By Dan Antunes
Spooky costumes, a ghoulish air and a free pass to abuse your candy intake, Halloween is one of the biggest consumer holidays in the world. Transforming the end of October from a dreary transition into the colder winter months to a carnival-like atmosphere, the holiday brings many people together for its debaucherous activities.
Despite its many uplifting benefits, the wastefulness surrounding the holiday can’t be ignored especially when those cute little pumpkins that give the festivities such a warm glow end up wastefully strewn across our streets the next few following days.
Whether it’s the left-over carnage from your pumpkin carving party, because apparently those are a thing, or the increasingly droopy looking fella outside your doorstep, it can be hard to ignore the ‘what now’ factors of a post-Halloween pumpkin.
That’s why I’ve compiled a list of the things you can do with your pumpkins after Halloween.
Get adventurous with your cooking:
Using pumpkins for food is a no brainer but the variety of pumpkin recipes and connected health benefits often goes understated.
Carrying vitamins, A, C, E and K as well as magnesium, iron and potassium, pumpkins help towards things like reducing the likelihood of types of cancer, especially lung cancer, helps gives you healthy eyes, battles high blood pressure, lowers heart disease risks, improves episodic memory and builds immunity.
Obvious recipes include pumpkin soup, jam or pie but recipes like pumpkin hummus, pumpkin ravioli, and muffins offer you interesting alternatives. Purees and butters also offer rich variations of spreads.
Give back to your environment:
A perfect item for composting why not use your discarded pumpkins as compost for garden or donate them to your local allotment. Pumpkins can also be used as a 100% recyclable nursery pot for saplings whilst they develop into maturity with the rotting vase providing further nutrition upon its decay.
Much like the last point nature really benefits from your contribution so why not give the local critters a taste of the festivities gone. If you live near Holmfirth, Slaithwaite, Storthes Hall Lane in Kirkburton, or around Brookfoot in Brighouse then the elusive deer populations may benefit from your generosity.
Pumpkin seeds can also be put into birdfeeders which will benefit a whole host of wild birds. Household pets can also join in as they benefit from low amounts of pumpkin as they act as a good source of fibre and antioxidants.
High in zinc and vitamins A, C and E Pumpkin face masks make for enriching exfoliators that’ll remove dead skin cells, unclog pores and renew your skin’s feel.
Using 2 tablespoons fresh pumpkin puree, 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, 1 teaspoon raw honey and1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar mix
Into a thickish paste then apply and leave on for 20 minutes to achieve a full glow.
Repurpose and reuse:
For the artier pumpkin enthusiasts out there why not repurpose all those husks into bowls or platters to serve at functions. By coating them in oils and spices then lightly baking them in the oven you can gift yourself a new range of crockery. The recyclability of these bowls is also an added incentive.
A less cultured one, why not channel your cathartic urges into your post Halloween leftovers. Using a simple mallet you can pummel your pumpkins to a pulp to really get over your Halloween blues till next year. Your foot, bats, axes or spades also make for good destructive tools, but make sure to put down a tarp or cover first!