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!
From the seeds to the flesh, you can make a huge variety of leftover pumpkin recipes, which will in turn save you money, reduce your food waste, and give you a nutritious family-friendly meal.
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.
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!
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.