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November 1, 2013

5 Ways To Use Pumpkin Gluten Free

This is a Guest Post by Maya of PetsandPests.com


A significant source of vitamins A and C, pumpkin is one food that has a multitude of uses. Pumpkins, which are a form of squash, are versatile in flavor, allowing for their use in savory meals as well as sweet snacks. They are also useful outside of the kitchen. With the Fall season upon us, pumpkins are turning up just about everywhere you look.  Pumpkins are currently in large supply so there should be no shortage of these naturally gluten-free vegetables available to put to good use. Here are five creative ways in which you can use pumpkins.


1. Dish it Out
Purchase pumpkins of varying sizes and use them as serving dishes at your next big dinner. Pumpkins will serve as beautiful displays to have at your dinner table and are also functional. 

Ingredients:
  • salt
  • pepper
  • pumpkins
  • a large spoon
Directions:

  1. Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Create a lid for you pumpkin by cutting the pumpkin in a circular direction in order to remove the top.
  3. Once the top is removed, use a large spoon to begin removing the contents of the pumpkin.
  4. Continue cleaning out the pumpkin until it is free of any seeds.
  5. Sprinkle salt and pepper on your pumpkins
  6. Place pumpkins and their lids into the oven for 10 minutes.
  7. Roasting the pumpkins will help get rid of some of its raw taste. Once the pumpkins have cooled, place foods of your choice inside and serve them.


2. Cover It
Looking for a way to decorate your fall pumpkin without the mess of carving it? Why not cover it in cool designs? Paint your pumpkin in a solid color and free-hand some designs onto it. Paint Pumpkins of different sizes and arrange them in your home to create a wonderful aesthetic or include some spooky designs for Halloween.


3. Take It Slow
When you think of pumpkin recipes, the first thing that comes to mind is probably not chili, but it is actually a great addition to the dish. Pumpkin enhances the flavor of chili by adding a layer of sweetness to the mixture.

Use these ingredients:
  • ground beef (or turkey)
  • red onion
  • chili powder (which is found to be gluten-free in such brands as McCormick)
  • red and black beans
  • diced tomatoes in juice
  • pumpkin puree
Add herbs of your choice to round out the mixture. Legumes like the beans that are included in this recipe, are a great gluten-free option.

Cook the ground beef until it is browned, and add it to a slow cooker. Sautee onions, and any other herbs and spices in a skillet. Combine the onions, herbs and the rest of the ingredients into a slow cooker. Allow the cooker to take over from there. Begin this process early in the day so by evening you will have a delicious crockpot full of chili to serve.


4. Scrub Up
Body scrubs are great for exfoliating the skin. A quick and easy way to get a healthy glow is to use pumpkin puree to create a body scrub.
  • Add pumpkin puree, brown sugar and honey to a bowl and stir. Apply the mixture to your skin right away to prevent the brown sugar from dissolving.  
Let the scrub dry for ten minutes. The process will go smoothly if you use the scrub right before showering.


5. Light Up a Room
Accentuate any room in your home or create enviable center pieces with mini pumpkins. These pint size versions of winter squash are perfect for use as candles.

  1. Use a serrated knife to remove the top of the pumpkin. Scoop out the pumpkin until it is smooth inside.

  2. Use a double boiler to heat wax and stir it until it melts. Add scented oil to the wax. You also have the option of using fresh ingredients such as cinnamon sticks. Grind them up and add them to the wax.

  3. Hot glue wick to the bottom of the pumpkin and tie the top of the wick around a pencil to hold it in place.

  4. Pour the melted wax into the pumpkin and allow it to dry for at least 24 hours.

  5. If the wick extends beyond the candle, trim it so that is rises just above the rim edge of the mini pumpkin. 

  6. Try one or all of these cool ways to incorporate pumpkins into some of your everyday items.  The best part is that not only do you have a great variety of ideas to inspire you; you now also have some gluten-free choices. 

Guest Author Bio: Maya Rodgers has found a huge interest in bugs ever since she was young. Today, she is fulfilling her interest and excitement for bugs working at Terminix. She takes pride in eliminating pesky pests from people’s homes and learning new things as she progresses in her career.

Make sure to check out Maya's helpful website, Petsandpests.com!

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