Pumpkin 9 Best Things to Do With Organic Pumpkin -- Plus Free Pumpkin Recipes

Pumpkins are most frequently grown for decorative or ornamental purposes– but they are also a delicious and wholesome food crop as well, which is why they are of interest to us here at EatingOrganic.US. Pumpkins are actually a vine fruit, although we (and I think, most people) tend to treat them more like vegetables when preparing meals or cooking with them. Pumpkins are a part of the Cucurbits vegetable family, which also includes squashes, melons, gourds and cucumbers. They have many things in common with winter squashes, especially, and can be used in some of the same recipes that call for winter squash.

Wondering what, exactly, you could do with an organic pumpkin? We invite you to consider this list of top 8 uses for this vibrant, beautiful orange delight.

1. Make Pumpkin Pies.

Well, duh. We know; you didn’t need us to tell you that. It goes without saying. Pumpkin pie is a total no-brainer.

We’re eyeing this decadent pumpkin pie recipe posted at the Earthbound Farms website.

2. Make Organic Pumpkin Soup.

Pumpkin Soup Made From Organic Pumpkins and Other Organic Ingredients
Pumpkin Soup Made From Organic Pumpkins and Other Organic Ingredients

We tried making our own pumpkin soup for the first time last November, because some pumpkin came in our weekly CSA produce delivery. We were amazed at how yummy pumpkin soup is. We’re working on testing and improving our original recipe for this; when it’s ready, we hope you’ll try it.

3. Make Vegetable Soup With Pumpkin.

In this delicious soup, the focus is on the veggies, rather than the pumpkin. However, the pumpkin adds texture and variety that’s pretty amazing. This is another recipe that we have in development, and we hope to post it soon.

4. Make Organic Pumpkin Butter.

We think Organic Authority’s pumpkin butter recipe looks amazing, although we haven’t had a chance to try it yet.

5. Roast the Pumpkin Seeds.

Roasted pumpkin seeds are a favorite fall treat.

Alternatively, you could try making brined pumpkin seeds for additional flavor.

6. Make Pumpkin Energy Bars.

Go Raw Live Pumpin Bars, Plus Go Raw Banana Bread Flax Bar
Go Raw Live Pumpin Bars, Plus Go Raw Banana Bread Flax Bar

We’re just about broke from spending all our expendable cash on organic treats like Go Raw’s Live Pumpkin bars. We’re not yet aware of any comparable recipe that exists, so we’re working on developing a similar sort of energy bar that we can make at home. We’ll keep you posted if we ever get it perfected. In the meanwhile, why not try the Go Raw version — or get creative and experiment with this idea in your own kitchen?

7. Make Pumpkin Seed Trail Mix

Mix your pumpkin seeds with an assortment of other organic seeds, dried fruits and nuts: sunflower seeds, walnuts, pecans, hazelnuts, Brazil nuts, almonds, cashews, raisins, dried cranberries, shredded dried coconut and dried banana chips are a few possibilities.

8. Share the Pumpkin With Your Cat.

Cats Love to Eat Organic Pumpkin!
Cats Love to Eat Organic Pumpkin!

Cats are carnivores. Usually, fruits and vegetables don’t appeal to them.

Our Little Black Cat, Inky, Poses With an Organic Pumpkin
Our Little Black Cat, Inky, Poses With an Organic Pumpkin
However, pumpkin is one exception to this, as evidenced by the behavior of our own kitties. If we leave our CSA box unattended, our kittens will locate the pumpkin in the box and devour it.

We did some research and found that pumpkin is OK to give cats. In fact, in some circumstances pumpkin can be truly beneficial for cats. According to the folks at EarthClinic.com, pumpkin can be an effective home remedy for lots of pet-related problems, including hairballs and digestive problems.

9. Carve the Pumpkin

We’re honestly not big fans of the whole pumpkin-carving thing. On one hand, we don’t buy into the notion that the world is overpopulated, and that there aren’t enough resources to go around. That’s a negative worldview that we can’t get behind. We hold to a more positive and upbeat view, that the world offers abundance for everyone, and that it’s up to us as world citizens to use, share and distribute the world’s resources wisely.

So with that in mind, we think it’s unwise to grow, harvest and distribute food, then use it for a low-return, low-value purpose like pumpkin carving.

You may disagree, and that’s fine. If you do, we hope you’ll at least be inspired to use an organic pumpkin for your pumpkin carving.

Why? Well, that’s easy. According to the Pesticideinfo.org website, there are at least 50 pesticides, herbicides and fungicides that are actively being applied to conventionally-grown pumpkin crops.

In 2012, pumpkin growers in the state of California dumped a total of 76,458 gross pounds of chemicals on their pumpkin crops. YIKES! And that’s just data from one state of one country in the entire world.

We aren’t entirely sure what the breakdown is regarding the percentage of pumpkins used as food vs the percentage of pumpkins used for decorations and pumpkin carving. We know that pumpkins are used and grown for a variety of different uses, including both food and carving. We do know this: Significant numbers of pumpkins are bought and sold every year, specifically for the purpose of carving and making into jack-o-lanterns.

We ask you this: Is pumpkin carving really such a fun and worthwhile activity that it justifies the use of all those chemicals? This is a debatable issue, and we hope you won’t hold it against us if you disagree, but we hold to our position that it is not.

So again, to those of you who enjoy pumpkin carving, we appeal to you to choose organic pumpkins if you do decide to participate in pumpkin carving. And, if pumpkin carving is an activity you participate in, but aren’t passionate about, we ask you to consider whether it’s really a worthwhile use of your resources. Perhaps you would benefit from directing the time, energy and money you’d usually spend on pumpkin carving into activities you are more passionate about.

Free Organic Pumpkin Recipes

Here are some links to free organic pumpkin recipes that are available on the Internet. While we haven’t actually tried any of these recipes yet, we think they look interesting and they’re on our “want to try” list for the future.

References:

In addition to the resources linked in the article above, we also used information from the following pages to compile this article:

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