The Second Life of Pumpkins

Don’t wipe the grin off your Jack-o-Lantern’s face so fast—they’ve still got some use in them. From a healthy snack, face mask, to cocktail, here are some ideas on extending the lives of pumpkins.

The second life of pumpkins



1)   Use your pumpkin as a planter

Whether for indoor or outdoor use, your pumpkins can make for some interesting alternatives to a clay pot. Create an opening by cutting off the top, scoop out the insides until they’re hollow, then pack in some soil. When they start to deteriorate, simply plant them on the ground so they eventually decompose into the soil.

2)   Turn it into compost

Pumpkins contain useful nutrients and are made of 90% water, conducive for creating rich garden soil. The high water content means they are easily compostable. No time to do this? See if any farms or gardens are open to taking your old pumpkins off your hands.

3)    Replant the seeds

Think ahead for next year’s Halloween and save some seeds for planting post the cold season, as warm soil is needed for its growth. Seeds can last up to six years, you won’t have to buy new pumpkins from the store, and it may even make a fun activity for kids to participate in the pumpkin’s life from seed to growth to decorating.

4)    Share them with the birds

Scoop out the pumpkin’s contents, fill it with bird seeds, and lay it on the ground or hang them on a beam as a bird feeder. You can also add some pumpkin seeds into the mix. There are many searchable instructions for constructing your preferred bird feeder online.



1)   Roast the seeds

As a source of protein, fiber, and antioxidants—among other good stuff—pumpkin seeds make for a healthy snack once roasted. For a classic flavor, season them with salt and pepper. For a sweet take, coat them with Coconut Nectar. You can also top them over cookies and brownies for added crunch and texture. But! If you prefer a savory twist, a drizzle of Coco Aminos would do the trick.

2)   Transform them into serving bowls

If your pumpkin is uncarved, hollow it out, coat the insides with vegetable oil, then bake them so they’re presentable enough to use a bowl for serving liquids like soup.

3)   Create pumpkin stock

Pumpkin guts are the stringy insides stuck to seeds and can be boiled in water, strained, then used as stock for stews and soups. Mix in a little vegetables when boiling to achieve more flavor.

4)   Make dessert!

There are many available recipes for desserts like pudding or a classic pumpkin pie. Note that sugar and pie pumpkins will taste sweeter than carving pumpkins. Add sweeteners like Big Tree Farms’ Coconut Sugar and Coconut Nectar, or top off your pie with our Cashew-Cacao Clusters for a nutty finish.

5)   Get a bit tipsy

Inject the taste of pumpkin beyond the main course and dessert. There are a number of pumpkin cocktail recipes available, mostly mixed with vodka. The essence is adding about a tablespoon’s worth of pumpkin purée with ice and vodka, finished off with ingredients like Big Tree Farms’ version of honey called Coconut Nectar which will easily dissolve into your cold cocktail. The process of making pumpkin purée would seem tedious for just a cocktail, but you can use it later on for dishes like pumpkin soup, muffins, cakes, pies and even homemade beauty products.



    Enjoy a homegrown spa treatment

    Yes, pumpkins are good for your skin too! They provide exfoliation, contain anti-wrinkle properties and because of their high content of Vitamin A and C, keep the skin hydrated. There are many online recipes for face masks and body scrubs and the best part is, they’re all simple to make and require staple kitchen ingredients. Face masks commonly include pumpkin purée and honey (we prefer coconut nectar) while body scrubs typically contain pumpkin purée, sugar (or coconut sugar), and olive oil.

    If you try any of these ideas, let us know! Or if you have any tips for reusing pumpkins, we'd love to hear about them. Leave them in the comments below. Happy Halloween!