Are you wondering what to do with your leftover pumpkin this Halloween? Before you ditch the inside scoop, put the flesh to one side and pick some Halloween pumpkin recipes (or any pumpkin for that matter!). This is a great step to take as eco activism becomes more widespread, thanks to people like Greta Thunberg.
Halloween pumpkins are beautiful, fun and delicious. But this year, more than 8 million pumpkins will be thrown out uneaten after Halloween festivities – this equals 18,000 tonnes of edible pumpkin flesh! 60% of those buying fresh pumpkins don’t use the flesh. So surely we should ask ourselves what to do with leftover pumpkin before sending this innocent produce to the gallows.
I’m particularly fond of combining different types as a seasonal display, surrounded by seasonally coloured foliage and natural textures. My favourite is the blue pumpkin, which I place next to other bright orange, red, white and patterned varieties.
Most of my pumpkins will remain un-carved as decorations, and as soon as Halloween’s over, I turn them into delicious soups, stews, roasts and pies. The flesh from any carved pumpkins will be turned into lunch and dinner soon after the knife’s gone in. This happens all in one go – as you slice pieces out of the pumpkin, put these aside in a dish ready to be cooked, or keep in the fridge for later.
What to do with leftover Pumpkins or pumpkin flesh – 6 Halloween pumpkin recipes
- Simple pumpkin soup – There are so many variations on the classic pumpkin soup. So start with this super simple classic pumpkin soup recipe from Cafe Delights, with potatoes and broth, and go from there. You can then choose to add coconut milk, maple syrup, curry powder, chilli or herbs. Why not try toppings like creme fraiche or cream, toasted seeds, almonds, fresh coriander, pomegranate and more.
- Thai pumpkin soup – if you want a pumpkin soup that’s a little different, why not give it this Thai twist from BBC Good Food.
- Pumpkin spiced chai latte – I’m always trying to find caffeine free drinks that can tempt me away from coffee, particularly when working from home. So Turmeric lattes and pumpkin drinks are a big hit for me. I really enjoy combining warming spices to create unique flavours. This pumpkin turmeric latte recipe on YouTube makes the step pretty straightforward. Simply combine pumpkin puree, turmeric, ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice, vanilla, raw honey and coconut milk. Follow this to make your own pumpkin puree. A golden milk pumpkin recipe that’s perfect for chilly autumn days!
- Roasted pumpkin – simple but stunning, roasted pumpkin goes with pretty much anything. Set the oven to 180 centigrades, drizzle slices or chunks of any squash or pumpkin (with or without skin), add some maple syrup and fresh herbs (hardier herbs like rosemary or thyme are ideal) and roast until tender. These beauties can then be added to roast dinners, used to decorate the top of soups, and add flavour to stews. If you cut the pieces small enough and cook for longer, you can even add them to homemade granola.
- Pumpkin pie with maple syrup, courtesy of Olive food magazine (1 hr 30 minutes, serves 8) – you can make your life easy and buy the pastry to make this creamy cinnamon infused pumpkin pie. Why not make pretty decorations for the top out fo leftover pastry? When we lived in Montreal, one of our favourite traditions was going out for pie before going to a concert or show. And of course the phenomenal autumn colours, with trees and pumpkins bursting orange, yellow and red from every corner. But this doesn’t need to be a memory just from North America!
- Pumpkin curry with prawns by Olive food magazine (1 hr plus marinating, serves 4) – Why should the kids have all the fun? Use the leftover craft materials (that is, the pumpkin flesh), to make an impressive looking and deliciously creamy pumpkin and prawn curry, topped with shallots and fresh coriander leaves. Coconut, turmeric, fenugreek and garam masala are all part of the magic.
- Deliciously Ella’s spiced pumpkin bread – a healthy autumnal snack time treat! Made from pumpkin puree, oats and maple syrup.
Natural Halloween decor
Of course pumpkins are beautiful in their own glory, without carving. Using toxic free paints can also produce a beautiful effect. Here are some ideas to get your natural Halloween decor creative juices flowing.
Other things to do with leftover pumpkin:
- Dry the seeds, toast them and use sprinkle them on your breakfast cereal. Or feed them to birds in your garden (unsalted).
- Put them out for animals to snack on (make sure they don’t have paint on them)
- Put the flesh in your compost. The high water content means it breaks down pretty quickly to give you new earth.
How to reduce waste
If you’re keen to reduce waste in other areas of your life, do have a look at the plastic free alternatives in the chalkandmoss.com shop. These also make thoughtful gifts. Here are some suggestions:
Recycled metal jewellery by Emma Aitchison, inspired by climate change, mountains and oceans:
No live pumpkins were harmed in the making of this post 🙂