Environment,  Recipes

Pumpkin 3 ways – How to use ALL parts of your pumpkin

Halloween is a scary time for food waste across the world. In the UK alone 24 million pumpkins will go to waste. The saddest part of all this, it is totally unnecessary. There’s no question, we should all keep up that tradition of carving out a pumpkin for our doorsteps, however let’s use those cuttings and eat our artwork afterwards!

I decided to have a mad evening of cooking and baking, and use up an entire pumpkin in the process. Lets see what I cooked up!

Spicy pumpkin seed snacks

Often over-looked, the seeds of a pumpkin and of all the squash varieties, are edible and full of valuable nutrients and are high in protein. They are also so easy to prepare and a delicious snack for when you are on the go.

I simply removed the stringy, flesh part of the pumpkin and laid the seeds out onto a flat baking tray. I drizzled olive oil over them with salt pepper and smokey paprika and popped them in the oven for 10 minutes at 180 degrees Celsius. They come out a lovely golden brown colour and are great to either munch, as they are, for a nutrient rich snack or sprinkle over a salad.

Pumpkin Skin Chips

For any American readers these are fries not chips but boy were they delicious! The pumpkin skin is probably the most nutritious part of the pumpkin yet the part that is most neglected.

The skin of a pumpkin is high in vitamins and antioxidants, whilst also being high in fibre which aids digestion. There is also high levels of beta carotene (the reason pumpkins/carrots etc are orange) which is great for your skin, helping you to rid those pesky pimples.

The pumpkin skin chips were so easy to make. After scooping out the flesh, I roughly chopped up the skin into chip shaped pieces and chucked them into a baking tray. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt, pepper, cumin and paprika and bung them in the oven for around and hour until nice and crispy.

You can then enjoy as you would chips without the guilt, just the satisfaction that nothing has gone to waste!

Spiced pumpkin gingerbread

This recipe is the showstopper, and really deserves a blog post all of its own but oh well!

This sticky loaf with a spiced buttercream went down a real treat with my wild swimming group at 7.30am this morning after an icy swim. A good slab of a warming ginger cake with a warm hot chocolate was the best start to the day.

Making the cake was very simple and as a bonus it’s vegan! I did have to make my own pumpkin pie spice (something not readily available here in the UK) but that was also stress free. The pumpkin pie spice I used is as follows:

  • 3 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves

This left me with about a tbsp extra for my next baking escapade.

The recipe below outlines all you need to know to create this autumnal loaf that, as I have experienced, can be enjoyed at any time of the day!

Pumpkin Gingerbread with a spiced buttercream

Prep Time 1 hr 20 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
Icing 15 mins
Total Time 2 hrs 20 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine Vegan
Servings 10

Equipment

  • Food processor
  • Electric Whisk

Ingredients
  

Pumpkin Puree

  • 1 Pumpkin
  • 1 tsp Salt

Pumpkin gingerbread loaf

  • 1 cup Plain Flour
  • 3/4 cup Rye Flour
  • 1 tsp Bicarbonate of Soda
  • 1/4 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 2 tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice (see above)
  • 1 1/2 tsp Ground Ginger
  • 1/2 cup Sugar
  • 1/2 cup Vegan Margarine (melted)
  • 1/2 cup Applesauce
  • 2 cups Pumpkin Puree

Spiced Buttercream

  • 1/2 cup Vegan Margarine
  • 1 3/4 cup Icing Sugar
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1 tbsp Pumpkin Pie Spice (see above)

Instructions
 

Making the Puree

  • Cut your pumpkin in half
  • Sprinkle salt across the cut half and place face down on a baking tin
  • Bake in oven at 180 °C for 1 hour
  • Scrape out the flesh and add to a food processor. Don't forget to save the skins!
  • Pulse until smooth

Pumpkin Gingerbread

  • Preheat the oven to 160°
  • Add all the dry ingredients together in a bowl and mix well
  • Melt the margarine slowly then leave to cool
  • Add all the wet ingredients into the pan with the butter and mix well
  • Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix thoroughly until it is a creamy consistency
  • Grease a small tin loaf and add the batter
  • Bake for 45-50 minutes checking with a knife to see when it comes out clean

Spiced Butter Cream

  • Whilst the loaf is cooling prepare the icing
  • Add the softened margarine to a bowl with the spice and half the icing sugar and whisk slowly until combined into a smooth texture
  • Add the vanilla and the rest of the icing sugar and whisk until combined
  • Spread on the top of the loaf once it has fully cooled

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