What to do with your pumpkin before tossing it

The pumpkin is a seasonal staple that extends beyond Halloween. Whether you carved your pumpkin into the classic Jack-o-Latern or bedazzled its exterior with paint or rhinestones, there are plenty of things you can do with your creation before officially tossing it.


1. Compost: Carved pumpkins don’t offer much in the way of good eats, but make a great addition to a compost heap. They make great fertilizer — just make sure you’ve removed the seeds (unless you want your own pumpkin patch to sprout by next fall!), and anything else that won’t compost.

If you’re not one for composting, you can bury your pumpkin in the ground and it will naturally decompose, while also providing nutrients to the soil.

2. Pumpkin Treats: If your pumpkin is still in tact, carve it open and scoop out the seeds for some delicious pumpkin-flavored treats. Pumpkin seeds are great when toasted and mixed with herbs and spices, and if you can separate the pumpkin flesh from the rind/peel, you can also bake and make a delicious, nutritious pumpkin puree.

3. Face Mask: Not a fan of eating pumpkin puree? Make it into a face mask by mixing 2 teaspoons of pumpkin puree, 1/2 teaspoon honey, 1/2 teaspoon milk, and a dash of cinnamon. Mix until you’ve created a paste. Apply to a clean face, letting set for 20 minutes before washing off.

4. Pumpkin Planter: Looking to preserve the pumpkin as a decoration, and not ready to plant it in the ground? Plant in it! While it won’t last more than a few days, you can repurpose a cut-open pumpkin by planting a small plant inside, packing it with soil so that the plant is held in place. This is a great way to care for a plant before burying/composting the pumpkin, or tossing it out all together.

Healthy Blue Xtras members are eligible for savings on some of the supplies needed for the above activities at retailers throughout Michigan such as English Gardens and Westborn Market.

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  1. Obviously, you could remove and roast the pumpkin seeds – everyone loves roasted pumpkin seeds. But you could also use the flesh of the pumpkin to make pumpkin puree, a valuable ingredient with countless uses.

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