Let’s stop wasting Halloween pumpkins
Pumpkin waste after Halloween is scary! Did you know that around 18,000 tonnes of pumpkin is wasted each year after Halloween? Terrifying, right? Between 17 and 24 million pumpkins are bought in the UK and yet 15 million of these end up in landfill, after being carved up and later discarded. That’s 95 million meals worth!
It’s not all trick and no treat – as around 10-15 million of these pumpkins are grown in the UK. But if we want to Back British Frams, AND fight food waste, we’ve got to get more creative with our pumpkins beyond a Jack’O’Lantern.
Here are 5 things you can do with your Halloween pumpkin once spooky season is over:
Using the flesh
1. Make pumpkin soup
Soup is simple, nutritious and really easy to batch cook to save on cooking time. If you blend your soup, it means you can hide all sorts of vegetables in there that have been lurking in your fridge for a bit too long. Here are some spices we recommend having in your cupboard artillery to make delicious soups:
- ground cumin
- smoked paprika
- ground ginger
- cumin seeds
- garam masala
- + an excellent soup topper is crispy chilli oil!
2. Make pumpkin gnocchi
This one’s a little different but bound to be a crowd pleaser. In this simple gnocchi recipe, you swap out the potato for pumpkin or squash to make a soft, light, pillowy pasta dumplings. Pair this with a simple sage butter or even a homemade pesto using seasonal greens.
3. Pumpkin fondue!
This idea makes a great centrepiece for a dinner with friends or family and a great way to use a pumpkin in all its splendour. Use your hollowed-out pumpkin to fill with different cheeses (this is also a great way to use up odd bits of cheese you might have!), garlic, shallots or onion, aromatics (rosemary, sage or thyme would work), and a splash of white wine. Bake in the oven at about 180 for approximately 30 minutes until the cheese is bubbly and melted and the pumpkin flesh tender. Grab some crusty bread to dip, and you’re ready to go!
Using the seeds
4. Make crispy pumpkin seed snacks
Pumpkin seeds are high in antioxidants and healthy fats, and make a great healthy snacking alternative. Pumpkin seeds lend themselves to many different spices. In our recipe, we use store cupboard ingredients like paprika, ground cumin, and salt, for a spicy, smokey, crunchy snack or soup topper. Try pairing it with the spiced pumpkin and red lentil soup!
4. Plant your pumpkin seeds
Growing your own pumpkins is very rewarding, and means you’ll be ahead of the game for Halloween next year. Click here to read the RHS’s guide on how to plant your own pumpkins using your leftover seeds.
Check out our recipe archive for some kitchen inspiration using seasonal foods, recipes shared by chef partners and friends, and more.