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Turn Leftover Jack-O-Lanterns Into Healthy Treats Post-Halloween

Carving out pumpkins for Halloween is one of the best parts of the spooky holiday. Nothing says All Hallow's Eve like a glowing orange smile, right? It's estimated that 1.5 billion pounds of pumpkins grown in the United States end up as creepy decorations, and across the pond Brits spend an approximate £25 million each October on the seasonal vegetables. Although they look great and are fun to carve, most pumpkins end up getting tossed in the trash once they've done their service. That's an awful lot of waste, isn't it? Save your Jack-O-Lantern from the depths of the garbage can this year and turn it into a delicious treat instead. Here are a few simple ideas on what you can do to minimize waste and maximize your health.

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Pumpkin Puree. It might sound a little basic, but pumpkin puree can go a very long way. It's also one of the easiest ways to reuse your pumpkin. Simply boil, bake or steam your orange orb and then liquidize. You can use the puree for pumpkin muffins, soups or even a pumpkin pie. Try this delicious recipe for the perfect fall staple from BBC Good Food.

Pumpkin Butter. It's not as popular as a pumpkin spice latte, but it's just as delicious. Pumpkin butter is easy to make and it's also great to batch cook so you can freeze it for a later date. This recipe from All Recipes includes apple juice and spices for an additional seasonal kick. Hot tip: this butter tastes great on toast or even as a cake topping. You're welcome!

Pumpkin Skin Chips. Believe the hype: pumpkin skin chips are both possible and incredible. All you need to do is strip the skin off of the pumpkin in thin layers, sprinkle with Kosher salt and bake until crispy and delicious. If you cut bigger slices of the squash you can use the same method to make fries. Home Grown Fun tells you how to do both in a pinch.

What do you do with your pumpkins when the witching hour is over? Let us know in the comments!

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