Pumpkins are like so in right now. In season that is!
Don't go tossing your pumpkin away on November 1st and don't just let it sit outside to become a sad little rotting mess. It's time to grab your pumpkin and get to work by making the most of it! There's plenty of ways to reuse your jack o'lantern.
Now let's not beat around the bush: eating is probably the best (and tastiest!) way to reuse it. I've got the whole pumpkin covered - even those stringy guts that normally just get chucked away.
Also, pumpkin is packed with fibre, zinc and vitamin A!
I've put together some simple ideas to turn autumn's iconic decoration into something a little bit special.
First things first, preheat the oven to 180c and begin by scooping out the flesh, seeds and string from your pumpkin and separating them!
Pumpkin guts from a medium pumpkin
1 litre of water
1 celery stick chopped
2 medium chopped onions
1 chopped carrot
2 springs of thyme
2 springs of oregano
Handful of chopped parsley
1 tsp of coconut oil
2 tsps salt
2 tsps ground black pepper
1. Melt the coconut oil in a large pan
2. Add the onions and cook over a medium heat for approx 5 minutes, stirring all the time
3. Add the chopped celery and cook for a further 5 minutes
4. Add the pumpkin strings, carrot, herbs and seasoning - stir briefly and then add the water.
5. Bring to the boil and then cover with a lid and reduce the heat. Simmer for 35-40 minutes.
6. Remove from the heat, strain and use some of the stock for the pumpkin recipe (you can freeze the rest!)
Spicy Toasted Pumpkin Seeds
2 tbsps melted coconut oil
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp fennel seeds
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp chilli flakes
Freshly ground pepper
1. Preheat the oven to 180c
2. Scrape out the seeds from the pumpkin (It's easier to do this with a dessert or soup spoon!)
3. Detach all the strings and put that to one side for the stock
4. Rinse the seeds and pat dry
5. Spread the seeds on an ovenproof dish or baking tray lined with parchment paper
6. Spoon over the melted coconut oil and add the spices and mix thoroughly until the seeds are well covered
7. Put in the oven for 10-15 minutes until golden and crunchy
Pumpkin Face Mask
2 tbsps raw pumpkin puree
1 tbsp raw honey
1. Mix the two ingredients together
2. Place the mixture on a freshly cleansed face avoiding the eye are and leave for 10 minutes. It's quite a runny mixture so it's best to lie with your head slightly back!
3. Remove the face pack with a moistened warm cloth. Rinse with lukewarm water and pat dry
1 medium/large pumpkin
1 large chopped sweet potato
2 medium chopped carrots
3 medium chopped onions
4 crushed garlic cloves
1/2 small chopped green chilli
2 tsps grated ginger
1 stick of finely chopped celery
Handful of parsley
8 sprigs of thyme leaves
2 sprigs of fresh oregano leaves
600ml pumpkin stock
500ml coconut milk
2 tsps salt
2 tsps pepper
1 tbsp melted coconut oil
1. Cut out the flesh from the pumpkin and chop into small chunks
2. Heat the coconut oil in a large pan. Add the onions and cook over a medium heat for 8-10 minutes stirring all the time
3. Add the celery and garlic and cook for a further 2 minutes
4. Add the pumpkin, sweet potato, carrots, chilli, ginger, herbs, stock, salt and pepper and coconut milk
5. Bring to the boil and then reduce heat and cover the pan. Simmer over a low heat for around 30 minutes
6. Remove from the heat - liquidise the soup and add more seasoning if needed
7. Transfer to the scooped out pumpkin and serve topped with the crunchy pumpkin seeds!
So there you have it, plenty of ways to make the most of your pumpkin!
If you fancy being even more inventive then I'd say start off with making up a batch of pumpkin puree as it serves as a base for loads of other great ideas (pumpkin smoothie, pumpkin pie, pumpkin cocktails etc) and it also lasts for ages in the freezer.
Remember a pumpkin is for life, not just for halloween. Don't let your pumpkin go to waste this holiday season.
Fully aware I'm starting to sound like a strange advert for abandoned pumpkins so I'm gonna wrap it up here!