Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Who Said Pumpkins Were Just for Carving?

Pumpkins really are a fall staple whether they are on display as a jack-o-lantern, festive centerpiece or as an ingredient in tasty treats.  There are a multitude of ways to utilize pumpkins in a healthy way that you’d never expect!

1. Fresh Pumpkin Puree

Pumpkin puree is a key ingredient in fall dishes and it always tastes better fresh than from a can. Follow these simple steps to create your own.

Start by cutting your pumpkin down the middle and scooping out the seeds and guts. Set them aside for later. Place your pumpkin, cut-side down, in a baking dish with a cup of water and bake for 90 minutes or until the flesh is tender.  Then, scoop out the flesh, puree in a food processor and voilĂ , your fresh pumpkin puree is complete!

2. Flavorful Pumpkin Stock

It's always a mystery of what to do with those stringy pumpkin guts. A great way to utilize these is to make a pumpkin stock for soups and casseroles.

First, separate the seeds from the guts. Next, place the guts in a pot filled with boiling water. You can also add vegetables such as celery or carrots to add even more flavor. Boil this for about 30 minutes or until the water begins to change color. Strain your stock and it's ready to be used in your favorite recipe.

3. Get Pumpkin Pretty

One of the most unexpected ways to utilize pumpkin is to make a face mask. Pumpkins are rich in zinc and vitamins A, C and E, which will leave your skin glowing. This mask also makes a tasty snack!

Start with about five teaspoons of pumpkin puree, add three teaspoons of brown sugar—this will naturally exfoliate your skin—and add a tiny splash of milk.

Mix everything together and apply to your face in a circular motion, avoiding your eyes. Relax and allow the mask to seep into your skin for 20 minutes. After washing the mask off, your skin will be smooth and fragrant.

Do you have a favorite way to use pumpkin? Share it with us by leaving a comment or by tweeting us at @MonikaDixonPR.

By Ashley Siech, MDPR Contributor

Recipes via, Busted Button and Care2.

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