A recent article from The Guardian highlighted suggested that more than half of the 24 million pumpkins carved up or decorated for Halloween in Britain this year will not be eaten.
Their research findings suggest that one in seven people who celebrate Halloween do not regard Pumpkins as food, and only 42% realise the fleshy innards of a carving pumpkin are edible; food charity Hubbub has warned this will add to the UK’s mountain of avoidable food waste, and is urging consumers to experiment with new recipes.
In the sprit of helping you get more creative in the kitchen this Halloween, I’ve shared five delicious ways to use up your Pumpkin guts and save them from being wasted.
(PS. If you don’t want to cook with your pumpkin, make sure you pop it in your home compost patch or kerbside food waste caddy – or use it to make a pumpkin bird feeder; just don’t leave it on the ground for wildlife as it can cause more harm than good).
1. Chunky Pumpkin & Roasted Garlic Hummus with Harissa
This recipe is an adapted version of this one, and is super easy as long as you have a food processor and a bit of time. I used Welsh Rapeseed Oil instead of Olive Oil as it’s what I had in the house, left out the pepper, and added 1.5 teaspoons of shop-bought harrissa paste to the mixture to give it a kick.
2. Roasted Pumpkin Seeds with Sea Salt & Chilli
You can see some of these scattered on top of the hummus, above. So easy to make & great as a snack with a glass of wine!
- Wash the seeds from inside your pumpkin and spread them out on a baking tray.
- Drizzle them with oil and toss with seasoning (e.g. sea salt and chilli flakes).
- Bake in a medium oven for 12 – 15 mins.
3. Pumpkin Ravioli with Sage Brown Butter
This one takes a bit of time as you’ll need to make your own pasta, but it’s totally worth it. Sorry about the awful pic, it’s a few years since we made this!
- We use a simple fresh egg pasta recipe from Antonio Carluccio, which you can also find here.
- Then for the filling, it’s just a case of whizzing up chunks of soft, roasted pumpkin with a tsp of ground nutmeg, salt & pepper, an egg yolk and as much parmesan as you fancy (…can you tell I don’t really use measurements in my kitchen? Sorry!)
- Roll out the pasta into thin sheets, cut into squares, and dollop the filling in the middle, pressing another pasta square on top to seal it. Try not to leave any air inside the ravioli, just filling.
- Drop into boiling water for a couple of minutes or until the ravioli float to the surface.
- Then plop into a pan of bubbling brown butter – I like to add a couple of sage leaves to mine so that they infuse and go crispy.
- Serve with more parmesan and enjoy!
4. SPICED PUMPKIN SOUP
Topped with crunchy chickpea ‘croutons, you can use chunks of any kind of squash or pumpkin to make this warming soup. Get the full recipe here.
5. SEASONAL ROASTED VEG WITH HAZELNUTS & ORANGE VINAIGRETTE
Comfort food doesn’t always have to be about mountains of salt, fat and carbs – this healthy roasted veg dish is more like a hearty warm salad; I love the combo of pumpkin, roasted beets and fennel with the crunchy nuts and zesty dressing.
6. PUMPKIN SPICED LOAF CAKE WITH CREAM CHEESE FROSTING
I saw this recipe on Instagram and knew straight away that I wanted to give it a go; it sounded so perfect for the cold Autumn days. This simple loaf cake is an easy bake which uses roasted puréed pumpkin in the batter mix (I used part of a massive Crown Prince Squash that I’m slowly getting through after it has adorned my fireplace for a month).
You can get the full recipe from Sophie’s page by clicking here.
For more food-waste saving recipes, check out these top tips from some local Cardiff’s chefs.