What to do with leftover pumpkins - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

What to do with leftover pumpkins

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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) -

Remember all those decorative pumpkins you picked out for Halloween and Thanksgiving center pieces?

Well don't throw them out in the trash.

Instead use them to cook like a gourmet chef. It will save you money and have you well fed for days.

Pumpkin is a squash and is very similar to cooking with sweet potato.

"Of course the common thing is pumpkin pie," said Alex Lozano a teaching assistant with The Hospitality College at Johnson and Wales University.

"I'll cut it in half and I'll slow roast it, put olive oil on top of it a little bit of salt."

"You can take the seeds you can toast them you can candy them."

It's not easy cracking open a pumpkin's hard shell.

But once you do, cooking with it is as easy as a piece of pumpkin pie.

"You can also make pumpkin gnocchi with this," said Lozano. 

"It's really simple. Just use flour eggs and the pumpkin puree to roll up  into little pieces. With gnocchi it's really easy to tell when it's done. It will just float up."

Food with pumpkin is a big culinary trend.

And it's sure to be a big hit long after the holidays are over.

The pumpkin mash can last in your freezer for several months.

When you thaw it can be used to create pumpkin butter, make biscuits, create air fresheners and even a facials mask, just make sure not to eat it afterwards.

Pumpkin Puree :

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Preparation:

Wash and dry the outside of the pumpkins. Cut off the stems; then, cut the pumpkins in half from top to bottom. Scoop out all the seeds and inside of the pumpkin. Cut the pumpkin pieces in half once more to create quarters. Place the pieces on a baking sheet, face down and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes to an hour (or until the flesh is soft and scoopable).

Allow the pumpkins to cool 10 minutes. Then, scoop out the cooked pulp and discard the skins. Puree the pulp in a food processor or blender until smooth. Put the puree in a cheesecloth-lined colander over a bowl, and refrigerate overnight which will allow excess water to drain from the pumpkin, so that the puree isn't overly water. Use your pumpkin puree right away, store it in the refrigerator for use within the next week or freeze it for use within the next year.

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