Here are some simple and fun ideas for what to do with your Halloween pumpkin after you’ve carved it and don’t want it to go to waste…
Supermarket shelves are filling with bright orange pumpkins ahead of October 31st, but a recent study by stock brand Knorr revealed that the UK will bin 8 million of them after Halloween. While carving a pumpkin has become a quintessential Halloween ritual, the majority of this seasonal squash often goes to waste, despite being both delicious and nutritious. So (trick or) treat yourself to these five fa-boo-lous ways to make the most of your carving leftovers. Just make sure you choose an edible pumpkin for your Jack-o’-lantern and start sharpening your knives…
1. PUMPKIN PIE
After carving the scariest or silliest faces into your pumpkin, don’t let the flesh go to waste. Try making your own pumpkin puree and baking a homemade pumpkin pie with it – the nutty flavour of the pumpkin coupled with cinnamon and nutmeg will leave your house smelling deliciously like a pumpkin spiced latte (oh my gourd).
To make the puree follow these easy steps:
- Carve your pumpkin and removed all of the seeds (but keep them to one for now), cut the flesh into chunks, then peel.
- Place the pumpkin in a large saucepan, cover with water and bring to the boil.
- Boil for about 20 minutes or until all chucks are soft. Drain the water and puree all the chunks together in a food processor.
Mix some ground ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg (or pumpkin spice if you have) into the puree before filling it into a pie crust and baking for about 30 mins.
2. ROASTED PUMPKIN SEEDS
Toasted pumpkin seeds can be enjoyed as a healthy savoury snack and are full of nutrients and fibres, so make sure not to throw them out when carving pumpkins this week.
To make the seeds deliciously crispy, simply clean the seeds from all the flesh and boil them for 10 minutes. Then spread them out on a baking tray, drizzle with oil, sprinkle with salt and bake for 10 minutes at 175 degrees, occasionally stirring them to make sure they don’t burn.
Not so keen on eating them yourself? No problem, birds love them! Clean the seeds from the pumpkin flesh and let them dry on a flat surface, before laying them out for birds. Just make sure not to season them.
You might want to keep a few seeds aside to plant in your garden when temperatures get a little warmer. Read more about growing your own edible garden.
3. PUMPKIN SOUP
Making a big batch of pumpkin soup to keep in the fridge as well as in the freezer for a busy day will probably be the most efficient use of your carved pumpkin. Try swapping butternut squash with pumpkin in Melissa Hemsley’s Squash Soup with Crispy Sage.
4. PUMPKIN-INFUSED VEGGIE STOCK
Having used both the delicious flesh and seeds from your pumpkin, what about the stringy insides that usually go straight to compost?
Try adding it to other veggie scraps that have accumulated in your fridge (yes, those onion ends and wrinkly carrots) to make flavourful vegetable stock. You can even freeze most of the stock to use at a later time – winter is coming so stock up (on stock)!
PUMPKIN FACE MASK
Have one last spoon or so of pumpkin puree leftover from your pumpkin pie? Get your friends over and try making a face mask with it (#squashgoals). Pumpkin contains Vitamin A and C which soothe the skin, and help collagen production.
Simply mix 2 tablespoons of pumpkin puree with 1/2 tablespoon of almond milk and 1/2 tablespoon of honey. Leave on for about 10-15 minutes before rinsing thoroughly.
You can also try mixing any leftover pumpkin flesh into some of your favourite recipes such as risotto, curry and try making your own pumpkin spiced latte. At the very least, compost any leftovers so nothing really does go to waste.
Read on for how to have a plastic-free halloween and have a spook-tacular halloween.