Halloween is here, and 42% of people will buy pumpkins over the festival. However, once the trick-or-treating is done and the costumes have been put away, what happens to the humble pumpkin?
Sadly, Jack O’Lantern often ends up becoming Jack O’Landfill – 25% of people who by pumpkins throw theirs away without eating or composting any of it.
The UK throws away 18,000 tonnes of pumpkin every year: enough to fill 1,714 of our bin lorries!
This year, we would like you to use your pumpkin for something other than decoration.
The charity Hubbub launched its Pumpkin Rescue campaign in 2014, inspiring communities to give new life to this funky fruit. We’ve listed some of Hubbub’s best tips for using up your pumpkin – as well as some from Love Food Hate Waste.
We hope you find a dish that you love. The full Hubbub recipes can be found in this recipe book.
Ways to use your pumpkin
- Throw it into your mulled wine mix for extra spice. (Hubbub)
- Sprinkle toasted pumpkin seeds on a batch of brownies for added texture. (John Quigley: LFHW)
- Swap your cheese or cream for softened pumpkin to make a delicious, vegan pasta sauce. (Made in Hackney: Hubbub)
- Dice it to make a sweet tart with ricotta and ginger. (Tom’s Kitchen: Hubbub)
- Compost the stalk.
- Use it to add some zing to Scottish classic: mince and tatties. (Sascha: LFHW)
- Combine it with green pea to make a rich Pakistani curry. (Rose Hill: Hubbub)
- Warm up through winter with some pumpkin and pear soup. (Carina Contini: Hubbub)
- Try peeled pumpkin and apple in a fruit-infused blue cheese risotto. (Steve Brown: LFHW)
- Roast pumpkin seeds for a healthy mid-day snack. (Hubbub)
Some of the health benefits of pumpkin:
- Pumpkin is packed full of antioxidants which can reduce inflammation, as well as wrinkles.
- In particular, it’s rich in beta-carotene which can assist your body in preventing cancer.
- Pumpkin also boasts a lot of Vitamin A, which is good for your skin, bones, teeth and vision.
- Its high fibre content can help you stay fuller for longer, making you less likely to snack.
- Pumpkin also has a lot of potassium – great for recovery after a workout.
- It is full of tryptophan: an amino acid which helps the body create serotonin, improving your mood and helping you sleep better.
Please see our website for more advice about reducing food waste, or check out the Love Food Hate Waste recipe finder. If you don’t fancy any of the recipes, you can pop your pumpkin in your brown bin once it’s past it’s best!