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20 Creative Ways to Use Pumpkins

by Laura Donnelly on October 14, 2023

Pumpkins are certainly the ultimate symbol of autumn. As soon as the leaves start changing colour, pumpkin picking becomes a favorite hygge activity. Choosing that perfectly round, bright orange pumpkin from the patch is pure joy.

Now that you've selected some photogenic pumpkins to decorate your home with quintessential autumnal charm, you may be wondering what to do with any leftover fresh pumpkins before they go bad. Don't let those gourds go to waste!

jack o lantern on gray concrete floor

Carved jack-o-lanterns inevitably sag and mould over time, so they won't last for cooking projects. But uncarved, fresh pumpkins from the patch can be used in many creative and delicious ways to create hygge this season.

Whip up pumpkin-filled treats to enjoy by candlelight. Craft pumpkins into cosy decorations. Let the pumpkin become your autumn muse.

Here are 20 ways you can hygge with your pumpkins this autumn:

  1. Roast the seeds – Clean and roast pumpkin seeds with olive oil and spices for a healthy, crunchy snack. brown nuts on black cup
  2. Make pumpkin puree – Use as a base for soups, smoothies, oatmeal, baked goods like muffins and quick breads.
  3. Create decorative luminaries – Paint or decorate pumpkins with festive scenes, then place a battery-operated candle inside for a glow.
  4. Make pumpkin planters – Hollow out a pumpkin and fill it with soil, then plant flowers or herbs for a seasonal container garden. 
  5. Whip up pumpkin butter – Slow cook pumpkin puree with spices and brown sugar or maple syrup for a spreadable treat.
  6. Mix up pumpkin cocktails – Infuse liquor with pumpkin and spices for festive autumn drinks. a cup of orange juice with a slice of lemon on a plate
  7. Prepare stuffed pumpkin dishes – Fill halved pumpkins with grains, veggies, beans for a show-stopping meal.
  8. Make DIY pumpkin soap – Puree pumpkin and mix with melt-and-pour soap base, then add scents like cinnamon.
  9. Decorate with pumpkin garlands – String up pumpkin slices or mini pumpkins for festive displays.
  10. Make pumpkin facial masks – Mix pumpkin puree with yogurt or clay for a nourishing face mask.
  11. Bake pumpkin dog treats – Dogs love the flavour of pumpkin baked into crunchy treats.
  12. Create pumpkin stamps – Carve shapes into a pumpkin to make decorative stamps with paint.
  13. Make pumpkin ornaments – Paint and embellish mini pumpkins or gourds to use as Christmas tree decor. orange pumpkins
  14. Prepare a pumpkin smoothie – Blend pumpkin puree with yogurt, milk, spices, and sweetener for a healthy beverage.
  15. Grow gourds as bird houses – Hang hollowed out gourds or dried pumpkin shells for birds to nest or perch.
  16. Prepare roasted pumpkin soup – Puree roasted pumpkin with onions, stock, and cream for a comforting starter.
  17. Craft pumpkin potpourri - Mix dried pumpkin seeds and spices in a bowl to make a fall-scented potpourri.
  18. Make pumpkin spiced granola bars with oats, pumpkin puree, spices, dried fruit and nuts.
  19. Prepare pumpkin curry with coconut milk and Indian spices for a vegetarian dinner. a bowl of food on a table next to a lemon
  20. Make pumpkin waffles by mixing puree into the batter – top with maple syrup.

Pumpkins truly are the ultimate symbol and muse of autumn. Their festive shapes, bright colours, and versatility provide endless inspiration for autumn activities and recipes.

Whether you carve them into jack-o’-lanterns, transform them into decorative pieces, or find new ways to cook with pumpkin flesh, embrace their seasonal charm. Pumpkins are the perfect ingredient for both comfort food and home decor. And don’t let any fresh ones go to waste! From soups and smoothies to face masks and stamp art, put those gourds to use with creative projects. However you decide to utilise the pumpkin this autumn, let it be a reminder to slow down and savour the special small pleasures of the season.

orange and green pumpkins on blue plastic container

The blog provided 20 unique ways to enjoy pumpkins beyond traditional carving and pies. But those are just a start – the possibilities are endless! Hopefully these ideas sparked inspiration to make the most of pumpkin’s festive autumn flavour and flair. Share your own inventive pumpkin projects and recipes using the hashtag #pumpkinspiration.


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