Pumpkins are an essential part of Halloween celebrations. But after the spooky parties are over, the pumpkins are left to rot. It is a food waste and should be avoided. What good uses can these celebration pumpkins be put to?
Halloween celebrations and pumpkins
Turnips were part of the festivities during Halloween. When this culture reached the American shores, people there started using pumpkins in place of turnips. The orange vegetable is now a very much a part of Halloween celebrations. People carve it into various things and especially the jack-o-lanterns.
Once their use in the festivity of Halloween is over, people discard it as a waste. This adds to the food waste which is already a huge amount at 40% of the food produce. Experts are urging people to minimize food waste to help in food security and also save the planet.
Pumpkins would rot and add to the foul smell and environmental pollution. But there are better ways to recycle and use these pumpkins. Here are some ideas for its reuse:
Eat the seeds
After the Halloween is over, one can separate the seeds of the fruit cum vegetable and eat them. After removal, rinse them in free flowing water, add oil and spices of your choice and eat. One can also roast them prior to consumption. Add these roasted seeds to salads or soups for that crunchiness.
The seeds are delicious and nutritious with a lot of healthy fats, minerals, and vitamins.
Cook the pumpkin pieces after the Halloween celebrations
One can eat the fleshy inside of the pumpkins. Cook them into a curry with spices of your choice or roast and cut them into pieces and add to risotto, pasta or a pumpkin stew. The pumpkin remain for few hours if left in a cool and dry place.
The leftover pumpkin pieces can be used to feed your chickens or birds. Chickens can eat the flesh as well as the seeds and so can the birds. Use them thus within a day or two lest bacteria or fungi grow on them and spoil them.
Convert the pumpkin into compost
One can put the pumpkin under the earth or mud pile and convert it into compost. The vegetable will decay and make the soil enriched. This compost can provide nutrients to the soil, and the plants that you grow in this compost pile would yield more and grow at a faster pace.
Make it into a birdfeeder
Cut the pumpkin into two halves and in each half put the seeds or food that the birds will feed on. When the birds nibble on the seeds or pick them up in their beaks, they will also eat part of the flesh of the pumpkin with it. This is healthy and good for them.
There is a growing trend wherein people leave pumpkins in the woods after the Halloween is over. The Forestry department England has urged people to not follow this myth. The reason is that it can endanger the health and lives of wild animals in the woods. Hedgehogs get sick after eating these leftover pumpkins. They get stomach ache and loose motions and get dehydrated.
Also, read Making Homemade Pumpkin Pie Recipe
Moreover, the foreign items on the pumpkins can choke the animals and cause death. Instead of this, one can use the pumpkin in any of the above 5 ways and save wildlife and the planet.