Pumpkins aren’t just for Halloween…

Delicious pumpkin recipes that aren’t soup

You could say it’s a little bit frightening to find out that 12.8 million pumpkins are expected be uneaten during this Halloween in the UK! Thanks to the tradition of coming together to carve our beloved Jack O’Lanterns, we forget that pumpkin can be a nutritious addition to our meals. For example, pumpkin is found to be rich in Vitamin A which supports the body’s immune system.

Even when using them in dishes, it is easy to resort to cooking classics such as pumpkin pie or pumpkin soup. However, the vegetable is much more versatile than that, and can be incorporated into comforting stews or fresh salads.

Cooking with pumpkins

Whether you decide to pick your pumpkin from a supermarket or the local pumpkin patch, it’s important that you pick the best for your dish!

Cutting pumpkins can occasionally stain your hands, so it may be handy to use a pair of gloves to protect your hands from turning orange! You can then wash them for next time and prolong their wear by using the Glove Poppit to hang them up to dry.

Once you are finished preparing pumpkin, you can then use the peelings for garden compost.

Pumpkin salad

This dish incorporates sweet and savoury flavours with the addition of crunchy textures to make a substantial side. Feel free to substitute the nuts with croutons.

Serves 4 as a side

Ingredients

Salad

1/2 cup of chopped dried cranberries

1 medium sized pumpkin

5 cups of chopped spinach leaves

¼ cup of walnuts, roughly chopped

¼ cup of cashews, roughly chopped

Dressing

1 and 1/2 tbsp of Extra virgin olive oil

2 and 1/2 tbsp of Brown miso paste

Juice of 1 lemon

1 tsp of honey

Method

  1. Preheat oven at 200c, meanwhile peel and chop pumpkin into 2cm chunks
  2. placing them into a roasting tray  and  roast them in the oven at
  3. When the pumpkin is cooked, combine it with chopped spinach, walnuts, cashews, and dried cranberries into a serving bowl
  4. Whisk honey, olive oil, miso paste, and lemon juice together into a small bowl to form dressing
  5. Pour dressing into the serving bowl, then toss the bowl so the salad is coated with dressing

Pumpkin and chickpea coconut curry

Serves 4

With the months becoming a colder, a spicy curry  can provide warm and nourishing meal to your day. This dish is best served with a bowl of fluffy rice or quinoa

Ingredients

5cm piece of fresh ginger, minced

3 cloves of garlic, minced

10 dried curry leaves

3 stalks of lemon grass, white part grated

1 small red chilli, chopped

1 tsp of mustard seeds

2 tsp of turmeric powder

1 medium sized white onion chopped

1 tins of light coconut milk

1 tin of chopped tomatoes

½ cup of vegetable stock

2 tins of chickpeas

1 medium sized pumpkin

1 bunch of fresh coriander, chopped fir garnishing

1 bunch of fresh mint, chopped for garnishing

1 lime cut into wedges for serving

Method

  1. Chop and peel the pumpkin into 2cm chunks
  2. Cook pumpkin chunks in a roasting tray at 200c in the oven for 30 minutes
  3. Fry the ginger, garlic, chilli, lemongrass and onion at a medium heat until soft,
  4. Add the mustard seeds and curry leaves to the spice mixture, and fry until the curry leaves go crispy. Add the turmeric powder, tomatoes, vegetable stock and coconut milk. Bring to a simmer and add the cooked pumpkin and chickpeas. Cover with a lid and simmer for 25 minutes.
  5. Garnish with chopped mint and coriander leaves and fresh lime wedges

Pumpkin seeds

Finally, don’t forget to keep the seeds from your pumpkins! As you can use them to make a crispy, healthy snack. You can either eat the whole pumpkin seed (containing the white outer shell), or you can crack open the shell and just eat the green inner pumpkin seed. Seeds once cooked can then be stored for up to three months.

Use the following seasoning blends can be used to season your seeds for nibbling.

Cooking the seeds

  1.  Boil the seeds in water for 15 minutes
  2. Drain the seeds using a sieve and clean the flesh off of the seeds
  3. Pat the seeds dry with a paper towel, preheating the oven for 150c
  4. If flavouring the seeds, toss them in olive oil and the seasoning blend
  5. Spread the seeds in an even layer on a tray lined with parchment paper
  6. Roast in the oven for 20-30 minutes, moving them every 10 minutes
  7. The seeds will be ready to take out when they change to a golden brown colour
  8. Leave them to fully cool down, if still chewy then roast them for a further 5-10 minutes

Seasoning blends

Classic savoury mix

½tbsp of Smoked paprika

½ tbsp of Garlic powder

1 tsp of Salt

1 tbsp of Parmesan cheese

Pumpkin spice mix

¼ tsp of ground cinnamon

¼ tsp of nutmeg

¼ tsp of ground ginger

¼ tsp of ground cloves

¾ tsp of brown sugar

Spicy curry mix

¾ tsp of cumin

1 tsp of salt

½ tsp of ground coriander

¾ tsp of ground turmeric

½ tsp of ground cardamom

½ tsp of cayenne pepper

½ of ground cinnamon

¾ tsp of ground ginger

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