THE STRINGY STUFF
Don't throw it away — you can eat it. You can eat the stringy bits, once separated from the seeds. Although you can munch on it, a more appealing use is to turn them into pumpkin cider. According to treehugger.com, boil the strings to make a thin broth. Strain, then mix with apple cider and a dash of cinnamon and nutmeg.
You won't be able to make pumpkin puree out of a pumpkin cut up into a Jack-O-Lantern, especially if you place a lit candle inside and leave it on your front porch Halloween night (you can get the seeds and the string out first though). After Halloween is over, you can cut the remaining outside of the pumpkin into pieces and leave it outside for your backyard wildlife to enjoy.
Carving pumpkins originally started in Ireland, as part a Celtic tradition on All Hallow's Eve. People would carve turnips and rutabagas to help ward-off evil spirits like Stingy Jack. Irish immigrants in America discovered pumpkins were a much better substitute and that is why we still carve pumpkins for Jack-O-Lanterns for Halloween today.
ROASTED PUMPKIN SEEDS
Roasted pumpkin seeds are a delicious, healthy snack.
1/2 cups raw whole pumpkin seeds
2 teaspoons butter, melted
1 pinch salt
Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Toss seeds in a bowl with the melted butter and salt. Spread the seeds in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake for about 45 minutes or until golden brown; stir occasionally.
Homemade pumpkin puree can be frozen and used in a number of recipes including pumpkin pie, pumpkin muffins and bread, pumpkin soup and more.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Cut the pumpkin in half, stem to base. Remove seeds and pulp. Cover each half with foil.
Bake in the preheated oven, foil side up, 1 hour, or until tender. Scrape pumpkin meat from shell halves and puree in a blender. Strain to remove any remaining stringy pieces. Store in the freezer in freezer safe bags.