Zero Pumpkin Waste this Halloween

October 16, 2019

a field of pumpkins Last year it was scarily predicted that the UK will bin 8 million pumpkins after Halloween, the equivalent of enough pumpkin pie to feed the entire nation!  Almost 58% of consumers buy pumpkins to hollow out and carve, only a third of whom bother to cook the leftover but edible innards, according to the annual #PumpkinRescue campaign. So with more than half of buyers binning the flesh, adding to the UK’s food waste mountain, we all need to be looking at ways to cook or compost it.  

Last year we decorated our home with some instagrammable small pumpkins and squashes and they stored fine enough in our home to then be used for food recipes, as did some of the larger carving pumpkins too.  Obviously if the flesh is starting to turn then I wouldn’t recommend cooking it up and instead I have ideas further into this post for what you can do with the leftovers.  So here are some ideas for inspiration on how to reduce or become zero waste with your pumpkin purchases this October.

Cooking

  1. Pumpkin soup My favourite soup recipe that I have shared numerous times but this to me is a staple in October and November and boosts our vitamin intake.pumpkin soup recipe
  2. Chunks of pumpkin roasted with other seasonal vegetables such as carrots and beetroots and potatoes drizzled with honey and oil make for a yummy roast dinner or mid week addition.pumpkin and squash roasting in the oven
  3. Pumpkin Puree – Cut your pumpkin or squash in half and then place your pumpkin flesh side down and roast for about an hour at 180 degrees in a fan oven.  Then when cooled a little, carefully peel the pumpkin skin off.  Place the flesh in a mixer and blitz until smooth.  Store in a jar or alternatively in cup batches in food safe containers for  the freezer.  (For butternut squashes I often cook and blitz the skin and the flesh as it’s not as coarse and thick as a pumpkin, therefore using it all up)
  4. Pumpkin Mac and Cheese – This recipe works well with both butternut squash or pumpkin.  Simply add in 1 cup of pumpkin puree to your warm cheese sauce and pour over cooked pasta, top with cheese and grill until bubbly.
  5. Apple and pumpkin Muffins – pumpkin baking recipes is something I plan to do more of these next few weeks.  I have invested in a silicone muffin tray to do more fruit and vegetable based muffins. I have popped on some baking recipes for pumpkin on my Reduce Halloween Waste Pinterest board below.
  6. Pumpkin Overnight Oatmeal – Not something I would ever have thought of doing but this Pinterest recipe (again on my board)  looks warm and comforting for early Autumn mornings.squash seeds
  7. Roasted Seeds – Roast pumpkin or butternut squash seeds in the oven.  Simply clean off the fleshy bits and pat dry with kitchen roll.  Lay out on baking paper on a roasting tray, drizzle with olive oil and a sprinkling of salt and roast for about 40 mins at 140 celsius in a fan oven.

Wildlife

  1. Leave your pumpkins out in the garden for a while – Last year we had our own leftover pumpkin field in our back garden as we heard how much wildlife can benefit from eating up leftover pumpkin waste for their fat stores for the Winter months. Keep your pumpkins up high for birds and squirrels as they can be poisonous to hedgehogs.
  2. Pumpkin Bird feeders – We’re looking forward to trying out making Pumpkin bird feeders that again I have included on my Pinterest board.  These look really fab and something the kids can be involved in too.

Compost

We invested in a compost bin to help reduce our food waste in landfill as our local recycling doesn’t accept food waste.  I added the remainder of my waste to my composter and will do the same with any leftover pumpkins not fit for eating. If you haven’t got the space for a compost bin some areas now have local community composting schemes, so there may well be somewhere local to you.

If reducing waste is of interest then here is my top tips for reducing household Halloween waste 

Shank You Very Much

 

2 responses to “Zero Pumpkin Waste this Halloween”

  1. Martha says:

    Great ideas, thanks for sharing! Happy Halloween 🎃

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