We are coming up to Halloween, and I know many of you will be buying pumpkins to carve into scary lanterns. We popped over to the allotment yesterday and discovered we have successfully grown 8 pumpkins for Halloween this year, and I am now wondering what to do with them all. If like me you’ve got too many pumpkins, or you want to use some of the pumpkins you have carved, then read on for why these are a great vegetable to eat, and how you can enjoy them.
- The first great thing about pumpkins is the one we all know well. They are great fun to carve, and decorate the house with for Halloween.
- The second great thing about pumpkins is almost the whole thing is edible! The skin, the flesh and the seeds! We usually scoop out most of the flesh and the seeds when we do carve pumpkins, so once you have done this you can try some of my recipes rather than throw it all in the bin. I hate waste ☹.
- The third great thing about pumpkins is they are such a versatile vegetable, you can make both savoury and sweet foods with them.
- The fourth great thing about pumpkins is that they freeze really well. Try chopping it into large chunks, par boil, put into freezer bags once cooled, and pop in the freezer until you want to try another of my delicious recipes.
- The fifth great thing about pumpkins is that they are good for you! They are a great source of fibre, vitamin K, vitamin C, potassium and beta carotene which is converted into Vitamin A. The seeds are high in fibre, and contain protein and iron.
How to eat pumpkins
The skin: You can drizzle this with oil and crisp up in a hot oven. It can then be added to almost any dish to give a crunchy texture. The skin however can be quite hard and pose a choking risk to younger ones, so I would suggest blending roasted pumpkin skin into a powder which can then be added to purees or porridge.
The seeds: These can be washed and patted dry, then drizzled with oil and roasted in the oven until golden and crispy. You can add spices for extra flavour, but again don’t give to the younger ones whole as they are hard and can pose a choking threat. They are a source of fibre, protein and iron however, and so blending these into a powder, and adding to meals can boost the nutritional content.
The flesh: This is really versatile and can be steamed, boiled, roasted, or barbecued. It can be added to meals such as curries, stews, salads, pasta, risotto, chilli, and ragu, or baked into sweet dishes such as cakes and pumpkin pie.