Pumpkins aren’t just for Halloween!

How many of us are guilty of only buying a pumpkin at Halloween to carve in to ghoulish faces? There has only been 1 Halloween I have missed carving a pumpkin and that was last year when I was in hospital having our first son! Understandable I hope that carving a pumpkin was far from my mind! This year though I have my eye on a tiny minute pumpkin to carve on Oscars behalf! A baby sized pumpkin!

But pumpkins can be far more than just a scary carved face. How about trying some of these ideas next time you get a pumpkin, or challenge yourself to get a pumpkin especially to try these with!

Make pumpkin skin crisps

Munch and crunch on these delicious homemade crisps:

Ingredients

  • A whole roasted pumpkin
  • vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • sea salt

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 130°C. Halve the roasted pumpkin and scrape the flesh off the skin, leaving two large, thin sheets of pumpkin skin.
  2. Chop these into large crisp sized pieces, then add them to a bowl with a glug of vegetable oil, the paprika, garlic powder and sea salt and give everything a good mix.
  3. Spread the seasoned pumpkin skin pieces in a single layer on a large baking tray and leave in the oven overnight to dehydrate and roast. Serve when crispy, with hummus or a similar dip.

Compost it

The pumpkin strands are full of nutrients, so if you don’t fancy eating them, toss them on your compost and they’ll add plenty of lovely stuff to it.

Seed snacks

Make delicious Toasted Pumpkin Seeds with this video: https://youtu.be/c4kkhh46UzM

Pumpkin Cupcakes

Pumpkin makes a delicious flavouring for pies and soups – but also cupcakes. Yep, that’s right, the tasty sweet treats work beautifully with pumpkin too.

And finally our favourite sounding suggestion…

Pumpkin fondue night

Perfect for a halloween party, plus the pumpkin shell saves on the washing up… win, win.

Ingredients

  • 1 whole mid-large sized pumpkin
  • 300g of grated mixed cheeses (traditionally gruyere, emmental and cheddar)
  • 2 tsp cornflour
  • a peeled garlic clove
  • a few glugs of white wine

Method

  1. Cut the top off the pumpkin and scrape out the fibrous strands and seeds, then replace the lid and bake in the oven at 180°C/160°C fan for 1 hr to 1hr 30 minutes, or until the pumpkin flesh is cooked.
  2. Meanwhile, mix the cornflour with the grated cheese until it has fully coated the gratings.
  3. When the pumpkin has mostly cooked, remove from the oven, take off the lid and place the grated cheese, white wine and garlic clove inside, giving it a mix to combine.
  4. Increase the oven temperature a little higher and bake for a further 30 minutes or until the cheese is bubbling away.
  5. When cooked, remove from the oven and serve with bread or crudites for dipping.