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From Soup to Skin to Seeds: Creative Ways to Repurpose Pumpkins

By HERWriter
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Soup to Skin to Seeds: Creative Ways to Repurpose Pumpkins Andy Dean Photography/PhotoSpin

If it was good enough for Cinderella’s carriage, then it is good enough for me. Pumpkin is stepping out in many different styles this fall season and not just in latte form. Charlie Brown is not the only one calling this versatile and healthy food “Great!”

According to HuffingtonPost.com, “Pumpkins are rich in vitamins A, K and C and minerals such as zinc, copper, magnesium and potassium -- nutrients that hydrate dry skin and stimulate hair growth.”

By that accord, or should I say gourd, pumpkins can make an incredible hair conditioner with the HuffingtonPost whipping up some of its puree with yogurt and honey.

Your pumpkin hair (no, it will not turn orange) will not only look but smell delicious and trust me, I know. I am a bit nostalgic for my fall Fridays in Philadelphia where I would head to my favorite salon for a blowout with pumpkin-infused styling products.

The fabulous comments I would get a bit later at Happy Hour proved it was the scent of a pumpkin-spiced woman that many found enticing. It was either that, or the pumpkin beer on tap and in his hand.

Come to think of it, I got engaged on a fall Philly Friday. Perhaps, this prego mamma should slice up some gourd allure to feel like a passionate pumpkin princess. I have an even better idea -- hubby pumpkin foot rubs! How about girls' night, pumpkin, pumice pedicures?

Similar observations of the pumpkin spice smell were made by Dr. Alan R. Hirsch as featured on HealthCentral.com with them said that men prefer the “scent combination of pumpkin pie and doughnuts.”

Sorry Dunkin’ I am not slathering myself in Boston Crème. Although, my son likes to “dunk” the now bruised pumpkin in his mini-basketball net. I say, ditch the donuts and go orange from head to toe with pumpkin body lotion.

Care2.com suggests, “If you have a little leftover pumpkin in the can ... and happen to be in need of gorgeous skin: Skip the jack-o’-lantern face and try a honey pumpkin exfoliating mask.”

Speaking of orange, The Huffington Post cites, “Beta-carotene as the antioxidant that gives a pumpkin its vibrant color, converts to vitamin A in the body and provides another layer of protection from sun damage.”

Now back to Happy Hour.

Did you know pumpkin can also be a player? The Food Network has come up with a Pumpkin Pie Martini. Ingredients include pumpkin puree, pumpkin spice and, of course, vodka. I am sure you can skip the later and concoct a virgin version eliminating alcohol-infused calories if you prefer.

Speaking of calories, CNN.com calls pumpkin a low-calorie superstar quoting Caroline Kaufman, MS, RDN. "Canned pumpkin is nearly 90 percent water, so besides the fact that it helps keep you hydrated, it has fewer than 50 calories per serving,"

You can also burn some extra calories with a small pumpkin. Grab a 5-7 pound pumpkin and sculpt and tone your entire body with pumpkin presses, squats and even pelvic thrusts for perfectly pumpkin-shaped glutes!

Another fun exercise for the whole family is pumpkin bowling. Simply cut off the stem to create a perfectly round ball, line up some plastic cups and your two-year-old, like mine, will be amused and potentially loud for hours.

My grandfather, uncles and now brothers would have loved, or can still enjoy, grabbing a bushel of petite pumpkins for the ultimate bocce ball tournament.

With bigger pumpkins you can still bowl, or create a bowl which is perfect for fall favorites such as pumpkin soup or hot apple cider. My soup recipe rivals my sister Maria’s squash/apple soup and uses the whole pumpkin (minus the seeds).

The pumpkin is quite the ornate serving piece, housing a combination of both savory and sweet!

And, if you do not feel like roasting or toasting pumpkin seeds, you can create a pumpkin portrait. Well, not quite. But one of the things that stuck with me from Girl Scouts is gluing and sticking pumpkin seeds in an array of designs or characters on a felt backdrop.

My seeded cat croaked a bit in the troop awards. However, my younger sister, Jennifer, was awarded a blue ribbon for her frog classic.

So there you have it, “Bibbidi-bobbidi-boo, Salagadoola, mechicka boola ...” You do not need a fairy godmother or magic wand to poof up a carriage, other pumpkin crafts and concoctions.

All you need is a little imagination and perhaps a sharp knife. As for “Sal Agadoola,” he enjoys playing pumpkin bocce with my brothers Frankie and Joey.


“Health Benefits of Pumpkin – HuffingtonPost.com.” The Huffington Post.

“11 Ways To Use a Pumpkin – Care2.com.” Care 2. Web. 31 Oct. 2014.

“Pumpkin Pie Martini – FoodNetwork.com.” Food Network. Web. 31 Oct. 2014.

“Halloween Ideas – Goodhousekeeping.com.” Good Housekeeping. . Web. 31 Oct. 2014.

“Sexual Health - Pumpkin Good– Healthcentral.com.” Health Central. Web. 31 Oct. 2014.

“Health Benefits of Pumpkin – CNN.com.” CNN. Web. 31 Oct. 2014.

Joanne Sgro-Killworth is a Television Fitness Expert, Certified Personal Trainer and Sport Nutritionist and Publicist. She is Certified in Pilates, Pre-natal/Post-Partum, Yoga and Senior Fitness. She specializes in Weight Loss, Post-Rehab and Post Cancer Training.

Joanne's fitness plans, recipes and lifestyle advice are available globally on her website http://www.happiwoman.com/. She resides in the Phoenix, AZ area with her husband and son, where she runs her fitness and publicity business, JSK PR, http://www.jskpr.com/

Reviewed November 3, 2014
by Michele Blacksberg RN
Edited by Joanne Smith

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.


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