No need to waste your Pumpkin! 5 Easy ways to make the most of your Halloween Jack O Lantern…

So Halloween is here again and you’re very excited to carve the huge pumpkin/s you have just purchased and to see this years designs come to life, but what do you do with the flesh you scoop out?  Do you discard it to the compost bin?  Or do you make the most of your purchase?

Every years thousands of Pumpkins go to waste, yet they are one of the most delicious members of the squash family!  There are many versatile options for your discarded Pumpkin flesh, here are 5 easy ways you can use yours to make delicious treats for yourself and your family…

1. Spiced Pumpkin Soup (Vegan)

shallow focus photography of squash soup
Photo by Valeria Boltneva on Pexels.com

 

This is my favourite go to every year and so easy to make.  Below is my recipe, but this can be tweaked to your individual taste.  I personally love the warmth of the spices at this time of year, however you can use less or no spice if you’re not a fan:

Ingredients

Chopped Pumpkin Flesh – 1 Onion – Coconut or Oat Milk – Vegetable Stock – 1/2 tsp Turmeric – 1/4 tsp Ginger – 1/4 tsp Cumin – 1/4 tsp Cinnamon – 1 tbsp Sunflower Oil

If you have extra time the soup will taste better if you pre-roast the Pumpkin.

  • Use a large saucepan or casserole dish
  • Chop the onion and brown it in the heated oil of your choice
  • Add the pumpkin – brown and soften if not pre-roasted
  • Add the spices
  • Add vegetable stock – the volume of stock depends on how many servings you are making – I use 1/2 litre for 3 people
  • Bring to the boil and simmer until the Pumpkin is soft 5-15 mins
  • Take off the heat and stir in the coconut or oat milk – if you are not vegan you can use normal milk or cream – again the amount you add depends on how creamy you would like the soup or how many people you are making it for.  I use approx 1/2 litre.
  • Blend using a hand blender – you can also decant to a food processor to blend at this point.
  • Ready to serve – if there is any left over add to the fridge once cooled – it can be reheated the next day.

 

2. Pumpkin Stew (Vegan)

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One of the best ways to incorporate Pumpkin in to your main meal is by throwing it in a stew.  Everyone has different methods for preparing a stew and you can adapt my recipe in a variety of ways.  This is a basic vegan version, but you can add meat to it if you are not a vegan or vegetarian:

Ingredients

Chopped Pumpkin flesh – 1 Onion – Any other vegetables you enjoy (I like mushrooms, courgettes, aubergine, carrots, kale etc) as much as you fancy or you can eat! – 1 tbsp Sunflower Oil – Can of Chickpeas – Can of chopped tomatoes – 1/4 litre of vegetable stock – Black pepper – Mixed herbs

Again you could roast the Pumpkin before, or simply soften in the pan.

  • Using a large saucepan/casserole dish..
  • Chop all vegetables
  • Soften and brown the chopped onion in the heated sunflower oil
  • Add the pumpkin and any other vegetables chopped and ready
  • Drain the can of chickpeas and rinse in a sieve – stir them in to the stew
  • Add mixed herbs to taste – I use 3 large pinches of dried mixed herbs
  • Add 2 pinches of black pepper
  • Stir in the chopped tomatoes
  • Add 1/4 litre of vegetable stock
  • Leave to simmer for 15 mins
  • Serve with Rice/Quinoa/Cous Cous/Potatoes (Boiled or Mashed)

 

3. Roasted Pumpkin

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So simple and very tasty.

Ingredients

Chopped Pumpkin flesh – sunflower oil – herbs of choice (I use mixed herbs) – sea salt

  • Preheat the oven to 200 C
  • Place the chopped Pumpkin on to the oven tray
  • Drizzle over some sunflower oil
  • Sprinkle the mixed herbs and a generous pinch of sea salt over the pumpkin
  • Use a serving spoon or spatula to toss the pumpkin in order to coat it in the oil, herbs and salt
  • Roast for 20-30 mins – as all ovens are different – keep an eye on it and turn half way through to avoid burning.

Serve with a roast dinner, as a vegetable side, with a salad or grain for lunch – stir it it to pasta… it’s so versatile and tastes amazing!

 

4. Homemade Pumpkin Spiced Latte

Who needs Starbucks when you can create an amazing Pumpkin Spiced Latte in the comfort of your own home…

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The most luxurious of Autumn treats!

You can find Madeleine Olivia’s amazing Vegan Pumpkin Spiced Latte recipe by clicking here

Again this can be adapted to use dairy if you are not vegan.

 

5. Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

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There is also no need to waste the seeds inside the Pumpkin.  If you are a grower you can harvest them to grow your own Pumpkins for the following year, which is the ultimate way to recycle your Pumpkin.  If not you could roast the seeds for use in the recipes above, other meals, bread, or to simply snack on:

  • Preheat your oven to 180 C
  • Separate the seeds from the flesh – you don’t need to be perfect
  • Wash the seeds in a sieve under the tap
  • Lay out on a baking tray – you can leave to dry or pat with a clean dry cloth
  • Drizzle some cooking oil over the seeds and season
  • Place in the oven until crisp – approx 30 mins
  • Stir regularly to avoid burning
  • Remove from the oven once cooked
  • Set aside to cool
  • Place in a container/jar with a lid once cool.

 

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