Pumpkins are versatile and as with most produce, it has a variety of uses. They can be cooked, used for skincare and the remaining shell, if not kept for decoration, can be turned into compost.
Though any organically grown pumpkin can be used for skincare, if it will be eaten choose a ripe pumpkin that is intended for cooking and consuming. These are often referred to as sugar pumpkins or cheese pumpkins and their flesh will be sweeter, creamier and not as stringy as ornamental varieties.
Better Homes and Gardens has a quick guide on measurements to consider for substituting fresh pumpkin for canned, and also a basic puree recipe.
Though pumpkin pie is a classic for a reason, for an alternative try chocolate pumpkin tart.
Also, a nutritious and comforting roasted pumpkin soup can be made in advance and frozen until ready to serve. The empty pumpkin casing can even be used as a decorative serving container.
Rich in beta-carotene and vitamins A, C and E pumpkins are great choices for eating, but also truly beneficial for the skin and hair. Nearly every part of the pumpkin can be used, and many save the seeds and roast them for a nutritious snack with health benefits, too.
Especially soothing for dry, sun exposed or environmentally havocked skin as it is high in antioxidants that have been proven to help repair some of the damage caused by free radicals. Their nutrients can be absorbed into the skin and provide many advantages, including having enzymes that moisturize while simultaneously removing dead skin cells.
Leftovers from recipes, like pumpkin puree, can be used for hair masks, facials or mixed other ingredients from the kitchen, like brown sugar and honey for a gentle but effective exfoliating scrub.
The best part of using a pumpkin for skincare, though, is that you don’t even have to do anything special or add any extras. For a homemade peel, just rub plain mashed pumpkin straight onto the skin, let it dry and rinse it off.
After cooking and home spa-ing, pumpkins are naturally perfect for decorating and welcoming fall. An easy way to compost, just remove any candles or attached items and add it to the pile.
Check out slideshare for more information about pumpkins, including recipes, stories and lessons for children.
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