Halloween is coming with its scary outfits and pumpkin carving, but just as it’s approaching so quickly, it’s going to be over in a blink of an eye. The pumpkins and sweets, on the other hand, are here to stay. And as eager as we are to consume our body weight in chocolate skulls and jelly brains, we don’t really know what to do with the pumpkins. So they usually just end up in the bin. Most of the time, it’s not because people want to waste them, they just don’t know HOW to use them.
I have a few pumpkins wasted behind my belt myself and that was all due to the fact that I didn’t know you could do anything with them apart from soup. And as a student, soup was the last thing I wanted to cook for myself. Fast forward to now and I am obsessed with pumpkin season because of how many dishes you can make with it. And it’s not just for cooking either!
Why should I care?
Food waste is a big issue whether you fight with global warming or not. According to researchers, this year pumpkin waste is going to hit its peak with over 8 million of them being thrown out. 8 million pumpkins out of approximately 10 million grown each year. It’s also a big waste of money because throwing food away is basically throwing your money down the drain. I’m just going to leave it there.
If you’re on a budget or are trying to save money for the festive season that follows straight after Halloween, you’re in the right place. Pumpkins can actually save you a lot of money due to their size. One medium pumpkin can easily become the main ingredient of at least two meals, or a meal and a dessert. And you’ll still have leftovers left for the next day. Cooking with pumpkins is a perfect way to managing your spending whilst also getting lots of nutrients. Apart from antioxidants, Vitamin A and C, pumpkins actually consist of 94% water which means it can be used for pretty much any meal recipe.
What to do with leftover pumpkins?
Here are some of my favourite recipes using pumpkin flesh.
I can confirm, even a fussy eater like me will be satisfied with these. But apart from these four, there are many other ideas like pumpkin juice, the more traditional pumpkin soup, and a great idea to use pumpkin puree as a side to dinner. The possibilities really are endless!
What if I really don’t like pumpkins?
Don’t knock it till you try it, but I can understand that if you gave it a go and just couldn’t get on board with it, you still don’t have to add up to pumpkin waste. The first solution to the problem is buying artificial pumpkins. You can still visit pumpkin patches and get Instagram-worthy photos, but you don’t have to buy anything unless you know you’re going to use it. But it doesn’t mean you can’t get in the Halloween spirit with some beautifully decorated artificial pumpkins that you can get everywhere. Or pop to a craft store to buy plain pumpkins and decorate them yourself. Oh, and it also saves you a tonne of money since you can store them in your loft and reuse them the next year.
But I get it – you want the real deal and you want to carve it because it’s fun. Maybe buy fewer pumpkins and carve one as a family? After it’s done with its decorating purpose, you can use the cooked flesh as a part of a beauty treatment. No joke. Pumpkin puree can be used as a fully natural face mask – mix it with ingredients like sugar for a face scrub or aloe vera to soothe your skin, leave it on for 20 minutes and wash with warm water!
There are so many ways to use the pumpkins purchased that it’s such a shame so many of them end up in landfills. Let’s try and reduce pumpkin waste from this year onwards. Let me know how you’re planning to use your pumpkins in the comments!
Until next time xx