Remember a pumpkin is for life not just halloween

I know it’s Halloween, but we just don’t eat enough pumpkin! This time of year we spend hours carving them up, cutting shapes and scraping out the seeds and flesh only to end up with orange (pumpkin) fingers. We even place them everywhere ’round the house. It looks great, scary and sometimes funny, but we really shouldn’t waste it, it’s food after all!

It’s so easy to utilise the rest of the pumpkin and with a few tips and minimal time, you can have a few tasty treats…no tricks.

When you cut the top of the pumpking off, scrape out all the seeds and wash it clean. Now you want to dry them.

I was able to dry them in the hot cupboard at work, but I’m sure most of you don’t have access to a restaurant plate warming cupoard. So simply dry them on a low heat at about 130c for 30-40 minutes. You want them to be dry and a touch brittle… try to bend a seed, and if it snaps, they’re perfect. By drying them out, they will take less time to cook and be crisp rather than chewy, as the seed husk will be intact and not at all like you buy from the supermarket.

Once dry, cook on about 160c for about 15-20 minutes, checking on them every now and then, and tinker with the temperature if needed. Once they are done, add some seasoning and a touch of veg oil and that’s it! I tossed some dried chili flakes and seasalt on mine (delicious!).

Now the seeds are done and Halloween is drawing to a close, bring your pumpkin in and don’t leave it outside all night. I always think it is sad to see the lonely pumpkin sat on someone’s doorstep the following moring while we all struggle with our sugar hangovers. Bring him in and chop him up into big chunks, throw them on a tray, add a touch of salt and oil and roast in a hot oven on 180c. Once the flesh is tender, scoop it out and blend it in a mixer. You now have a smooth sweet pumpkin puree! If you want it super smooth, put a dab of butter in as you blend it and pass it through a sieve afterwards. Stir it through pasta, a rissoto, gnocchi or use it to make a soup! There really are endless possibilities. 

Like you, I have pumpkin to play with so come back and see what I do with mine, and maybe inspire you to try your own pumpkin recipes.

Don’t waste it guys, and rememer a pumpkin is for life…not just Halloween.  

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