Trick-or-treaters have all gone home to enjoy the spoils of a night of witchcraft, trickery and Halloween shenanigans. It’s November and your uncarved pumpkins are still garden-fresh, but what to do with them?
Pumpkin pie isn’t the only way to make use of these native North American squashes. Here are two simple recipes that will keep your Thanksgiving guests, whether they’re of the human and canine variety, begging for more.
Crunchy Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
This traditional recipe is packed with nutrients including amino acids, fiber, iron, copper, phosphorus and magnesium, so your guests can indulge guilt-free. For both recipes, you will need the pumpkin innards, so start by emptying your pumpkin and setting aside the guts and seeds in separate bowls.
3 cups pumpkin seeds
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1. Preheat your oven to 400°F and move the oven rack to the middle position.
2. Separate your seeds from the pumpkin guts and rinse them under cold water in a strainer. Allow to dry. Use some paper towel to speed up the drying process if necessary.
3. In a medium mixing bowl, stir together the olive oil and soy sauce. Add your pumpkin seeds and toss to coat.
4. Spread your seeds, in a single layer, on an ungreased baking sheet. Sprinkle with sea salt.
5. Heat for 20 minutes or until the seeds begin to brown, stirring or shaking the baking sheet after 10 minutes.
6. Remove the baking sheet and allow to cool. Serve in an empty Bijou candle base. Crack open to remove the inner seed or eat whole!
Healthy Dog Food Pumpkin Purée
There are many human foods that are not suitable for canine consumption. A reliable source for this information is the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) . Fortunately, pumpkin isn’t one of those foods listed! In fact, cooked pumpkin purée has a range of benefits for dogs with common digestive ailments. Since pumpkin is high in dietary fiber, it is one of the best natural remedies for your dog’s stomach issues. This recipe makes for a great treat or addition to your dog’s meal routine.
1. After sorting the pumpkin guts from the seeds, put the innards into a blender and add enough water to allow the contents to blend easily.
2. Once the pumpkin has blended into a purée, pour into a pot and cook over medium heat. Bring to a low boil, stirring often.
3. Remove from heat and allow to cool completely. Pour contents into ice cube trays for tasty frozen treats or add several tablespoons (or teaspoons, depending on the size of your dog) to your dog’s regular food to aid the digestive process. You could even repurpose your favorite Bijou candle base as a fancy dog food dish. My dogs are regularly spoiled with this fantastic homemade recipe from TheBark.com to which pumpkin purée can be easily added.
4. Store any unused purée in your fridge for up to five days.
Raw, organic pumpkin seeds have also been used to treat intestinal parasites and worms in dogs and humans alike. Pumpkins have a myriad of delicious and healthy benefits, so don’t throw yours out as soon as November arrives. Give these simple recipes a try for your Thanksgiving guests and canine companions and let us know what you thought!
About the writer:
Always a dreamer, Jill is a passionate writer and photographer based in Toronto.