Get Your Pumpkin On

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The fall season means many things, including leather boots and heavy sweaters, Starbucks red cups and one particular seasonal ingredient- pumpkin! But pie isn’t the only thing you can do with this versatile squash. Here are my top ways to use a pumpkin:
 
1.) Toast the seeds
 
 
On a large sheet tray, mix together pumpkin seeds with olive oil, salt and pepper or try a spice mix such as paprika and cayenne or cinnamon and nutmeg. Spread the seeds out so they all lay flat. Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the pumpkin seeds to granola, yogurt or salad for a crunchy, healthy addition.
 
2.) Make pumpkin bread
 
 
Be resourceful in using both the seeds and the flesh with this delicious Food Network recipe.
 
3.) Use it as a serving dish
 
 
Cut off the top and remove all the innards, as if you were to carve it. Fill it with jungle juice or sangria for a new take on the punch bowl, or fill it wish soup for a cool twist at a dinner party.
 
4.) Get creative with recipes…
 
 
Turn your pie up a notch with this white chocolate and pumpkin truffle pie recipe.
 
5.) …Or steal a recipe or two
 
 
Catch up on your pumpkin knowledge and discover an abundance of delicious recipes from pumpkinsoup.org.
 
6.) Rock and pumpkin roll
 
 
Get all your friends together with their extra pumpkins (carved or untouched) and have a pumpkin roll contest.
 
7.) Roast the flesh and turn it into soup
 
 
Cook onions, carrots and celery in a pot with olive oil. Add spices like cinnamon, allspice, ginger and garlic. Add chicken stock and pumpkin and simmer for 20 minutes. Use a blender or food processor to blend everything together and top with roasted pumpkin seeds.
 
8.) Make a pumpkin facemask
 
 
Pumpkin is naturally very healthy for you, so why not utilize all of its benefits rather than just the fun ones? Take a few tablespoons pumpkin puree; mix it with a drop or two of honey and milk. Apply to your face for 15 minutes for a great complexion!
 
9.) Okay fine, go ahead and carve it
 
 
But at least make something creative, like the Jack-O-Lanterns pictured above! 
 
Photo: DrBacchus at flickr.com

Sophomore > Journalism and Mass Communication > George Washington University

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