If you're carving pumpkins this Halloween, rescue the tasty, nutritious and versatile flesh inside for a surefire treat.
Over 18,000 tonnes of edible pumpkin is wasted in the UK each Halloween - the same weight as 1,500 double decker buses - with 2/3rds of Brits throwing away the scooped out core.
Is my pumpkin edible?
Sure is. The supermarkets may call them 'carving pumpkins' but this is just marketing. Carving pumpkins are bred to be large and can often be a bit more watery than other types of squash. If you've bought yourself a biggun' they are best added to a stew or blended with plenty of spices in a soup.
Here's a few other ways you can whip up something tasty after you've carved your masterpiece...
Sweet or Savoury Recipes
Pumpkin is one of those great veggies that can adapt to those with a sweet or savoury tooth. Here's a handful of top-rated recipes online: pumpkin & ricotta lasagne, pumpkin & caramel cake, Thai pumpkin soup or try a recipe from our friends from over the pond – a traditional pumpkin pie.
Spiced Pumpkin Latte
Puree the flesh and mix with a bit of maple syrup, vanilla extract, cinnamon and ginger to make a great porridge topping. Or add a teaspoon of the puree to a milky coffee to make your own spiced pumpkin latte.
Toasted Pumpkin Seeds
Rescue the seeds as a salad topping or snack. They are packed with nutrition including high levels of magnesium which is important for heart and blood health.
1. Wash and dry the seeds A quick tip for separating them from the flesh - put all of the pumpkin innards in a bowl of water, use your hands to break it up and the seeds will simply float to the top
2. Optional step for added crispiness (and easier digestion) Bring the seeds to boil in salted water and simmer for 10 minutes, drain and pat dry
3. Spread seeds on a baking sheet and toss in a little oil Sprinkle on some flavours of your choice, this could be simple salt & pepper, chilli powder or cinnamon
4. Toast them in the oven Pop them in for 15 minutes at 170 degrees, stirring half way through Once cooled, the seeds can then be put in a jar or tub and will keep for around a week
Wishing you all a happy and green Halloween!