Pumpkin Upcycle

My New Year’s 2012 resolution consisted of one simple goal: “Use up the dozens of beauty products I’ve hoarded in our bathroom closet “. Almost two years later I’m still working toward that goal. I’m definitely better about checking first to help me avoid buying the latest Philosophy anti-aging cream or holiday-scented body wash or lotion. One side effect of that resolution is I’m much more aware of recycling and upcycling things we might have historically trashed or tossed in the disposal.

Our recent pumpkin-carving activity left me with a bowl of pumpkin seeds/”gooey” and a desire to indulge my taste-buds and (strangely) my pores.

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Knowing pumpkins are rich in vitamin C and antioxidants (and having seen pumpkin peels on spa menus), my first instinct was DIY face mask. So, last Saturday morning I perused Pinterest and found this pumpkin mask recipe over at My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia. I mixed it up, slathered it on and let it work magic for 20 minutes. After I rinsed, my skin was refreshed and my pores seemed tighter (if only temporarily), so I saved the remaining pulp and plan to do another mask treatment this week.

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Armed with a fresh face and half a pot of coffee, I was ready to roast some pumpkin seeds. Historically, I just toss the seeds in sea salt and olive oil but this time I wanted to up my game and do something gourmet. Here are two experiments which turned out quite delicious!

*Note – the measurements below are estimated and not scientific! I eyeballed my spices and adjusted based on smell and amount of spice coated on the seeds.

Old Bay + Chili Pumpkin Seeds

  • 1/2 cup fresh pumpkin seeds
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder

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Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Rinse pumpkin seeds (removing all pulp) and dry well.  Toss seeds in olive oil, Old Bay and chili powder. Place seeds on jelly roll pan or cake pan.

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Bake 20 minutes (tossing/turning with spatula halfway through).

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These are great for a spicy snack on their own OR toss them on a salad in place of croutons.

Caramelized Pumpkin Seeds

  • 1/2 cup fresh pumpkin seeds
  • 2 Tablespoons butter (melted)
  • 1 Tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Rinse pumpkin seeds (removing all pulp) and dry well.

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Toss seeds in butter. Add brown and granulated sugars and cinnamon. Place seeds on jelly roll pan or cake pan. Bake 20 minutes (tossing or turning with spatula halfway through).

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These are a sweet, crunchy snack on their own (and might be even better with a dash of sea salt).

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