Halloween and pumpkins simply go together. What could be more fun than carving your own jack-o’-lantern for a ghoulish effect this October? But what do you do with the pumpkin once Halloween is over? Does it have to end up in the bin?
Thankfully, there are so many ways to put your pumpkin to good use. Save on Halloween food waste by trying some of our top pumpkin picks!
Eat Your Pumpkin
Pumpkins are ‘souper’ tasty. They’re also extremely versatile and they’re not just great in soups. Whether you have a sweet tooth or prefer savoury dishes, there are plenty of ways you can cook leftover pumpkin.
The trick (or treat) for most recipes is to puree your pumpkin first. This means peeling it if you haven’t already, cutting the flesh into chunks then heating it gently in a pan. Add a splash of water, and if it looks like it’s getting too dry, add a splash more. It’s ready when its turned into a smooth paste. (Just makes sure you remove any candles and adornments beforehand!)
Savoury pumpkin dishes include:
- Pumpkin soup
- Pumpkin, spinach and feta risotto
- Pumpkin curry
- Pumpkin cheesecake dip in a pumpkin bowl
When it comes to dessert, why not try:
- Pumpkin and pecan strudel
- Pumpkin chocolate chip cookies
- Pumpkin pie
It’s fairly simple to add pumpkin into baking. For pumpkin chocolate chip cookies, substitute the butter from a regular cookie recipe with pureed pumpkin. Add cinnamon and chocolate chips to highlight the flavour of the pumpkin and give your cookies the extra sweet factor!
The seeds are great too. Toast them in a little oil in a frying pan with a dash of soy sauce for a tasty and healthy snack.
Depending on the size of your leftover pumpkin, pick a couple of recipes and invite some friends round to try them. You could become renowned in your neighbourhood for your pumpkin parties! There are also plenty of other pumpkin recipes you can find online. There’s definitely no shortage of food inspiration if it’s needed.
Drink up With a Pumpkin Beverage
If you’d prefer to spice up your drinks rather than your dinner, no problem. Pumpkin also works well as an ingredient in seasonal tipples.
Try a pumpkin spiced latte, a pumpkin smoothie or even pumpkin cocktails. They’re easy to make, not to mention delicious and the fun is always in the experimenting.
Here’s some pumpkin cocktail ideas:
- A pumpkin pie martini. A mix of vanilla-flavoured vodka, Baileys and chilled pumpkin puree. Add a dash of cinnamon and nutmeg. Combine everything in a cocktail shaker or blender and add lots of crushed ice.
- A pumpkin old-fashioned. A mix of bourbon whiskey, Grand Marnier and pumpkin puree, with orange peel as a garnish.
There’s never been a better excuse to have your friends round to try out some drinks. These ideas are tasty and fun, and they save on waste. What more do you need?! You could even go all out and have a pumpkin-themed evening. Combine these drinks with one or two of the warming pumpkin dinner and dessert recipes above. The nights are getting chiller after all.
Get Crafty With DIY Pumpkin Treatments
If you’re not the biggest fan of pumpkin in food or drink, don’t worry. There are still many ways for you to use your leftover Halloween pumpkin.
For example, pumpkin can be just as effective in DIY beauty treatments. Try making your own pumpkin face mask. You might have missed the boat for wearing a scary mask, but a bright orange one can be a real skin energiser. Especially as the central heating has probably been switched on, which can dry the skin.
Or try a pumpkin body scrub, with pureed pumpkin and sea salt. Pumpkin is packed with skin loving vitamins A and C.
If pumpkin facials aren’t your cup of tea, then there are other ways to get creative with your leftover pumpkin. You could repurpose it to use as a pumpkin planter in your garden. For tips on how, this article by Better Homes and Gardens has you covered. Small pumpkins skins can be used a bird feeder too. Fill them with seeds, pumpkin seeds will do nicely, and leave out for the birds still here over the winter.
Save on Halloween Food Waste This Year
Any seasonal event is good reason to get together with friends and family. Sharing food and indulging in a drink or two is fun, and Halloween is no exception.
But like after any celebration, you can often find yourself with excess food on your hands. Including lots of pumpkins! But with these ideas, and your creative mind, this food doesn’t have to end up in the bin.
If you’re looking for other ways to help cut down on food waste, there are different food saving gadgets you can try. We’ve also pulled together a great range of tips and recipes in our Ultimate Guide to Reducing Food Waste at Home. Why not see which work for you, all year round?