According to research by stock cube brand Knorr and the environmental charity, Hubbub, 40 per cent of consumers buy a pumpkin to use as a Halloween decoration, and 60 per cent of them admitted to not using the flesh of the pumpkin afterwards!
In a bid to combat food waste and get the nation cooking with this delicious squash, we've come up with three things you can do with your pumpkin decoration to save it going into landfill.
Don't forget to tag us in your pumpkin makes this Halloween on Instagram, we're on @yourhomemagazine.
1) Pumpkin seeds
Pumpkin seeds are bursting with nutrients!
A great source of protein, fibre, omega-3, iron and calcium, these tiny seeds make a great healthy snack.
Whether you sprinkle them on your porridge, in your granola, or bake them into some tasty flapjacks, throwing them away would be a culinary crime!
Chilli and soy snacking pumpkin seeds
- seeds from 1 pumpkin, rinsed and patted dry
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp chilli flakes
- 2 tsp dark soy sauce
- freshly ground black pepper
1. Preheat the oven to 160ºC/140ºC (fan)/gas mark 3.
2. Place the pumpkin seeds into a bowl and add the rest of the ingredients. Mix thoroughly, then spread out across a large baking tray into a single layer.
3. Bake in the centre of the oven for 15-20 minutes, until the seeds are dry and slightly crispy. Once baked, leave to cool on the baking tray, then transfer the seeds into an airtight container.
2) Pumpkin flesh
The trick with cooking pumpkin flesh is to treat it just like a butternut squash.
Slightly sweet in flavour, pumpkin is ideal for soups, roasts, or even salads. Just like butternut squash, it works great when paired with spices and sour flavours.
Try our recipe for a tasty spiced roast pumpkin salad with puy lentils, broad beans, spinach and goat's cheese!
Spiced roast pumpkin with puy lentils, broad beans, spinach and goat's cheese
- 1/4 pumpkin, peeled and diced
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tsp ras el hanout
- 250g pouch of ready-to-eat puy lentils
- 1/2 tin broad beans, drained and rinsed
- large handful baby leaf spinach
- 50g soft goat's cheese
- 1 tbsp pumpkin seeds
- 1/2 lemon, juiced
- sea salt, to season
- freshly ground black pepper, to season
1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC/160ºC (fan)/gas mark 4. Place the diced pumpkin on a baking tray and spread out into a single layer. Drizzle over the olive oil, then add the ras el hanout and season. Mix it through with your hands, then roast in the middle of the oven for 15-20 minutes.
2. Prepare the puy lentils and split them between two plates. Add the broad beans, spinach, goat's cheese, pumpkin seeds, and roasted pumpkin, then squeeze the lemon over the salad. Drizzle over a bit more olive oil and serve.
3) Feed the wildlife!
If pumpkin still isn't your cup of tea, then it's time to give it to the wildlife.
Squirrels and foxes love pumpkin flesh, and donating your leftover pumpkin is a great way to give them added nutrients during the colder months, when food is harder to find.
To help the local wildlife, dice the pumpkin up and place in your back garden in small amounts.
Failing that, pumpkins will decompose easily in your compost bin.