If you're trying not to waste this year, take a look at our guide on what to do with every part of your favorite orange vegetable.
Pumpkin skin is, first and foremost, edible. If you're not making a purée, keep the skin of your pumpkin on for extra fiber and flavor—it gets nice and toasty! This is true for almost all squashes. Try whole-roasting your pumpkins and squash this year and see if you like the taste! In this case, as you are consuming the skin of the fruit, we recommend you buy organic.
Of course, this is the part everyone loves. To make the most of your pumpkin, break it down all at once and trim close to the base of the stem to get as much as possible. If you don't think you'll finish it, cook the whole thing anyways—cooked pumpkin can be frozen! For the most convenient format, spread it flat in a freezer-safe bag and score it into sections for easy use!
Pumpkin stems have a particular look that's hard to replicate—if you're looking to make some autumnal decorations, keep a stem on hand for a nice and natural touch. If DIY's not really your speed, however, they tend to make good back scratchers! ; - ) If you're making a Jack-O-Lantern, make sure to pick a pumpkin with a stem that works well as a handle.
Pumpkin seeds are one of the most delicious parts of the pumpkin. This is perhaps the MOST important part not to throw out. Remove them, clean them (more on the guts below), and soak in hot salted water for a few minutes. Next, toss in oil and toast on high heat until they crisp up. These will last for a while in your pantry and make an amazing snack for cozy fall movie nights!
As you clean your seeds, the guts might still be a significant amount — 1 to 2 cups. If you don't want to throw that out, it makes excellent compost! Also, if you're making a purée of pumpkin, you can throw them right in and blend them with the remaining pieces of pumpkin—no one will be the wiser, and you'll have kept something out of the compost!
Go head and pat yourself on the back. Or give it a scratch with that pumpkin stem. Whatever you want, we don't judge.
To put all this good information to use, check out our favorite pumpkin recipes below!