4 Unique Ways to Use Pumpkins this Fall
Everyone gets pumpkin fever in September. We decorate our porches with big ones and our dining tables with baby ones, but what else can we do with this beloved gourd? Here are four fun ideas we bet youâ€™ve never tried!Â
- Concoct facial masks for a DIY spa session. Pumpkins have vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that help nourish skin. Whether you choose to bake, scoop and blend the pumpkin yourself or use canned pumpkin, your skin will thank you. Is your face dry or asking to be pampered? Make a skin soothing mask by mixing pureed pumpkin with honey. Alternatively, if you feel you could use a cleansing treatment, mix pumpkin and apple cider vinegar together. One can (about two cups) of pumpkin plus two tablespoons honey or vinegar can treat you and a friend to a mask. Leave on for 20 minutes before washing off.
- During that in-between time of year where we celebrate fall but still have hot summery days, treat yourself to a batch of icy homemade pumpkin white mochas. Youâ€™ll need a blender, chilled coffee, frozen pumpkin puree, ice, white chocolate syrup and your favorite spices. Cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg or a pumpkin pie spice mix work well. To make two servings of chilled mochas, use 12 ounces of coffee and 1 can of pumpkin. Add ice, syrup and spices as desired. Top with whipped cream if youâ€™re feeling exceptionally celebratory. Cheers!
- Make, can and freeze pumpkin butter for gifting later on. Canning is half as complicated as we think, and itâ€™s twice as rewarding! Pick up a pie pumpkin. Simply slice it in half, scoop out seeds and bake on 350Â°F for 45-60 minutes (carefully test for softness with a fork). After it has cooled, scoop pumpkin out from the peel and into a pot. Add two tablespoons of lemon juice. Here is where you can be creative: to add spice, consider cardamom, ginger, clove and cinnamon; to add sweetness try apple juice, honey or maple syrup. Mix until smooth, bring to a boil and then simmer until it thickens into that lovely pumpkin butter texture. Make sure you choose jars that are approved for freezing, boil them in large pot (hot water bath), and when you fill with pumpkin butter, leave about an inch of space at the top. Freeze until the holidaysâ€”use ribbon to attach a cute, handmade tag that lists the ingredients.
- Whether you want to refresh your breakfast routine or make an attractive, unique dessert for guests, the pumpkin parfait is going to be a hit. Choose either a bowl or a margarita glass, depending on your audience. Start with protein-packed vanilla Greek yogurt. To minimize sugar, use plain yogurt. Either mix in the desired amount of pumpkin, or layer in a glass for a nice visual affect. Top with a dash or two of your favorite complementary pumpkin spices, and sprinkle chopped almonds or cashews on top. Top with a chocolate curl for a decadent touch. Enjoy!