by Tracey Pollack
At this time of year, pumpkins seem crop up everywhere—from your neighbor’s front porch to your morning cup of coffee. Sure, we all have fond fall memories of family trips to the pumpkin patch and carving up spooky jack-o-lanterns. But what was once only thought of as a symbol of Halloween has grown into a seasonal obsession with anything and everything pumpkin. Now that the sun has set on summer, indulge your pumpkin passion with this fresh crop of festive ways to fall in love pumpkin.
Bring the Harvest Home
Why limit yourself to placing a pumpkin on the porch? Spice up your home in a tasteful way by using plump pumpkins to decorate your décor. These gorgeous gourds can be found in a stylish spectrum of colors, from rich reds and dusty golds to deep greens, pale blues, light tans, and creamy whites to complement any interior. Line your stairway with seasonal squashes. Place pumpkins in large bowls and display them on tables and mantles. For a crowd-pleasing centerpiece, hollow out a beautifully-colored pumpkin and fill it up with flowers to serve as a charming vase. And speaking of serving, carve out different sizes of pumpkins to use as soup bowls and serving platters.
Pack Pumpkin onto Your Plate
It’s easy as pie to savor both the sweet and savory sides of fall’s signature squash. Bake pumpkin into your muffins, pancakes, waffles, granola, breads and French toast. Add some pumpkin puree to your morning bowl of oatmeal, your lunchtime cup of soup, some yogurt for a snack, a post-workout smoothie, and that night’s hearty chili. Roast up pieces of pumpkin to mix with pasta, pile on pizza, or serve as a savory side. And don’t forget to save the seeds—sprinkle some over salads, mix into granola or just enjoy them by the handful.
Pump Up Your Diet
If you’ve only had pumpkin as a sugary slice of pie, you may be tricked into thinking that pumpkin isn’t healthy. Well, you’re in for a tasty treat because pumpkin is one of the most nutritious fruits around. Yes, pumpkin is a fruit because its flesh is filled with seeds. Yet it’s also full of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals that make it a seasonal superfood with powerful health benefits. Pumpkin’s beta-carotene converts to vitamin A, which can help protect your vision and save your skin from sun damage. Its vitamin C can support your immunity, while the magnesium in pumpkin seeds helps to support a healthy heart. High in fiber and low in calories, pumpkin can also improve your digestion and help you to feel full.
Scare Up Some Halloween Fun with Your Kids
Just the sight of pumpkins can get kids excited and in the spirit of Halloween. While carving up a jack-o-lantern is a favorite fall activity, there are many other ways for your kids to have fun with pumpkins. Start by taking the kids to a pumpkin patch to pick out their perfect pumpkins. Creative kids will love to personalize their pumpkins with paint, glitter, stencils, markers and fabric. Or bowl your kids over with a round of pumpkin bowling! Line up six rolls of paper towels to serve as bowling pins, then have your kids use small pumpkins as festive bowling balls.
Read this: Sweeten Up Halloween Without Candy
Try these festive fall ideas to squash all of your cravings for pumpkin season.