Pumpkins are packed with vital vitamins and minerals our body needs. Their bright orange colour means they're full of beta-carotene, which converts to vitamin A in the body. They're also packed with vitamin C - something we don't make naturally so need from our diet.
Both vitamins A and C support your immune system, so you'll be armed for those winter coughs and colds. Working with the antioxidant vitamin E, they also support our skin - including fighting the effects of the sun. Plus, vitamin C promotes collagen creation (the skincare buzzword!), and even helps heal wounds on the skin's surface. Just a few spoonfuls gives you a portion of your five a day, so pumpkins really pack a punch for their health benefits!
Once cooked, the whole pumpkin can be eaten - skin, pulp and seeds. Just make sure you remove the stringy bits around the seeds. Any parts that you can't eat (stringy bits or scorched flesh) can be mixed into compost bings or waste caddies.
Try out some of our zero-waste recipes and tips below to make the most of your jack-o-lantern. Remember... you can reduce quantities if you don't have the required amount of pumpkin.
Cut the leftover pumpkin, take the scooped pumpkin flesh and place it all in a large saucepan. Cover with water, bring it to the boil then pop on a lid and simmer for 15 mins, or until tender. Drain the pumpkin and put aside to cool.
Heat oven to 180c/160c fan/gas 4. Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface. Line a 22cm loose-bottomed tart tin with the pastry, then refrigerate for 15 minutes. Place baking parchment and baking beans over the pastry and put in the oven for 15 minutes. Take our the beans and paper, then bake for a further 10 minutes. The base should look a pale golden, biscuit colour. Remove, leave the pastry to cool, then turn up the oven to 220c/200c fan/gas 7.
Push the cooled pumpkin through a sieve into a large bowl. Keep a little aside if you want to use the puree for lattes! Take another bowl and combine the sugar, salt, half the cinnamon, and nutmeg. Mix in the beaten eggs, melted butter and milk. Finally, add the pumpkin puree and stir to combine. Pour into the pastry and cook for 10 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 180c/160c fan/gas4. Continue to bake for 35-40 minutes until the filling has just set.
Leave the pie to cool, then remove from the tin. Mix the remaining cinnamon and icing sugar, then dust over the pie. You can also whisk up some double cream and a dash of maple syrup to make it even more yummy. Serve chilled, to big smiles all round!
Put 2tsp pumpkin puree in a large mug. Mix the remaining cinnamon and icing sugar, the dust over the pie. You can also whisk up some double cream and a dash of maple syrup to make it even more yummy. Serve chilled, to big smiles all round!
Heat the oven to 180c/160c fan/gas 4.
Cut the pumpkin into wedges or chunks (keep the skin on), place on a baking tray and set aside. Put the garam masala, and 1 tsp each of the coriander and cumin into a small bowl. Mix with 2 tbsp of the oil, then season with salt and pepper. Drizzle this over the pumpkin and coat well. Roast the pumpkin for 40 - 45 minutes, turning halfway through cooking - it should be very soft when tested with a fork. Leave to cool.
Heat the remaining 1 tbsp olive oil in a large saucepan then fry the onion with a pinch of salt until soft (about 10 minutes). Add the ginger, garlic, remaining spices and chilli flakes, and fry for a few more minutes. Pour into the stock and bring to a gentle simmer.
When the pumpkin is cool enough to touch, use a spoon to scoop the soft flesh from the skins. Add the soft pumpkin to the stock pan. Remove from the heat and blitz the soup with a hand blender until creamy and smooth. Season to taste, and add extra spice if you want to! Put back over a low heat and stir in the cream/creme fraiche. Serve in bowls with a drizzle more cream, a pinch of chilli and some of your toasted pumpkin seeds.
Take your freshly scooped pumpkin seeds and toast them for a tasty snack or garnish for salads and soups. Wash the seeds thoroughly and remove any stringy bits of pumpkin flesh. Dry well, then place on a baking tray, tossing them with olive oil. Roast in a preheated oven at 200c/180c fan/gas 6 for ten minutes. Serve with a little seasoning for a snack - you choose the herbs and spices!
Remember to keep some seeds aside in a cool, dry place to plant in spring. Or you can pop them in a feeder for the birds visiting your garden. They love them as much as us!