You’ve put away the ghosts and ghouls, torn the cobwebs from the door. But you don’t have to consign the Halloween jack o’lanterns to the compost. If you carved them at the last minute and they remain sound, with no slime or mold on their flesh, they can be cooked and used in many ways. If your pumpkin is a huge one, selected for maximum ghastly effects, it’s not a variety that’s bred for eating, so it should be discarded, but if, like me, you selected a small sugar pumpkin for carving and it’s been kept outside in the cold, you can cook it up and use it in your favorite recipe or freeze the resulting purée for holiday pies or side dishes. If you have pumpkins as part of an autumn display, they’ll soon be subject to subfreezing nighttime temperatures, so be prepared to bring them in and cook them soon.

Pumpkin can be steamed or baked to be turned into purée. To steam, put pumpkin pieces in a Dutch oven or large saucepan fitted with a steamer basket, add enough water to the pot to bring it to the base of the basket, cover and cook over medium-high heat for 15 minutes. Turn off the heat, keep covered, and allow to continue steaming for five minutes more. The pumpkin is ready when easily pierced with a fork.

To bake your pumpkins, if they were cleaned for carving, just trim away any withered or damaged flesh, rub the cut surfaces with oil, place them on a baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees until fork-tender, around 45 minutes. If your pumpkins are whole, cut in half, scrape out seeds, place cut side down on a baking sheet and proceed as above. Once the pumpkin is soft and cool enough to handle, scrape the flesh from the skin and mash by hand or purée in a food processor. Freeze the purée if you’re not using it right away, or try it in some of the following recipes.

Want pie for breakfast but can’t handle the guilt? Try this smoothie, which looks like spinach but tastes like pumpkin pie.

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1 frozen ripe banana
14 cup pumpkin purée
1 large handful spinach leaves
34 cup milk, coconut milk or plain unsweetened almond milk
12 tsp. pumpkin pie spice*
Toss all ingredients into a blender and blend until creamy and smooth, scraping down sides as needed. If too thick, add more milk. Serve immediately

*For DIY pumpkin pie spice, combine 1 Tbsp. ground cinnamon, 2 tsp. ground ginger, 12 tsp. each ground allspice, cloves, mace and nutmeg. Store in an airtight jar.

Instead of a dessert pumpkin pie, try a savory pizza pie for dinner.

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12 small sugar pumpkin, peeled
1 small yellow onion, sliced into 1⁄4-inch-thick rings
3 Tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. sea salt
14 tsp. black pepper
1 1-lb. package refrigerated pizza dough
1 Tbsp. cornmeal
1 Tbsp. fresh thyme leaves
12 cup ricotta
Heat oven to 400°. Cut pumpkin into 12-inch-thick slices, then cut each slice into 1-inch chunks. Place chunks and onion on a baking sheet, drizzle with oil, and toss with salt and pepper. Roast until tender, about 20 minutes. Transfer to a plate. Increase oven temperature to 450 degrees. Roll dough out 14-inch thick. Clean baking sheet, sprinkle it with cornmeal and place dough on top. Scatter squash and onion mixture over dough, sprinkle with thyme, and add dollops of ricotta. Bake until golden, about 25 minutes.

Why limit your pumpkin treats to humans. Pumpkin is good for your canine companions and if you’ve bought any healthy biscuits for your dog recently you know they can be expensive. Bake up your own treats and you’ll save money and your furry friends will have a biscuit made with the best ingredients. Bone-shaped cookie cutters are fun, but Fido won’t turn up his nose at a simple round.

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3 cups oats
12 cup peanut butter
1 cup pumpkin purée
1 tsp. baking powder
2 eggs
flour for rolling out biscuits
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place oats in a food processor and pulse until they become smaller flakes, but not as fine as flour. Put oats in a medium bowl with pumpkin, peanut butter, baking powder and eggs and mix until blended. If dough appears sticky, add a tablespoon or so of flour to get it to rolling-out consistency. Flour a sheet of waxed paper, place dough onto it and top with another sheet of waxed paper. Roll out and cut with cookie cutters. If you prefer, scoop balls of dough with a tablespoon and place on parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake for 15-20 minutes. Cool completely on a rack, then place in a container to keep them fresh, or put them in the freezer.