Make the most of your pumpkin this Halloween!
In the UK in the run up to Halloween it's estimated that over a million pumpkins are bought ready to be carved into ghoulish lanterns that will adorn doorsteps and windowsills across the country.
Seasonal celebrations bring their own waste impacts and Halloween, celebrated around the world on 31st October, is no exception as around 90% of sales of pumpkins take place then, bought to make Jack O’Lanterns to ward off those pesky witches and ghosts. However how much of the actual pumpkin, which you’ve paid for, do you actually use?
Pumpkin carving is a great way to amuse the kids but what happens to all the succulent orange flesh that has been scooped out of the pumpkins you’ve displayed on your doorstep?
It’s usually among the mountain of fresh tasty vegetables we throw away every year – costing us money! Pumpkins are rich in vitamins and minerals and a great food source; however it is often the case that once carved; many people simply throw away the tasty contents of the pumpkin– a ghastly thought! To help you save money and stop it going to waste, Love Food Hate Waste has some delicious pumpkin recipe suggestions for you to try:
- Gnocchi in Pumpkin and Chilli Sauce -great way to get in the spirit but without buying a whole pumpkin - just use a tin of pumpkin puree.
- Pumpkin & Butter Bean Broth - This hearty, healthy broth is a great way to use up pumpkin and other veg such as carrots.
- Pumpkin mash - For a quick and easy seasonal accompaniment to your favourite autumnal stews and braising dishes, try this mashed pumpkin recipe as a colourful side instead of the usual mashed potato.
- Pumpkin ravioli - Swap any winter squash for the pumpkin
- Pumpkin tart - rescue a pumpkin - turn it into this autumnal treat. A sweet treat made form the inside of your spooky pumpkin!
- Roast pumpkin lasagne - this comforting meal is surprisingly simple, and very seasonal
- Roast pumpkin seeds - these lovely little seeds should never be discarded - this is the perfect recipe as they make a great nibble.
- Roast pumpkin and coriander soup - a refreshing and healthy way to use up that Halloween pumpkin
- Curried roast veg - Roasting vegetables is easy. This recipe brings out the sweetness of root vegetables and adds warming spices that are perfect for chilly days.
- Glutney – a chutney for using up whatever there’s plenty of, including marrow and pumpkin
Pumpkin pie is served traditionally in the USA at Thanksgiving and Christmas and there are plenty of recipes around to try. Pumpkins are actually a form of squash and a relative of the cucumber, so you might try substituting pumpkin in many butternut squash recipes, for example Butternut Squash Mince Bake.
Cinnamon and ginger go well with pumpkin. The flesh of very large pumpkins is likely to be stringier than from smaller specimens so may be better used in soups.
Ghoulishly good party food
If you’re holding a party for the kids at Halloween, be creative and make some freaky party food – make scary spiders from cookies by adding eyes and liquorice legs, swirl the icing on the top of fairy cakes to create a web effect or add a single black olive to little dough balls to make eyeballs.
Every day we throw away 4 million whole apples in the UK. A fun way to use up apples in danger of not being eaten is to make toffee apples – the kids will love them. Dip into two melted tablespoons of sugar – hey presto.
And when the partying is all over, use up leftover sausages, dips and breads to make Leftover Kefta Burgers, a winner in the ‘Can Be Bribed With Food’ blog competition.
And whatever you do love the food you buy.