COLUMN: What to do with those pumpkin guts

Your family might be so into Halloween that you have an annual pumpkin carving contest, but don't toss the pumpkin guts just yet. Instead, use them for something fun and unique!

Apart from being a festive symbol, pumpkins are nutrient-dense and packed with essential vitamins and minerals. They are a great source of fiber, vitamins A and C, iron and potassium. These incredible ingredients boost digestion, immunity, eyesight, heart function and blood circulation.

So, take your Halloween pumpkin leftovers and make:

A delicious snack. Roasted pumpkin seeds are packed with protein and fiber, making them a delicious, guilt-free snack. Start by rinsing the seeds in a colander and drying them overnight. Once they're dry, toss them with oil and your desired seasoning. Bake in a 350-degree Fahrenheit oven for 10 to 15 minutes or until golden brown.

A satisfying soup. Saute diced onions and garlic in olive oil until soft, then add pumpkin cubes and vegetable broth. Boil until the pumpkin is tender, then puree. Season with salt and pepper and your other favorite spices before serving it up.

A beauty hack. The vitamins and nutrients in pumpkin make it an excellent ingredient for the skin. Create a DIY pumpkin face mask by mixing half-cup of pumpkin puree with one tablespoon of honey in a small bowl. Apply to your face and leave until dry before rinsing.

An affordable latte. In a small saucepan over low heat, combine two tablespoons of pumpkin puree, one teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice, one teaspoon of vanilla extract and two tablespoons of brown sugar until heated through. Slowly add a cup of milk, stirring frequently, until the mixture is heated through and bubbly. Pour the mixture over a half-cup of strong coffee or espresso and enjoy.

Halloween pumpkins are not only decorative, but also beneficial for your health. Utilize all the parts of your pumpkins to get creative with these foods, beauty hacks and beverages.