Halloween just wouldn’t be the same if you didn’t pimp your pumpkin and pop it on your porch. But every year, around 18,000 tonnes of perfectly edible pumpkin (enough for a bowl of soup for every person in the UK) go straight into the bin. This Halloween, instead of ditching your droopy creation after days of it sitting on your windowsill, why not try having your pumpkin and eating it too?
During my trip to New Zealand earlier this year, I tried more pumpkin recipes than you can shake a broomstick at. I’ve tried it in more ways than I can count – as a side and a starter, in salads, soups and desserts – and I’ve even enjoyed the seeds as a snack.
Here are some of my favourite recipes that you can tuck into once Halloween is over – they’re so easy and can all be done in under an hour, so you’ve got no excuse for dumping your pumpkin.
2 tbsp honey
350g fresh spinach
125g blue Cheese
100g pine nuts
Preheat oven to 200°C. Chop your pumpkin into 3cm cubes, and place on a roasting tray. Drizzle over some honey and olive oil, and sprinkle over some salt and pepper. Roast for 35-40 minutes, turning half way.
Once your pumpkin is soft, you can start assembling your salad, Make a bed of spinach leaves, and add the pumpkin. Crumble over your blue cheese, and scatter over your pine nuts. You can use the oil from the pumpkin as a dressing, or drizzle over some balsamic vinegar.
Thai Pumpkin Curry
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tbsp red Thai curry paste
400ml coconut milk
200ml vegetable stock
1 tsp brown sugar
600g pumpkin, peeled, deseeded and cubed
100g green beans
1 tbsp each freshly chopped coriander and basil
1 red chilli, sliced (to serve)
Heat the oil in a large pan and fry the onions and garlic until soft. Add the paste and fry for two minutes. Stir in the coconut milk, stock and sugar.
Add your pumpkin to the pan and bring to the boil, then simmer for around 15 – 20 minutes, until almost tender. Add your beans and cook for a further 3 minutes. Stir in your herbs, scatter over your chilli, and serve with Thai rice.
Pumpkin and Ginger Teabread
175g melted butter
140g clear honey
1 large egg, beaten
250g raw peeled pumpkin, coarsely grated
100g light muscovado sugar
350g self-raising flour
1 tbsp ground ginger
2 tbsp demerara sugar
Preheat the oven to 180°C, and grease and line a 1.5kg loaf tin. Mix together the butter, honey and egg, and stir in the grated pumpkin. Then mix in the sugar, and sift in your flour and ginger.
Pour the mixture into your tin and sprinkle the demerara sugar over the top. Bake for around 55 minutes, until risen and golden brown. Leave in the tin for 5 minutes, then turn out and cool on a wire rack. Serve with butter and a cup of tea.
If you’d like to join the food waste revolution, and encourage others to think before they throw away their food, follow #PumpkinRescue for videos, more recipes and tips.
You can also visit hubbub.org.uk for more info.
This post originally appeared on www.evangelinec.com.