6 Handy Uses for Pumpkins This Fall
After purchasing your Georgia-grown pumpkin at Farmview Market, the first step will be coring the pumpkin and saving the insides to incorporate the meat and seeds in your favorite fall recipes.
Gutting Your Pumpkin
To collect the pumpkin flesh and seeds, draw and cut a circle around the stem so you can remove the top of the gourd. Make sure to angle inward so the top will stay in place. The size of the hole will vary depending on the intended use featured in the list below.
Then, you can follow the old school method of scraping out the pumpkin flesh with a large spoon, or try this easy 2-minute method by A Wonderful Thought: Insert one of the beaters from an electric hand mixer in a handheld power drill, and let the mixer do all the work for you! Click the link above for step-by-step instructions and photos to guide you.
After you’ve used the insides of the pumpkin to create scrumptiouspumpkin pie or other fall recipes, it’s time to get creative! Here are 5 handy uses for pumpkins to use for your fall decorating or Halloween gathering:
Handy Uses for Pumpkins:
Hearty Pumpkin Bowls
If you choose a small-to-medium sized pumpkin for this project, it’s a cost-effective way to add a little fall flair to your meal with minimal effort— and no dish washing afterward!
Once you’ve cut a large opening in the top of your pumpkin and discarded of the insides, rub the inside of the pumpkins with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Then place them on a baking sheet and bake at 400 degrees for 20-30 minutes, or just until soft to the touch (without concaving).
Remove pumpkin and allow to cool for just a moment. Ladle in your recipe and enjoy!
For this festive fall soup vessel, try our recipe for a seasonal butternut squash soup.
Vegan Roasted Butternut Squash Soup
1 Medium Butternut squash
2-3 tsp. Olive or canola oil
3 Garlic cloves, chopped
1 Red onion, roughly chopped
1/2 tsp. Rosemary, dried
1/2 tsp. Red chili flakes
1/2 cup Coconut milk, we use canned full fat coconut milk
3-4 cups Water or vegetable broth
Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Cut squash in half, remove the seeds and then brush the inside and outside with oil. Place the squash pieces, cut side down onto a baking sheet lined with a silicone mat or aluminum foil. Roast for around 45-50 minutes, or until squash is nice and soft.
Once roasted, peel the skin (it should come off easily) and remove the flesh into a bowl. Set aside.
In a large stock pot on medium heat, add the oil. Once the oil is hot, add onion and garlic and sauté for 2 minutes or until the raw smell goes away.
Add the roasted squash pulp and mix, as well as the dried rosemary, red chili flakes and salt, pepper to taste. Mix until everything is well combined and cook for 2 minutes. Add water or vegetable broth and mix. Let the soup simmer for 10 minutes.
Remove soup from heat and let cool a bit. Then, using an immersion blender, puree the soup to desired consistency. Add coconut milk and let it simmer for 5 additional minutes.
Serve the roasted butternut squash soup hot in your homemade pumpkin bowl!
This is the perfect way to decorate your porch or patio, and also greet trick-or-treaters as they approach your home. After cleaning out the pumpkin, poke 4-6 holes in the bottom of the pumpkin so that the soil can drain. We used a hammer and nail for this.
Continue by filling your pumpkin ¾ of the way full with damp potting soil. Tip: If you want to remove excess moisture you can add a layer of charcoal or clay to the bottom of your pumpkin before you add potting soil.
Finally, place your fall plants right into the pumpkin! Depending on the size of your pumpkin, you might have to bunch them in close, but remember, this is just temporary. Remember to re-pot or transfer the plants to your garden after 10-14 days.
Centerpiece Decoration & Vase
Adorn your dining table with a seasonal centerpiece that you can complete yourself with a few simple steps! To make a pumpkin vase, you will need an empty tin can or disposable container that you can place down inside the pumpkin. Tailor the size of the hole in the top of your pumpkin to fit the container. Once you place the tin can or container inside, you may fill it with water and fresh flowers, essential oils and reeds to make a reed diffuser, or twigs and pinecones.
Another great idea is to fill the bottom of the hole with dried beans and place a pillar candle inside. The possibilities are endless!
We also have a fun new Farmview Schoolhouse workshop coming up on needle-felting in which participants will learn how to working the wool into shapes and add color, texture and interest as you create a one-of-a kind pumpkin sculpture suitable for use in any of your fall decorating. Register NOW for this class, taking place on October 24th!
Pumpkin Punch Bowl
The pumpkin punch bowl will need to be cut similarly to the soup bowls. The opening here can be as large as you like, or you can cut at an angle so you can place the stem and “top” back on the punch if you wish. After you clean out the meat and seeds, just give your pumpkin a good thorough rinsing before filling with your Halloween party punch or lively libations. Another option is to place a large serving or mixing bowl inside the pumpkin before pouring your beverage in.
Pumpkin Treat Jar
For this project, you will need to find a coffee can or a disposable container with a lid, large enough to fit down in your pumpkin. Once you place the container inside, fill with Halloween candy or your favorite cookies, put the lid on the container, and place the stem/top back on the pumpkin. This keeps your treats fresh as they hide inside their new seasonal cookie jar!
Fall Pumpkin Luminaries
Hit the road, Jack-O-Lanterns! Light the way for your trick-or-treaters or illuminate your home with a gorgeous, natural luminary made from Georgia grown pumpkins. This project allows you to use your creativity to make your design as intricate, or as simple as you’d like. Note: You will need to purchase a pumpkin carving kit for this one, but they can be purchase inexpensively at most large retailers or online.
Some of our favorite lantern ideas include using a handheld power drill to poke holes in a pattern all over the pumpkin, or creating a chevron pattern with carving tools. Put your creativity to the test here! Once finished with your creation, place inside or on your porch and place a tea light inside to illuminate.
We hope you enjoy these creative uses for pumpkins this season. If you consider yourself quite the artisan when it comes to pumpkin creations, we welcome you to register now and join us on Saturday, October 21st for our upcoming pumpkin decorating contest during our second annual Flavors of Fall Festival and Farmers Market event!