Don’t Pitch Those Pumpkin Guts, Cook Them Up Instead!

Julie Bitely

| 2 min read

Kids and adults alike are quick to throw away, what many deem, pumpkin “guts,” also known as the seeds, fibrous strands, and pulp inside of pumpkins. But what they don’t know is that it is possible to use a whole pumpkin to create a delicious dish.
From the pumpkin’s exterior to the contents within, here are some ideas to use up your leftover pumpkin seeds, guts and exterior:
Pumpkin seeds
  • Baked pumpkin seedswith a little healthy oil and seasoning, pumpkin seeds can go right onto a cookie sheet and into the oven. Just don’t over-season and load up these nutrient-rich seeds with too much salt.
  • Pumpkin seed brittlea mixture of butter, natural sugar and honey blended with these seeds bakes up for a delicious sweet-treat. A small modification can also be made to bake single-serving pumpkin seed candy blends too.
Pumpkin “guts”
  • Pumpkin risotto: cook up a regular batch of risotto and blend in pumpkin puree from the pureed insides, at the same time you would cheese or seasonings. (Making pumpkin puree is pretty easy too.) The sweetness of the pumpkin provides a unique balance in comparison to, what is sometimes bland, rice.
  • Pumpkin hummus: much like the risotto above, you can also make hummus in a traditional way and just add pumpkin flavor or puree. When making the hummus, replace pumpkin for the garlic, red pepper or flavoring usually added to the hummus. If you don’t add flavoring, just mix some pumpkin puree into a finished mixture!
Pumpkin “shell” or exterior
  • Roasted pumpkin soup: chicken stock and some other basic ingredients, cook up this delightful soup right inside of a pumpkin. Allowing the dish to cook inside the squash allows flavors to be infused as a vessel.
  • Pumpkin stuffing stuffed into a pumpkin: did we mention there’s pumpkin and stuffing in this recipe? Yummy fall staples like maple, chicken and dried berries all balance out the pumpkin flavors baked right into the stuffing. For delicious taste and beautiful presentation, you can bake the stuffing right in an old pumpkin “shell”!
And, as always, traditional pumpkin pie is way more delicious with real pumpkin rather than processed. Just be sure to make sure the pumpkin is ripe and not too old to eat.
What other dishes do you like to add pumpkin flavors to?
Photo credit: Luca Nebuloni

A Healthier Michigan is sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, a nonprofit, independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association.
No Personal Healthcare Advice or Other Advice
This Web site provides general educational information on health-related issues and provides access to health-related resources for the convenience of our users. This site and its health-related information and resources are not a substitute for professional medical advice or for the care that patients receive from their physicians or other health care providers.
This site and its health-related information resources are not meant to be the practice of medicine, the practice of nursing, or to carry out any professional health care advice or service in the state where you live. Nothing in this Web site is to be used for medical or nursing diagnosis or professional treatment.
Always seek the advice of your physician or other licensed health care provider. Always consult your health care provider before beginning any new treatment, or if you have any questions regarding a health condition. You should not disregard medical advice, or delay seeking medical advice, because of something you read in this site.