Did you know that around eight million pumpkins get thrown away every year? According to research from Knorr, the stock cube brand, and Hubbub, an environmental charity, 40 per cent of us buy a pumpkin every Halloween, but 60 per cent don’t use it afterwards. That means around 8 million perfectly good pumpkins go straight to waste every year, without being transformed into a delicious family meal.
But there are so many recipes to be made with this fantastic squash!
What does pumpkin taste like?
Pumpkin tastes like a butternut squash, but a bit sweeter and more delicate. Much like a butternut squash, pumpkin works great when paired with spices or sour flavours. The pumpkin seeds, once roasted have a lovely nutty taste.
Also, much like other vegetables, you can use pumpkin in sweet recipes, too. Pumpkin pie is a classic American-style dessert, which features pumpkin purée mixed with spices, sugar, cream and eggs and baked inside a buttery pastry case.
What can you make with leftover pumpkin?
There are numerous methods of cooking a pumpkin, including roasting, baking, frying, grilling, or even boiling. Plus, each element of the pumpkin can be cooked differently.
The pumpkin seeds, once roasted, make a great healthy snack to carry with you throughout the day, and the flesh is perfect when cooked alongside meats or other vegetables for a spicy dinner, or even whizzed up into a creamy soup.
If you’d like to have a go at turning your leftover pumpkin into a tasty meal, then take a look at our fool-proof recipes below!
Chilli and soy snacking pumpkin seeds
– seeds from 1 pumpkin, rinsed and patted dry
– 2 tbsp olive oil
– 1 tsp chilli flakes
– 2 tsp dark soy sauce
– freshly ground black pepper
1. Preheat the oven to 160ºC/140ºC (fan)/gas mark 3.
2. Place the pumpkin seeds into a bowl and add the rest of the ingredients. Mix thoroughly, then spread out across a large baking tray into a single layer.
3. Bake in the centre of the oven for 15-20 minutes, until the seeds are dry and slightly crispy. Once baked, leave to cool on the baking tray, then transfer the seeds into an airtight container.
Spiced roast pumpkin with puy lentils, broad beans, spinach and goat’s cheese
– 1/4 pumpkin, peeled and diced
– 2 tbsp olive oil
– 2 tsp ras el hanout
– 250g pouch of ready-to-eat puy lentils
– 1/2 tin broad beans, drained and rinsed
– large handful baby leaf spinach
– 50g soft goat’s cheese
– 1 tbsp pumpkin seeds
– 1/2 lemon, juiced
– sea salt, to season
– freshly ground black pepper, to season
1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC/160ºC (fan)/gas mark 4. Place the diced pumpkin on a baking tray and spread out into a single layer. Drizzle over the olive oil, then add the ras el hanout and season. Mix it through with your hands, then roast in the middle of the oven for 15-20 minutes.
2. Prepare the puy lentils and split them between two plates. Add the broad beans, spinach, goat’s cheese, pumpkin seeds, and roasted pumpkin, then squeeze the lemon over the salad. Drizzle over a bit more olive oil and serve.
Beef madras with pumpkin and basil
– 500g diced beef
– 20ml rapeseed oil
– 20g butter
– 2 onions, finely diced
– 2 cloves garlic, crushed
– Sea salt to taste
– 2 tbsp madras curry paste
– 1 green chilli, deseeded and finely diced
– 450g pumpkin, cubed
– 80g pumpkin seeds, toasted
– 2 bell peppers, peeled and evenly diced
– 400g chopped Italian plum tomatoes
– 200ml light chicken or beef stock
– 200ml coconut milk
– 1 lime, juiced
– 1 tsp cornflour, mixed with a little cold water
– bunch basil leaves
– Fragrant basmati rice
1. Preheat oven to 130ºC. Sweat the onions and garlic in a deep casserole dish with the oil and butter until soft and translucent
2. Fry the diced beef in a heavy-based frying pan over a high heat until rich and golden. Add curry paste, chilli (if using) and tomato to the onions and cook out for 5 minutes.
3. Add stock, coconut milk and half the lime juice then bring to a simmer.
4. Thicken by whisking the cornflour mix into the simmering sauce.
5. Add beef to pot, cover and cook for 1½ hour.
6. Next, add the pumpkin and peppers. Place back in the oven covered, for 1 more hour, until both beef and vegetables are tender
7. Carefully remove from oven, add an extra squeeze of lime, salt to taste then tear the basil leaves into the curry just before serving.
8. Garnish with toasted pumpkin seeds. Serve with lots of basmati rice.
Recipe courtesy of Farmison