Halloween is Monday – have you carved your pumpkin yet?  If not, you may be wondering what do with all the orange slimy goodness that will soon be replaced with a glowing jack-o-lantern. Don’t throw it away!  There are many great things to do with those lovely pumpkin innards!  Here are just a few:

1.Roast Pumpkin Seeds:  this is an old standby, and there is a reason for it..they are a delicious nutritious snack loved by adults and children alike. Do you know the trick to making great pumpkin seeds? Here it is: First, wash the seeds thoroughly and remove all the strings and slimy residue from the pumpkin.  Now comes the trick:  Spread the seeds out on a paper towel and let them dry on the counter over night.  The next day, toss the seeds with a  little oil, spread them in a single layer on a baking sheet, and sprinkle them with salt.  The other trick is not to turn the oven up too high. Toast them at 250 to 300 degrees for an hour, stirring them around every twenty minutes or so.   You want them to be toasty and golden but not charred. (They’ll get crisper as they cool.)

Toasted seeds don’t have to be a once-a-year treat, either. Use the same technique to roast seeds from acorn, butternut or any other winter squash.

2. Make Pumpkin Soup:  For a fast and easy soup, put your pumpkin meat, with chicken or vegetable stock, chopped garlic, onions, thyme and salt in a pot and cook 30-40 minutes. Puree and top with grated cheese and/or toasted pumpkin seeds.  For a Caribbean twist, check out this recipe from Martha Stewart. Knowing Martha she can probably also tell you how to make a lamp out of the pumpkin when it’s dried out!  That Martha, what can’t she do?

3. Puree the leftovers (sans seeds) and freeze it for future recipes.

4. If you have an extra pumpkin that you don’t end up carving and want to cook with it – consider baking it and pureeing it for your next pumpkin pie. This link will tell you how to make the puree. Follow this link for a delicious pumpkin pie recipe.

If you don’t want to eat it, you can always make a “throwing up pumpkin” by strategically placing the pumpkin innards coming out of your carved pumpkin’s mouth.  Appetizing?  Well, no… but certainly in tune with the Halloween theme and kids always appreciated a little “gross out” this time of year!

So, what do you do with your pumpkin guts?