What to do with your Halloween jack-o'-lantern?
If you carved your pumpkin into a beautiful jack-o'-lantern and it's been sitting out over a day, do not eat it.
But that doesn't mean you have to throw it away.
- Feed the birds: Break up the pumpkin and toss it in the woods or bushes where birds can easily get to it.
- Reuse it as a Thanksgiving planter: Stick a potted plant in your jack-o-lantern, turn the carved side in to face the wall, and you've got a lovely harvest-themed planter (at least for a week or two).
- Compost it: If you compost, toss it in your compost bin. Give it to a gardening neighbor. Or check to see if your town has a community compost heap.
- Bury it: If you don't compost, consider burying the pumpkin in your garden. It will decompose quickly and add valuable nutrients to your soil, which will give your plants a boost next spring.
If you painted it instead of carving, the uses of your pumpkin are endless!
Obviously, you could remove and roast the pumpkin seeds – everyone loves roasted pumpkin seeds. But you could also use the meat of the pumpkin to make pumpkin puree, a wonderful ingredient you can use in soups and pies.
Did you know pumpkin is extremely healthy?
- One cup of pumpkin contains more than 200% of the recommended intake of Vitamin A
- Pumpkin is high in fiber, which has a host of health-boosting benefits
- Pumpkin seeds have plant-based chemicals called phytosterols that reduce bad cholesterol
- One cup of pumpkin provides roughly 1/3 of the recommended intake of Vitamin C
- Pumpkin is high in protein, zinc, and omega-3 fatty acids, which not only improve bone density but also boost brain function.