Get Pumpkiny this Fall

When I see the bright orange pumpkins peeking out from their sleepy green patches, I am immediately transported to my childhood pumpkin picking adventures.  All bundled up, in fleece-lined jeans no less, my family and I would make a day of a trip to a local farm and we would each get to pick out our very own pumpkin.  We would go home with our autumn treasures and the decision of what face to carve into my pumpkin would be the most difficult decision of my young life. Pumpkins and the feel of fall weather still hold the same magic for me today.  I've lived through 22 autumns and I am glad to say I've learned a few other wonderful things you can make with pumpkins, besides good ol' Jack-o-lantern and pumpkin pie!  Inside and out, pumpkins offer us wonderful nutrients, color and flavor that we can use in recipes and craft projects.  Here are some new twists on our good friends Mr. and Ms. Pumpkin:


1.) Pumpkin pizza? Pumpkin pasta? Its time to get our creative juices flowing and make some fun new dishes with this rad veggie.  Any time a recipe calls for canned pumpkin or pureed pumpkin, try making your own.  All it involves is cutting up some small pumpkins, baking them and throwing them in the food processor.. check out a great and funny how-to on the Pioneer Woman Blog!

2.) Remember how we talked about those great nutrients that are in pumpkins?  That wonderful orange hue is thanks to the beta-carotene in orange foods like pumpkins which support healthy hair and vision.  It does wonders for your skin too.. try making a pumpkin facial scrub.  All you need is some cooked pumpkin, some honey and some milk, the details are here.  You'll smell delectable and your skin will thank you!

3.) This one is for the birds!  Mother Huddle shows us how to make a wonderful bird feeder out of a halved pumpkin, gourd or squash.  All you need is some dowels, bird seed and wire and a little elbow grease.  A kid-friendly project, the results are sure to bring chirps of happiness from the birds and your little ones.

4.) What about those seeds? Don't throw them out!  Roast them with some salt, pepper and spicy chili powder for a great snack or string them together for a fabulous fashion statement.

5.) Get funky with your decorating!  Drill a hole in small pumpkins to make them into candle holders or modge-podge some leaves onto your pumpkin for a no-carve decoration.

Pick up your pumpkins throughout October & November and don't forget to stop by tomorrow for our 1st Annual Fall Festival at Fresh & Fancy Farms! Pumpkins are a fantastic source of antioxidants, color and festivity.. use them well and make them Fresh & Fancy!

{words} Alex Roem (Food activist, sustainability queen and latest Fresh & Fancy Farm member, all while revolutionizing the way we think about food at FoodFight).