Edible Fitness: Giving Old Pumpkins Purpose

Edible Fitness: Giving Old Pumpkins Purpose | X3 Sports

If you love carving pumpkins, odds are they look scarier now than they did on Halloween. Or maybe you keep a few uncarved gourds around your house for fall. But what to do with them when time’s up? For those without wooded backyards and deer aplenty, chucking the big orange busts out the backdoor is probably poor form, especially where neighbors are involved. 

Check out these four useful, sustainable, and yummy ideas for how to dispose of and use your pumpkins to their maximum potential!

Compost Creation

Many local farmer’s markets offer a compost program where they provide you a bucket to be filled with that week’s compostable food waste and you bring it back the following weekend. This is a great option for those who’ve hollowed out their Jack-O-Lantern and an excellent resource to use in general when produce goes bad in the house. Or you can toss it into your own compost pile. Compost helps soil breathe better, ensuring plants are healthy and vibrant. 

Pumpkin as a Weight

You didn’t think we were going to leave out fitness, did you? An improvised workout with a household object is the best! You can’t help but smile when a big, orange orb is flying through the air towards your outstretched arms. Grab a pumpkin (make sure to cut off the stem!) and a partner for a few rounds of squat tosses. The partner who starts gets in squat formation with arms 90 degrees holding the pumpkin. They squat down slow and spring up at the same time they toss to the other partner, who catches as they go down slow; then spring, and repeat. When you get tired, see who can come up with the most inventive workout using your new pumpkin weight. 

Hatchet Toss

To appeal to our warrior families with teenagers, we’ve chosen a recently popular activity to inspire this next pumpkin improvisation. Heads up, this is for adults and it does involve a sharp object. Dress and zone appropriately. If you have a small ax or hatchet, delight your teen by suggesting you throw it at the pumpkins after briefing them on safety precautions.  Paint a small bullseye on the upper-side facade of the pumpkin and stand the standard 12-15 ft back from the mark. To throw, hold the handle in the middle of the hatchet with the blade facing forward. Pull your bent arm overhead then throw forward straightening your arm as it falls. The best 8/10 gets the gold! An alternative to the supervision required for the hatchet toss, create a ring toss using the pumpkin as a post. Whoever constructs the most clever ring out of household material will have the ultimate advantage! 

Pumpkin Seed FTW

Great in theory, but are pumpkin seeds worth the hassle of the pull, wash, dry that they require? With this recipe and method, we say, yes! Pumpkin seeds are nutrient superstars high in antioxidants, magnesium, and fiber. Replace your movie popcorn or pre-dinner chips with these and you’ll wish every season was pumpkin season. All you’ll need for this tasty recipe is melted butter (or oil of your choice—we’re sesame oil fans), salt and pepper, and a teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce. Once you’ve detangled the seeds from the innards, place them in a colander under cold water to detach the remaining fibers from the seeds. After rinsing, lay the seeds on a towel and pat them dry. Place them into a bowl and add all the seasoning, making sure every seed is nice and coated. Place the seeds on an oiled baking sheet and bake for 45 minutes at 200 degrees. Stir the seeds from time to time so none get caught in a hot spot; for an additional 5 minutes, bake on 350 for a crunch-causing zap. Enjoy! 

Bonus Round: Pumpkin Pie Recipe

Making fresh pumpkin pie is not a small feat, but think of the pride you’ll feel in taking a vegetable to its perfect final form: a pie. 

Just don’t use your old Halloween pumpkin for this one. You’ll need to buy a pumpkin that’s made for cooking, not carving (like a “sugar pie pumpkin”).

To make pumpkin purée from scratch, cut a medium-small pumpkin in half.  Scrape out the insides and set aside to compost or make seeds from! Line a baking sheet with foil and place the pumpkin halves cut side down on the lined baking sheet to bake at 350°F for about an hour to an hour and a half. Remove from oven, let cool, scoop out the insides. 

For the rest of the pie, here’s what you’ll need:

  • 2 large eggs plus the yolk of a third egg
  • 1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 2 cups pumpkin pulp purée 
  • 1 1/2 cup heavy cream or one 12 oz. can of evaporated milk
  • 1 pie crust

Beat the eggs in a large bowl as you mix in the brown sugar, white sugar, salt, spices: cinnamon, ground ginger, nutmeg, ground cloves, cardamom, and lemon zest. Throw in the pumpkin purée and cream then beat together until everything is well mixed! Pour this mixture into your favorite pie crust and bake for 15 minutes at 45 degrees. After that time is up, lower the temperature to 350 degrees and bake for 50 more minutes. Do the jiggle test; if the knife is clean, serve! Enjoy with smiles and hopefully heaps of whipped cream. 

Happy Thanksgiving, Warriors!

Trainer Spotlight: Aaron Taylor

Looking to reach your fitness goals? Our fitness coaches have got you covered. Take a look at Aaron Taylor, one of our dynamic fitness coaches who teaches Kickboxing, Fast Track, and boxing. We recently sat down and got to know a little bit more about Aaron’s teaching philosophy and his lifestyle. Aaron takes pride in teaching the correct technique to our members and he is always looking towards improvement.

Aaron teaching Kickboxing at
X3 Sports: West Midtown

Keep reading to take a dive into the kind of healthy choices Aaron makes about eating, what he gets into on his days off, his favorite workouts, and his personal life.

What is your favorite thing about your job?

“Showing technique that is one of the things I pride myself on. Because when it clicks that look on peoples face is that “OH thats why that makes sense as to why things are done a certain way that’s what I love.”

What is your favorite healthy snack?

“Fruits with a lot of water. So, like oranges , watermelon, and apples. Eating your water is one thing Tony Tucci taught me. Not only do you get the hydration but you get vitamins and minerals and things of that nature. Grapes, that’s another good one. That’s what I am on right now.”

What is one thing that a lot of people get wrong about fitness?

“Well the most prevalent thing I think is thinking that it’s going to happen in a short amount of time. You know you have to give yourself time in order to see the changes. The other thing is truly not eating properly. Your body is made in the kitchen. You know how they say 80% kitchen 20% weight room. That’s true if you’re not eating properly and finding out what truly works for you eating clean, maybe at a calorie deficit that is what truly helps you get your goals.”

What is your favorite core exercise?

“Right now it’s anything where I’m hanging from a bar and bringing my legs up. So you really get that full range of motion fighting against gravity bringing your legs up.”

What personal record are you currently trying to beat?

“My body fat percentage. You know sometimes I struggle on the weekends like I had 3 bowls of cereal last night before I went to bed. Sundays kind of get me because I am kinda sitting around. But just pushing myself personally knowing I reached this level. It’s almost like in anime going from super saiyan 2 to super saiyan 3. When I first got in shape I was at super saiyan I think right now I am hovering super saiyan 2. How do I get to super saiyan 3 and that’s like the body fat percentage. Truly being shredded that’s my goal working on the shred.”

What is your favorite type of cardio?

“Honestly it’s kickboxing. Biking is really good too. One thing that is underrated that I actually do a lot of is walking uphill on the treadmill. That is probably the one I do the most but my favorite would be on the heavy bag.”

Do you have any pets?

“I actually just got a pet this year. Her name is Mari. She is like a redbone hound mixed.  She is super outgoing, fun, loving, and has a lot of energy. That’s my baby.”

What’s your favorite way to spend a day off?

“Getting snacks and food the night before and just binge watching stuff. Having a series whether it’s anime or something on netflix. Just give me something good that I can watch like 10 episodes in a day.”

What accomplishment are you most proud of from the last year?

“Honestly this job. Like I’ve also wanted to teach kickboxing. To be in this type of environment where I can teach people Muay Thai / Kickboxing. So in the past year alone getting this opportunity to teach technique is probably the thing I’m most proud of.”

Who is someone you look up to? Why?

“My dad. I think he is an OG triple OG. Times were a little hard growing up emotionally. He was hard on me when I was young but as I got older and I became more mature I realized why he was doing the things he was doing. It was always out of a place of love, it was never out of a place of anger. So he is somebody I look up to. Fictionally, I’m going to have to go with the goat. Goku because Goku is always wanting to be better. He wanted to test himself and push himself to see how far he could go. I think Goku might be the greatest cartoon character period of all time just for his personality.”

Aaron teaching Kickboxing at our West Midtown location

His classes are just as awesome at as he is! Come take a class with Aaron at our West Midtown location! Let’s reach your fitness goals together!

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