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One of the most exciting parts of Halloween for me, as a parent, is carving the pumpkin with my son. Last year he loved helping to scoop out the seeds and the flesh, as well as coming up with ways to carve two separate pumpkins to create spooky faces that adorned our conservatory windowsill!
But it’s surprising how many people just toss away the flesh and seeds after carving. Last year, research from Hubbub showed that 12.76m of the 24m pumpkins set to be bought would have their flesh discarded rather than eaten. The same research showed that only 42% realised that the flesh is actually edible, while one in seven don’t actually see pumpkins as food.
That needs to change. Technically a fruit, thanks to their seeds, pumpkins are a type of winter squash that can be eaten in a range of both sweet and savoury dishes. We’re all familiar with pumpkin pie (thanks, America) and pumpkin spiced lattes (thanks, Starbucks), but there’s so much more you can do with what you’ve scooped out of the middle of your jack o’lantern. Here are ten ideas for pumpkin recipes that you might want to try, preventing food waste and making the most of this seasonal treat. Click on the recipe title for the full recipe!
*Please note – I haven’t yet tried these recipes, but they’re the ones I’ve collected to try this October/November!*
This recipe from Delicious involves adding coarsely grated pumpkin to the beef for additional flavour and texture.
A hearty, warming vegan pumpkin recipe from The Simple Veganista – one that’s great for batch cooking and serving with the grains of your choice.
Pumpkin lends itself well to stews, and with under 250 calories per serving, this recipe from Olive Magazine is great for those looking for lighter yet hearty options.
I love a good one-pot recipe…the less washing up, the better! This Thai yellow curry from Minimalist Baker is packed full of organic turmeric powder, chilli, ginger, shallots and garlic for a flavoursome autumn treat.
Ditch the classic chickpea hummus this autumn and make this pumpkin version instead, courtesy of Lazy Cat Kitchen. Roast the pumpkin and transfer to a food processor with the rest of the ingredients – it’s that simple!
You’ll need to make your own pumpkin purée for this pumpkin muffin recipe from Pretty. Simple. Sweet. – but judging by the comments, it’s worth it! These spiced muffins take just ten minutes to make, and 20 minutes to bake.
If you’re a fan of carrot cake, then try this pumpkin-based traybake from BBC Good Food instead, complete with cream cheese frosting.
This gluten-free waffle recipe from The Guardian uses fresh pumpkin for a touch of “mellow sweetness”: a great autumnal breakfast that they recommend serving with yoghurt, jam and maple syrup.
Don’t forget to use the pumpkin seeds as well as the flesh! This recipe from Tesco Real Food is simply spiced with cumin, smoked paprika and salt, before roasting the seeds in the oven to give them a bit of crunch.
And finally, a sweet way to use up those pumpkin seeds! Joy Food Sunshine recommends roasting pumpkin seeds (after giving them time to dry!) with sugar, cinnamon, sea salt, vanilla extract and coconut oil for a sweet and salty snack.
How do you use your pumpkin flesh and seeds at Halloween? Let me know in the comments! Or if you’re looking for spooky Halloween recipes, take a look at my Halloween severed finger biscuits!