Intro: Juicing a Jack-O-Lantern
This Instructable will teach you how to make pure pumpkin juice from an otherwise discarded part of your Halloween pumpkin -- its guts. This juice can be sweetened for drinking, added to other juices, or used as a flavorful liquid in many recipes for your own haunted house. I use it to make Pumpkin Liqueur.
Why would I do this? Pumpkin inspiration hit me while we were preparing pumpkins for carving. I noticed how moist the guts were and thought they seemed perfect for juicing. I was surprised by how flavorful the "gut juice" really was and excited to make use of this otherwise discarded pumpkin element. Why throw away the pumpkin innards when It's eco-friendly, nutritious, and tasty to use them!
(Note that you can also make juice from the pumpkin flesh in a similar manner by substituting diced pumpkin flesh, with rind removed, for the guts. The heating time in Step 2 might be longer, as your aim is to thoroughly cook the pumpkin flesh to maximize the resultant juice.)
Step 1: Supplies
A pumpkin or pumpkins, with the lid removed
large microwave-safe bowl
food processor or blender
wire mesh strainer
Step 2: Preparing the Guts
Remove the guts from a pumpkin or many pumpkins. Take out as many seeds as possible. You can leave them in if you like. It will give a nutty flavor to your juice and that may be something that you prefer.
Place your pumpkin guts in a microwave-safe bowl. Heat covered for 3-6 minutes depending on how much material you are heating. This is simply to loosen them up and release more juice so there is no exact amount of time.
Step 3: Blend
Place your "hot guts" in a food processor or blender. Blend until relatively smooth. This can be done in batches depending on the volume of pumpkin guts.
Step 4: Strain
Pour the blended pumpkin into a cheesecloth-lined mesh strainer placed over a large bowl. Allow to drain. Once a good amount of liquid has drained and the mixture is cool enough to handle, you can draw up the edges and corners of the cloth and squeeze or ring it out to extract more juice if you'd like.
Step 5: Consume
The resultant juice is ready to be put to use! For further food safety, you can heat this juice to boiling before using. It can also be cooked down to condense the flavor.
I recommend mixing the pumpkin juice with apple juice to create a flavorful pumpkin juice. This can be spiced with cinnamon or mulling spices if you'd like. However, there are many ways to use your pumpkin juice.