkin’s natural vitamins and make your own?  Here’s a video showing you how to create of my favorite recipes for an easy DYI Avocado Pumpkin Hair Mask for dry and curly hair.

7.  Make your own healthy pumpkin butter
If you’re looking for a fun pumpkin recipe that isn’t labor intensive, but is packed full of nutrients.  Pull out your ole’ Crockpot and use this recipe to make your own Pumpkin Butter.

8.  Save money and make your own Healthy Pumpkin Spice Coconut Latte
Put on your barista hat and make your own latte.  In addition to saving money, you’ll have complete control over how much sugar, spice and type of milk that goes into this sweet treat.  Learn the secret to making my favorite Pumpkin Spice Coconut Latte here.

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