No waste Halloween: Pumpkin edition 

mark duffel VQtBAHVRgvc unsplash
mark duffel VQtBAHVRgvc unsplash
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Photo by Mark Duffel on Unsplash

When we talk about Halloween, pumpkin carving is a tradition. Last year only, over 150 million people carved pumpkins. However, this fun activity can sometimes be wasteful.

According to the World Economic Forum, in the UK alone, pumpkins used for Halloween create 18,000 tons of food waste. This year, in an attempt to turn the pumpkin carving experience into a no-waste one, I tried finding simple ways to use the different parts of the fruit.

Did you know that pumpkin seeds are edible? They are packed with lots of nutrients and antioxidants. One serving of pumpkin seeds contains 7 grams of protein, zinc, magnesium, omega 6s fats and a low amount of calories. Pumpkin seeds are a great snack.

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I followed this simple recipe, and I was left with beautifully roasted and lightly salted pumpkin seeds. In a bowl, mix the pumpkin seeds with a bit of olive oil and salt to taste. Spread the seeds on a baking dish and bake for 20 minutes at 400 F. Toss in salads or as a study snack.

Pumpkin flesh is very versatile. They can be roasted, used in delicious fall soups, used as a filling in pies, or to make pumpkin bread! I found two very nutritious recipes you may want to try this season.

The first one is a fall soup. Simply grease the baking tray with olive oil. Cut the pumpkin flesh into small chunks and spread them over the tray. Grape tomatoes, onions and garlic bulbs can also be added to the tray, depending on preference. Salt to taste and add the desired seasonings such as chilli flakes, cumin and pepper. Let bake for 40 minutes or until fully cooked at 400 F. Blend and add to a pot! Adding stock or heavy cream is optional. Enjoy with grilled cheese or as a side! 

Pumpkin flesh can also be turned into puree. This recipe was the easiest to make. I simply spread leftover pumpkin chunks on a baking sheet and baked it for 40 minutes at 400 F. I then blended it and stored it in an airtight container.

As we all know, PSL (or pumpkin spice lattes) are a fall favourite, and they can be pricey! So, I experimented with multiple variations, and I landed a quick, foolproof homemade recipe! In a pot, add milk, the puree, vanilla, nutmeg, cinnamon and sugar and bring to a boil on medium heat. Be careful not to add too many spices. Add your desired choice of coffee and let it boil for some additional minutes. Serve and top off with whipped cream (optional). Word of caution: This recipe can be very addictive!

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