4 less-common ways to enjoy pumpkins

Along with colder weather, fall boasts a colour palette bright leaves and delicious harvest crops, particularly the pumpkins we see sold at roadside stands throughout the country. But despite the diversity of food options that pumpkins allow, they’re often thought of only as an ingredient in pies and muffins, a spooky holiday decoration, or flavouring in pumpkin-spice lattes. Fortunately, there are a lot of other things you can do with pumpkins, and here are a few of our favourites.

Roasted pumpkin seeds
People often dispose of the seeds when they carve a pumpkin, but they can be used to make a tasty and nutritious snack. After cleaning the seeds, boil them in pot of water with a tablespoon of salt or sea salt for about 10 minutes. Then leave it uncovered and let simmer for 10 more minutes on low heat. After you drain the water, the seeds should be laid out on a baking sheet and topped with a teaspoon of olive oil and an optional sprinkling of salt. Roast the seeds in the oven at a temperate of 325 degrees for 10 minutes, remove from the oven, and stir them around. Roast for another eight to 10 minutes, but check to make sure they aren’t burning by opening a few seeds during the second roast.  

Floating pumpkin candles
Despite being part of numerous recipes, pumpkins don’t only have to be used as a baking ingredient. They can also be used as a seasonal decoration—and not just as a jack-o’-lantern. One such way to do this is by making candle holders out of miniature pumpkins. These pumpkins that are about three or four inches across should fit small candles that can stick out of the pumpkin. When making the holders trace the size of the candle on the top of the pumpkin and cut out the shape so that the candle fits in place. Place the pumpkin candle in a bowl or container of water andlight.

Pumpkin biscuits
Holiday dinners aren’t often complete without biscuits, but instead of having plain biscuits, you might want to add a dash of pumpkin flavour to the mix. After preheating an oven to 400 degrees and buttering a cookie sheet, combine 2 1/2 cups of flour, 3 tablespoons of packed brown sugar, 1 tablespoon of baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, 1/4 teaspoon of ground nutmeg, 1/4 teaspoon of ground cinnamon and 1/4 teaspoon of ground ginger. Add the ingredients to a pastry blender and gradually mix in 1/2 cup of butter until the mixture looks like crumbs. Then add two cups of pumpkin puree and mix together to make dough. Flatten the dough until it’s about an inch thick and then cut out the biscuit shape. Bake for about 15 to 20 minutes.

Pumpkin butter
If you’re looking to add even more flavour to those biscuits or you want something different to spread on toast, then pumpkin butter might be a good choice. In a pot combine 3 1/2 cups of pumpkin puree, 3/4 cup of apple juice, 1/2 teaspoon of ginger, 1/2 teaspoon of ground cloves, 1 cup of brown sugar, 1 tablespoon of ground cinnamon, and 1/2 teaspoon of ground nutmeg. Bring to a boil and partly cover. Reduce heat and let simmer for 35 to 45 minutes, stirring often. Remove from heat and adjust spices if needed. Stir in one to two teaspoons of lemon juice. Wait for it to be completely cooled and then store in the fridge in a Mason jar. It will keep for about three weeks.