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
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
1 tsp orange juice
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
30ml maple syrup
85g plain white flour
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice (you can use allspice as a substitute)
1 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.