7 recipes for leftover pumpkin puree

So we've hit the two months of the year when everything is pumpkin. Though I could do without the pumpkin spice lattes, I'm quite content with a cold slice of pumpkin pie. While there's no shortage of pumpkin recipes, it's a little annoying when the recipe doesn't call for the entire can of pumpkin puree.

pumpkin-pureeThere's far too many health benefits (fiber, potassium, antioxidants, beta-carotene, glucose regulation) to let that last third cup or so go to waste.

What can you make with the leftover pumpkin puree when there's not enough for a full recipe? Try these 7 ideas.

1- Pumpkin Butter: Mix the leftover puree with an equal amount of softened butter, add a bit of maple syrup and cinnamon to taste, stir to mix.  Store in the fridge and use as a nutrient boost for toast, pancakes, or sweet potatoes.

2- Baking Substitute: Yep, you can use equal amounts pumpkin puree in place of butter or oil in baking.

3- Add Depth to Soups: Add flavor and nutrients to soups, stews, chili. Only one or two tablespoons will give an extra depth of flavor.

pumpkin-smoothie4- Smoothie: Blend remaining puree with frozen banana, 1/4 c - 1/2 c (depending on amt. of puree) milk/nut milk, cinnamon, tbsp. maple syrup, and Greek yogurt. Too thin? Add ice to thicken.

5- Dog Treat: Pumpkin is healthy for your dog's digestive system too. Add a spoonful to their food, or bake into irresistible pup treats.

6- Mask: Pumpkin is also fabulous for our skin: the same antioxidants that nourish our body also boost collagen and brighten skin tone. Mix 1/4 c pumpkin puree with one egg. Add a teaspoon of honey to prevent/soothe breakouts. Apply to face and rest 10-15 minutes. Rinse with warm water and admire your softer, nourished skin.

7- Pumpkin Old Fashioned: A cocktail with a nutrient boost? Yes, please! Mix 2 tbps. pumpkin puree with 2 oz bourbon, 1/2 oz maple syrup, and 1/2 oz Grand Marnier in a mason jar with ice. Cap tightly with lid and shake. Use lid to strain into glass with ice. Garnish with an orange twist if you're feeling fancy.

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