Think about how many millions of pumpkins get tossed in the trash after Halloween each year. A wasteful act that’s not only a dis to ole Jack, but needlessly dumps massive tonnage into landfills. Why not do something purposeful with your post-Halloween pumpkin?
For me the two best options are to eat it or compost it, so for this Fix-it Friday I give you two ways to repurpose your pumpkins – indoors or outdoors as pumpkin soup or pumpkin compost – your choice!
Coconut Curried Pumpkin Soup
Of the various ways your can prepare pumpkins—pies, muffins, bread, mashed—I think soup works well with larger pumpkins. Smaller varieties of pumpkins are more flavorful than larger ones, but in a soup you can compensate to boost flavors with so many other ingredients. This recipe doesn’t specify measurements, given varying sizes of pumpkins, so use your imagination, eye, taste buds, and have fun!
- First be sure that the pumpkin hasn’t overly matured, rotted, or taken on critters.
- Cut off the top and clean out the pumpkin (seeds, strings, etc. should be removed).
- Slice the pumpkin in quarters, place the pieces, skin side up, in a baking pan with some water that covers the bottom of the pan.
- Cover tightly with foil and bake at 375° until tender—easy to pierce with a fork (about a ½ hour depending on thickness of pieces).
- Let cool then scoop out flesh or peel off skin. Set aside.
- Sauté onions and garlic in coconut or vegetable oil. Add salt, pepper, shredded ginger and red curry paste or curry powder. Sauté in pumpkin pieces and let cook, mixing all the ingredients together about 10 minutes.
- Pour in veggie or chicken broth, then stir in coconut milk. Let simmer about a ½ hour. Let cool.
- Use a stick blender, or in batches, use a blender to puree until smooth.
- Pour back into pot, stir in some maple or agave syrup. Add a pinch of cayenne for some heat. Let it simmer. Taste and adjust salt/sweet as needed.
- Serve with toasted pumpkin seeds sprinkled on top and a squirt of lime (if you’re feeling tangy).
- If you’re starting with a whole pumpkin, cut off the top and clean it out (remove seeds, strings, and foreign debris).
- Find an out of the way corner of your yard for your compost pumpkin pile.
- Now here’s the fun part… take your pumpkin and smash it into pieces with a hammer (hence, the band)! The smaller the pieces, the sooner it will decompose.
- Cover the piece in a layer of dried leaves, sawdust, pine needles, crushed pinecones—anything of this carbon rich nature.
- Let nature do its thing!
- Come spring use your compost by sprinkling it on your garden and houseplant soil to make a nutrient rich top-dressing.
Whether your pumpkin ends up buried or in your belly, have a Happy Halloween and Happy Pumpkin Repurposing!
Got A DIY Question? Ask-The-Expert!
If you have a DIY home repair, maintenance or improvement question for Norma, now is your chance to ask-the-expert and have her answer. Your burning question may just be the “star” of an upcoming Fix-It Friday column.
Add your question to the comments section below or email it to Women You Should Know.
Fix-It Friday is an exclusive Women You Should Know® editorial series authored by seasoned veteran of home improvement, Norma Vally, the former host of Discovery Home Channel’s series “Toolbelt Diva” and a show on Sirius Satellite Radio by the same name. The weekly column is designed to inspire women – weekend warriors, aspiring handywomen, and even seasoned DIYers – to take on home repairs and maintenance projects with confidence and gusto.