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10 Ways to Get Creative with Your Carpinito Pumpkins

Oct 25, 2016

Between now and Halloween, the Carpinito pumpkin patch is open for business, and this year’s crop is prime for the picking! Bring the whole family for a festive fall outing, and fill your wheelbarrow to the brim as you nibble roasted sweet corn and sip a hot beverage. Wondering what to do with your pumpkin haul this year? Try any (or all) of these ideas to strike up some seasonal inspiration in your home!

1. Carve ‘em, of course!

One of the first things that comes to mind during pumpkin patch season is breaking out the carving kit. Which pumpkin masterpiece are you going to create this year? Whether it’s a spooky or silly face, a skull and crossbones, a spiderweb, quirky cartoon character, favorite animal, or abstract pattern, pumpkin carving is the whole family’s chance to dream up a festive design. Set your creations out on the front porch to entertain trick-or-treaters with jack-o-lantern decor, or set them atop the mantle or dinner table for some customized seasonal flair.

2. No-mess decorating

If carving out pumpkin guts isn’t your thing, grab some Sharpies or paint pens and go to town. Decorating the outside of your pumpkin is a great mess-free alternative to dealing with sticky innards. You can still get as creative as you desire, with the added luxuries of making your design multicolored and including more nuanced touches such as intricate patterns. Painted pumpkins are just as decorative as their carved counterparts.

3. Save the seeds for eating

One major advantage to carving pumpkins is the cooking and baking you can do with the spare pulp and seeds. The best edible use for your spare seeds? Roast them up! Follow this recipe for a quick and easy seasonal snack. Add some curry powder and cumin, rosemary and brown sugar, or pumpkin pie spice to customize your own batch.

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

Recipe via Allrecipes.com

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ cups raw whole pumpkin seeds
  • 2 teaspoons melted butter or vegetable oil
  • Pinch of salt

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Toss seeds in a bowl with the melted butter and salt. Spread the seeds in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake for about 45 minutes or until golden brown; stir occasionally.

4. Save the seeds for planting

If you’re not already using your leftover pumpkin seeds for roasting, follow these steps to save them for your own pumpkin patch next year! Once they’re rinsed and sufficiently dried, store them in a cool and dark spot for a month before placing in an envelope to plant during next year’s season. Come next May, follow this guide as you nurture your pumpkin seeds until they’re plump for the pickin’ next autumn.

5. Make your own pumpkin spice coffee drink

Save the money (and processed sugar and calories) you’d spend on a Starbucks PSL by making your own right at home. Puree your pumpkin before adding all the spicy mix-in goodness. Once you have your base, add a spoonful to your coffee and stir in some cream, or get ultra-fancy and froth some milk for a homemade latte.

Homemade Pumpkin Spice Latte Base

Recipe adapted from The Kitchn

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice, plus more to garnish
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract

Instructions:

In a small saucepan over medium heat, cook the pumpkin with the pumpkin pie spice and a generous helping of black pepper for 2 minutes or until it's hot and smells cooked. Stir constantly. Add the sugar and vanilla and stir until the mixture looks like a bubbly thick syrup. Process the mixture thoroughly with a hand blender so it can be added to a warm drink of your choice.

6. Whip up a homemade pumpkin pie

Don’t let the holidays pass without getting a taste of this fall and winter fixture. Better yet -- bake your own from scratch using the supply you picked up during your pumpkin patch visit! Serve for dessert at the end of your Thanksgiving meal… or why not treat yourself to a slice anytime?

Pumpkin Pie

Recipe via Carpinito Brothers recipe collection

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups stewed pumpkin (a bit drier consistency than applesauce)
  • 2 eggs
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1¼ cups whole milk or half-and-half
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 2 tsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp ground cloves
  • ½ tsp ground nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp ground ginger
  • Pinch of salt

See our pumpkin recipe page for assembly and baking instructions.

7. Bake some pumpkin bread

Pumpkin puree is such a versatile ingredient… but who doesn’t love it baked up into a sweet-and-spicy confection? Inspire some festive warmth in your home as the aroma of freshly baked pumpkin bread drifts out of the kitchen. Slice and spread with butter for a treat with your morning coffee, or as an extra-special after school snack for the kids.

Pumpkin Sweet Bread

Recipe via Carpinito Brothers recipe collection

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. Baking powder
  • ¼ tsp. Baking soda
  • ½ tsp. Salt
  • 1 tsp. Cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
  • ½ cup shortening
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup puree cooked pumpkin
  • 2 Tbs. Molasses
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla
  • 1 cup shredded coconut

See our pumpkin recipe page for assembly and baking instructions.

8. Create a holiday centerpiece

Use sugar pumpkins and other small varieties as a focal point for your holiday centerpiece. Add squash, gourds, leaf garland, flint corn, fall florals such as chrysanthemums or perennial sunflowers, candlesticks, and other seasonal elements to spice up your dinner party. Want to go a step further to impress your guests? Carve off the top of the pumpkin and create a small hollow to hold tea lights, or scoop out all the pulp and seeds for a natural vase.

9. Make pumpkin butter

Though pumpkin butter may not contain any actual butter, it’s smooth and creamy in its own right, and it makes an equally perfect spreadable topping on toast and muffins. Pro tip: can and seal your batch in jars and store it throughout the whole season. Keep on hand to use as gifts for coworkers and family friends, or keep it all for yourself and indulge.

Pumpkin Butter

Recipe via Allrecipes.com

Ingredients:

  • 29 ounces pumpkin puree (follow instructions here)
  • ¾ cup apple juice
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 ½ cups white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Instructions:

Combine pumpkin, apple juice, spices, and sugar in a large saucepan; stir well. Bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes or until thickened. Stir frequently. Transfer to sterile containers and chill in the refrigerator until serving.

10. Gourmet pet food

Though you should always consult your veterinarian before making any changes to your pet’s diet, a small amount of cooked fresh pumpkin can make a healthy addition to some dogs’ and cats’ meal rotation. Among several potential health benefits, pumpkin may support urinary health, regulate digestion, mitigate furballs, and boost skin and coat health. Bon appetit, Fido!



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