What can I make with pumpkin? Each year in the UK, we throw away around 15 million. It’s crazy to think this vegetable is grown only to be binned. It takes five whole months to grow and 15 million is an awful lot of food waste.
There are however loads of really tasty recipes you can make. Pumpkins are also highly nutritious and a good low carb alternative to rice, pasta and potatoes.
As well as the large carvers - which are perfectly good to eat, you can also buy smaller cooking pumpkins. These are available throughout Autumn and are relatively cheap.
My favourite recipe is Sausage and Pumpkin Casserole. It's a great one-pot dish and you can easily feed lots of people with it.
Soups are a great option. There are lots of recipes out there, but one of my favourite is a Thai Pumpkin Soup recipe by James Martin. Some pumpkin soups can be a bit bland, but the spicy flavours in this one really make it. You can also try adding a few teaspoons of curry powder to a bland soup. Cumin and nutmeg also go well.
A classic pumpkin dish. It works better with smaller cooking ones rather than the large carvers. This recipe by Anthony Worrall Thompson is a good one
Another sweet option is muffins. Riverford Organic Farms have a great muffin recipe that uses cinnamon for a real autumnal flavour.
BBC Good Food have a recipe for Halloween Pumpkin cake, which is a bit like a carrot cake, but uses pumpkin instead.
Roasting pumpkin works well as they have a high water content and roasting it helps dry it out a little. Chop into chunks, place in a roasting tray in a single layer and drizzle with a little olive oil. Roast at 200C/fan 180C/gas 6 oven until tender for 30-40 minutes. Add to salads or stir in to a risotto. My Butternut Squash Risotto recipe will also work well with roasted pumpkin.
The seeds can be roasted and eaten as a snack or added to cereal, muffins, granola or flapjacks. Spread the dried seeds out on a non-stick baking tray. Drizzle with olive oil then toss everything together. You can add extra flavourings such as chilli flakes, smoked paprika or cumin seeds, but I wouldn't use these in flapjacks! Bake for 10-15 minutes, stirring halfway, until lightly golden. Cool on the tray then keep in an airtight jar.
There are so many great recipes you can make, both sweet and savoury. The most important thing is that we don't waste it.