Last year a survey of 2,000 UK adults found that 80 percent of people said they would like to reduce the amount of food they waste, but more than half admitted that they don’t think of a Halloween pumpkin as food.
How many pumpkins have you spotted in the supermarkets? Take a guess? Well, did you know that an estimated 10 million pumpkins are grown in the UK every year! That’s pretty phenomenal right? What isn’t so great is that while 95% of these are carved into hollowed out lanterns for Halloween just 5% are used for eating.
Urvashi Roe is a food expert and recipe maker, and featured as a contestant on the second series of The Great British Bake Off. Here, she selects her favourite pumpkin solutions:
“Half of those asked in the recent survey said they had never eaten pumpkin before and perhaps it’s this unfamiliarity that leads six in 10 to say they wouldn’t know how to cook pumpkin, despite two thirds claiming they are confident they could make a soup from scratch.
Hmmmm. That’s all pretty worrying. Especially when TV, the internet and social media channels are all full of ‘spooky ideas’ for soups and stews. Well if that commercial stuff ain’t for you, take a look at these more unusual recipes that she recommends…
I am a huge admirer of Kellie. A US living in Scotland doing all sorts of great things for Maggie’s Cancer Support Centres, Kellie concocts amazing plant based meals that are not only nutritious but interesting. This recipe is easy to make, colourful and will use up all of those odd shaped bits of pumpkin flesh.
Pumpkin flesh is actually rather naturally sweet and lends itself well to dessert and confectionary. Pop the scooped out bits of flesh into a steamer, steam for 5 minutes or so and you have a wonderful mash that can be combined with chocolate ganache for heavenly truffles. Follow this simple recipe replacing the beetroot flesh for pumpkin and the sloe port for whisky or cognac. It works equally well in fudge.
The wonderful Jenny Chandler is a great advocate for leftovers and uses around 300g of pumpkin flesh in this super easy recipe based on the traditional risotto. My tip would be to make a double batch. One as a normal risotto and the other into a cake after a few days of chilling in the fridge.
Laura is a supper club chef with young children in tow and so she knows a thing or two about knocking up a quick dessert. This recipe sweetens the cooked pumpkin puree with cinnamon, sugar and vanilla and then whips it up into a fluffy mousse atop soaked amaretti biscuits. And if you have any leftover puree try this super quick recipe by author of Bake Me I’m Yours, Sarah, for a Pumpkin Mug Cake.
An easy to assemble dish which first steams or roasts up the chunks of pumpkin and then mixes them through with a citrusy dressing before plonking into taco shells. Alternatively, lay the citrusy mixture out on to a family sized baking tray, cover on grated melted cheese and then grill for a few minutes until the cheese is melted.
So there you go. A few ideas to rescue your pumpkin this year. Happy Halloween! Check out Urvashi and her Botanical Kitchen here.