Waste Not, Want Not: Making The Most of Your Pumpkin

If you’ve got your pumpkins and are preparing to carve them, are you considering what to do with the surplus?

After scooping out the innards in preparation for carving your pumpkin, you’re left with lots and lots of seeds, a lot of stringy fibrous flesh, and usually a good few inches of thick pumpkin flesh that you can scrape out without making the surface of the pumpkin too weak.

This is ALL good to use. Even so, every year, a huge amount of pumpkin is wasted in the UK. This infographic from Cut The Wrap is pretty eye opening…

  • 180,000 tonnes of pumpkin are binned!
  • That’s equivalent to 2 slices of pumpkin pie for every person in the UK…
  • Or a bowl of pumpkin soup per person – yummy!

There's nothing as scary as the amount of pumpkin ending up in the bin this Halloween! ūüėĪWhat delicious ways do you…

Posted by Cut The Wrap on Saturday, 26 October 2019

After carving one of our pumpkins tonight with my son, I decided to take inspiration and try all the different ways of using surplus pumpkin…¬†

Disclaimer: Pumpkins from supermarkets don’t tend to be varieties grown with consumption in mind so tend to not really taste that nice or be the best quality for food as they’re mass produced. Your local pumpkin patch may grow pumpkins that are fit to eat – ask them first.

Make Pumpkin Soup

Pumpkin¬† soup is absolutely delicious and so healthy! It’s a great winter warmer, fun to make with the kids, and reduces waste. It’s also really versatile… You could follow this basic recipe, or you could try something a little more firey, like my special recipe…

Ingredients:

  • As much pumpkin flesh as you can safely take without compromising the pumpkin.
  • The ‘stringy’ flesh (you don’t have to add this if you don’t want to).
  • 1 large onion.
  • 4 large garlic cloves.
  • 1 large chilli.
  • 4 large carrots (or enough to top up the pot after pumpkin flesh and other ingredients).
  • As many stock cubes as you require for your pot – vegetable stock advised but not required.
  • 1 tbsp of the following; cumin, tumeric, cumin, dried corriander.
  • 1/2 a can of full fat coconut milk, if you’re a fan! You may prefer to add double cream to your own tastes.

Method:

  • You could gently roast the onion, carrots and pumpkin, or saute. I sauteed mine in a little olive oil with the garlic cloves until lightly brown.
  • Add in enough boiled water to almost fully submerge your veg. You can alter the amount depending on how thick you like your soup.
  • Gently simmer until soft; then, add the herbs. Don’t add them at the beginning as this can reduce their flavour.
  • I then used a hand blender until smooth, and added 1/2 a can of coconut milk, gently stirring it in.
  • Enjoy!
This isn’t the greatest photo but I promise, it is delicious!

Make Pumpkin Pie

This pumpkin pie recipe is popular – doesn’t it look delicious? If you’re unfamiliar with the concept, it’s a dessert that’s much more traditional across the pond in the USA. It sounds a little odd… But tastes awesome! I’ll be trying this with the flesh of the next pumpkin we carve tomorrow.

Image credit: BBC Good Food

Use the Stringy Flesh For ‘Spaghetti Squash’

Or add it into a soup with the rest of the flesh, you won’t notice a difference. The texture of this part of the flesh, once deseeded, is quite like angel hair spaghetti. Gently boiled with a delicious pasta sauce, it could make a fantastic lower carb meal for the family! I’ll be serving this up soon – watch this space.

This recipe is one we think you should follow – it looks absolutely scrumptious. The cook in this video uses a ‘spaghetti squash’ but you can use the stringy pumpkin flesh that you scrape out during the carving process without the need to follow the first steps. Fast forward to about halfway through…

Roast The Seeds

I love to snack on seeds as I follow a low carb, high fat diet, and seeds are the best snack for this (alongside olives and nuts), so I had a huge number at my disposal right here! Why would I throw them away when I could drizzle them in olive oil and sea salt, and roast in the oven for 15 minutes at 200 degrees celcius…? They tasted phenomenal, especially fresh out of the oven! You could use garlic or chilli oil for an added twist…

Once Halloween is Over, Donate The Carcass To a Local Farm

Local farms, animal sanctuaries and zoos may be looking for pumpkin carcasses as a treat for their animals! They’re great for nutrition and ‘enrichment’ in their habitat, so use your local community pages to tell local farmers that you have pumpkins for them!

If this isn’t an option, you could leave your pumpkin out for nature!

Small birds, mammals and insets love to gorge on pumpkins, so you could leave yours in an area of vegetation for the local wildlife to enjoy.


What are YOU doing with your pumpkins after Halloween? Tell us in the comments!

Love from Katie & Team BBY. Xx