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Happy Halloween and a zero waste guide to using your WHOLE pumpkin!

Happy Halloween everyone! We are continuing our love and appreciation of pumpkins and squashes and we even managed to get hold of a Turks Turban squash at the Cotswold Farm Park on Saturday! We haven't yet quite decided what we will make with this spectacular squash but we'll keep everyone posted.

 

 

We've loved making all kinds of pumpkin recipes throughout October and we've been particularly conscious of not letting any  bits of it go to waste. Pumkpins aren't just for Halloween! It's a sad fact that some 13 million pumpkins go to waste in the UK around Halloween. So we've come up with an easy list of ideas for how to use up every part of your pumpkin this year.

 

 

 

 

It's great to know for example, that pumpkin seeds are an amazing source of fibre, magnesium and antioxidants so should NOT be tossed out! All you have to do is scrape them out with a spoon, rinse off the pulp, toss them in a little olive oil, and roast them in the oven with your favourite seasoning. We used Garam Masala but paprika and cumin would make a lovely spicy combination too!

 

 

Here's our handy zero waste guide to using up and enjoying every last inch of your pumpkin:

 

1.Scoop out every last seed. Then soak and rinse them, We then love to boil them in salted water for ten minutes before roasting with some garam masala and salt and pepper for 25 minutes. These make a sensational snack or a great topping for a salad. Way healthier and more satisfying than crisps.

 

 

2.Scrape out as much flesh as you possible can. Use this to make a pumpkin soup, curry, stew, loaf, purée, pie. The flesh is often overlooked and undervalued and yet is so versatile, so get creative and seek out more unusual recipes, there's so many out there. Scrape out as much flesh as you possibly can. You want the walls of your pumpkin to be as thin as possible. You can use an ice cream scoop for this which might make it easier. 

 

 

3. Instead of cutting the top off your pumpkin, cut a similar shape off the bottom- you can place your candle more easily inside the pumpkin and then roast and eat the bottom lid. 

 

4. To make pumpkin puree: simply put the scraped flesh into a large baking tray, add a small splash of water to evenly cover the bottom of the dish and put it in the oven for about 45 minutes at 180C. Then put it in a blender of food processor. Blend until smooth. We enjoyed putting the purée into a pumpkin spiced hot chocolate and pumpkin swirl chocolate brownies!

 

5. You can peel the skin off of all the chunks and pieces that got carved out of the pumpkin, drizzle the pieces with olive oil, salt, pepper, and garlic powder, and roast it in the oven with the pumpkin bottom lid and these make excellent super healthy fibrous crisps! 

 

6. If possible try to compost your carved pumpkin designs when Halloween is over. 

 

We loved making some delightfully indulgent Chocolate and Pumpkin Swirl brownies with our pumpkin purée. This recipe is easy and really fun to make- it would be a perfect treat for bonfire night too! We also used the purée to make some phenomenal pumpkin spiced hot chocolate with marshmallows, the recipe for this is on out instagram and in a previous blog post. 

 

 

 

Chocolate and Pumpkin Swirl Brownies

 Ingredients:

160 g vegan butter

100 g brown Muscovado or coconut sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

100 ml almond milk 

160 g plain flour 

80 g cocoa powder

1 tsp baking powder

¼ teaspoon salt

80 g dark chocolate

For pumpkin swirl batter:

200 g pumpkin puree

50ml tahini or nut butter

30ml plant milk

½ teaspoon orange zest

tsp orange juice 

tbsp olive oil

1 tsp vanilla extract

30ml maple syrup

85g plain white flour

tsp pumpkin pie spice (you can use allspice as a substitute)

tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground ginger

¾ teaspoon baking powder

 A pinch salt

 Instructions for the Brownie batter:

In a bowl, whisk together melted vegan butter and sugar until sugar is mainly dissolved. Pour in vanilla extract and milk. Whisk well.

In a separate large bowl, combine flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt. Use a whisk to mix well.

Slowly pour your wet mixture over your dry mixture. Mix until smooth. Then add in chopped chocolate.

Use a spatula to gently mix the chopped chocolate in with the batter, making sure it’s spread evenly throughout the mixture. Set aside.

For the Pumpkin swirl batter:

In a separate bowl, add in pumpkin puree, milk, tahini/nut butter, orange zest, orange juice, oil, vanilla & maple syrup and mix well.

In another bowl, whisk together flour, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, ginger, baking powder & salt.

Combine your wet and dry mixtures and stir until just combined but try not to over-mix.

To assemble:

Grease your baking tray and line it with baking parchment.

Pour your brownie mixture into it

Use a spatula to smooth out the top.

Use a spoon to make 2 long wells or tunnels in your batter.

Add your pumpkin batter into the wells in long lines.

Then use a thin long knife, skewer or chopstick  around the top in large circular motions to create beautiful swirly patterns- like a marbling effect.

Bake at 180°C  (fan-assisted oven setting) for 25 minutes.

Once baked, let it cool down completely before slicing.