Pumpkin waste: Trick or Treat?
Halloween is celebrated each year on October 31. Halloween began as the festival of Samhain in northern Europe, and over time, it evolved into a day of activities like trick-or-treating, wearing costumes and eating sweets. Now, carved pumpkins, best known Jack O’Lanterns, are one of the most famous symbols of Halloween.
Carving Jack O’Lanterns might be fun for us, but not to the environment. Did you know that in the US alone, 590 million kg of pumpkins are wasted after Halloween? In the UK, it is 18,000 tonnes - this amount alone could make 360 million portions of pumpkin pie.
Fighting Food waste one pumpkin at a time
To reduce wastage, Jack O’Lanterns (or carved pumpkins) be reused and turned into delicious dishes. Pumpkins are rich in many nutrients like vitamin A and C, potassium and iron. In addition to being healthy, they are delicious and versatile. Sweet or savoury, it’s time for pumpkin!
Here are our top tips to help you make the most out of your squashes:
Not all pumpkins are the same. There are different kinds of pumpkins in the market. Although they are all edible, it is essential to have in mind that the larger the pumpkin, the tougher the skin. Also, larger squashes tend to have a more subtle taste. The big pumpkins are typically sold for carving. They can be reused for more savoury dishes, stews, pasta and soups. The smaller pumpkins tend to be sweeter. They are perfect for desserts, like pumpkin pie, cakes and cookies.
Save the seeds for a crunchy treat. Roasting your pumpkin seeds can be a healthy and nutritious way of utilizing a part of the vegetable that would normally get tossed out. It's very simple to make. All you have to do is preheat your oven to about 150 degrees C, spread the seeds out on a baking sheet, and then coat them with butter (or oil). To finish, add salt and bake for 45 minutes. If you'd like to spice up your seeds, try out this recipe by inspired taste
Donate to feed the animals. If the regulation in your country allows you to feed animals with food waste, then consider donating your pumpkins to your local pig farm. When you make a donation to pig farms, you are ensuring that the vegetables are being used entirely. Zero waste.
If you’re feeling adventurous, add to your regular fries by replacing the everyday potatoes with pumpkins? Here’s the recipe:
Ingredients: Leftover pumpkin, a handful of salt, pepper, and paprika
- Cut the pumpkin with the skin vertically into small ½ an inch fry size pieces
- Soak them in water and dry them
- Coat them with ⅓ cup of olive oil
- Season the pumpkin with salt, pepper, and paprika
- Spread across a baking tray bake at 180°C for 15 minutes until fully cooked.
- Throw on some parsley and Parmesan cheese for some extra flavour
For more tasty pumpkin recipes, check out this cookbook by HubHub and enjoy your Halloween.