Not only does your hard work deserve better, it's a terrible waste of food.

By Meghan Overdeep
Halloween Pumpkin
Credit: T L / EyeEm/Getty Images

If you're anything like us, you know it's not Halloween until you've been elbow deep in a pumpkin or two. There's just something so joyful about picking a pumpkin out of a heap and then, with a little elbow grease, transforming it into something completely new. It's a chance to get creative, festive and a little dirty. What's not to like?

But after the carving is done and the trick-or-treaters have departed, countless jack-o-lanterns are forgotten—left to melt into piles of mush on doorsteps across the country.

We're here to put a stop to the madness. Not only does your hard work deserve better, it's a terrible waste of food.

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Everybody knows that roasting pumpkin seeds can transform them into a delicious snack. But when it comes to the carved carcasses, most people are at a loss. Instead of tossing your pumpkin into the trash, consider pickling the rinds. According to USA Today, the rind of a recently carved pumpkin can be pickled as long as it shows no signs of mold or rot. To pickle your pumpkin, start by peeling the skin off. Once you've got the husk exposed, chop it into cubes. Next, combine the chopped husk with apple cider vinegar, sugar and spices in a large pot. Bring to a boil, and then follow safe canning techniques to turn your beloved jack-o-lantern into a yummy treat that will last long after Halloween.

Pumpkin chips are another delicious option, with more immediate results. To make your pumpkin chips, start by skinning your pumpkin and cutting the meat into thin, chip-size slices. Toss with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and whatever other spices strike your fancy. Bake at 400 degrees for or 25-30 minutes, or until chips are crispy and golden. Yum!