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How to Use the Pulp of a Pumpkin

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There are so many great conversations on the Hotline -- it's hard to choose a favorite. But we'll be doing it, once a week, to spread the wealth of our community's knowledge -- and to keep the conversation going.

Today: Don't let those guts go to waste.

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Lately, we've talking a lot about pumpkins: how to roast and puree the flesh for your cakes, pies, and cookieshow to roast the seeds for snacking; and how to consume so much of the orange stuff this season that you may find your skin taking on pumpkin-like tones itself.

But while we thought we covered everything about the Great Pumpkin, we forgot to talk about one part: the goopy, slimy innards. Summer of Eggplant finished carving pumpkins with her kids and was stuck on what to do with the stringy pulp they scraped out, so she turned to the Hotline for help. As usual, our community has lots of creative ideas

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  • Susan W suggests puréeing the pulp to add to rice or risotto for added flavor. She also recommends turning it into a broth that can be used in any recipe that calls for chicken or vegetable broth. Sauté the pulp with diced onions and other vegetable scraps, then add water and let the mixture simmer for 30 to 60 minutes before straining.
  • Klrcon loves the broth idea too, and often keeps a bag of pulp in the freezer to add to a future batch of vegetable stock. Klrcon also infuses chicken stock with the pulp to use for any pumpkin or squash dish that requires stock, like risotto or soup.

More: Big on broth? Try making a flavorful stock with Parmesan.

  • Panfusine tipped readers off to a traditional South Indian chutney recipe that uses the guts. She also suggests sautéing them with oil and puréeing with canned chickpeas to make a riff on hummus.
  • Eat some innards for breakfast. Jaime likes to purée the pulp with a little water before adding it to her morning oatmeal, along with warm spices and chopped apple.
  • If all else fails, instead of simply throwing it out, nutcakes likes to compost the pulp, or add it to dog food. If you have chickens, Susan says to add it to their feed.

How do you make use of pumpkin guts? Tell us in the comments or join in the conversation over on the Hotline!

Photos by James Ransom  

Tags: your burning questions, hotline, fall, pumpkins, carving pumpkins, pumpkin innards, pumpkin guts, diy, homemade