It’s finally pumpkin’s time to shine, but instead of carving a pumpkin for decoration and throwing it away, there are plenty of ways to give this fruit another little life. Millions of pumpkins are wasted yearly, with half of people buying them simply carving them and throwing them away. This contributes 18,000 tonnes to our already huge problem with food waste in the UK and is completely avoidable. 95% of pumpkins grown in the UK are consumed around Halloween, so let’s not let all our farmer’s hard work go to waste. Read on to learn some new, fun uses for your pumpkin and give them a go this year!
The first step to reducing pumpkin waste is using those little seeds you normally scrape out and throw away. They are edible and are full of antioxidants, magnesium, protein and fibre. The antioxidants mean they have an anti-inflammatory effect which is great for your skin as well as your general health! The magnesium can help regulate your blood sugars, lowering your diabetes risk and reducing acne. 80% of the population is thought to be deficient in magnesium, so get munching on these seeds. They can be tossed in olive oil and salt and baked or fried for a delicious snack.
Pumpkin flesh hummus
After carving and displaying your pumpkin, scoop out the flesh from the bottom and the lid and cut into chunks. Heat the oven to fan 180C and put your pumpkin in a roasting tin with 2 peeled garlic cloves and coat with olive oil, bake for 45 minutes and then leave to cool. Pour the contents of the roasting tin into a food processor with ½ a lemon juiced, 2 tablespoons of tahini paste, a sprinkle of salt and 400g of drained chickpeas. Blend all together and serve with chopped peppers, carrots and celery. A healthy and delicious snack or the perfect addition to a Halloween party. Pumpkin flesh contains antioxidants which can help protect your skin against sun damage and acne. They are also full of vitamins that can help boost immunity and encourage collagen production which helps keep your skin strong and healthy.
Making your own pumpkin puree with the leftover pumpkin is a great way to use the skin after you have carved it. Simply cut your carved pumpkin in half, place both halves on a baking tray and roast until the flesh is soft and separating from the skin. Throw this into a blender and blend until smooth and creamy. Pumpkin puree is then used in lots of other recipes and a good ingredient for DIY skincare.
There are plenty more ways to eat pumpkin including muffins, soup, risotto and curry to name a few! Have a google and see what takes your fancy. Alternatively, pumpkin makes a great substitute for butternut squash and so feel free to swap it with that in any of your favourite squash recipes.
Make your own skincare!
Pumpkin face mask
Pumpkin is rich in vitamins and anti-inflammatories, making it perfect for giving you glowy skin. Combine 2 cups of puree, 4 tablespoons of unflavoured yoghurt, 1.3 cup of finely ground almonds, 4 tablespoons of honey and ¼ tablespoon of olive oil and stir until well mixed. These ingredients gently exfoliate your skin and contain antibacterial properties to reduce acne. Simply apply to your skin, leave to sit for 5-10 minutes and then wash off. Don’t forget to apply your Gaia and Vie face oils after to soften your skin to perfection.
The seeds and pumpkin puree can also be used to create a pumpkin pedicure to scrub your feet until they are silky smooth. Use 100g of your pureed pumpkin and mix with 200g sugar, 2 tablespoons of olive oil and add cinnamon to give it that lovely autumnal smell. Mix with a splash of warm water and scrub onto your feet and calves, rinse with warm water and dry and then apply your favourite foot cream.
Let us know how you get on with reusing your pumpkin this year!