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!