Pumpkins Driving You Potty?

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The nights are drawing in, there’s a bitter breeze engulfing all of Britain and the leaves are starting to change from a vibrant green to an autumnal auburn. It can only mean one thing…Halloween is on the horizon.

Now everyone knows that Halloween simply would not be the same without a carved out pumpkin. Whether your creation is horrifying or hilarious, pumpkin carving is a tradition that has become heavily associated with the 31st of October. Getting out the sharpest knives you can find and handing them over to children for some reason becomes totally acceptable on this night, and therefore the challenge of scooping out the insides and stabbing the outer skin begins.
This is usually great fun (and very rewarding if you manage to keep all fingers intact), but there is one fundamental problem that all households face. What can be done with the remains of the pumpkin? Most people just throw the insides into a bin – easy right? But in this day and age of trying to minimise waste and promote recycling, I would like to propose some alternative options for your leftover pumpkin flesh.

PUMPKIN SOUP

When I was a child one of my all time favourite books was ‘Pumpkin Soup’. The line “it was the best soup they’d ever tasted” has stuck with me ever since, and yet, I rarely come across this meal. With an impressive vibrant orange colour and thousands of available recipes online, pumpkin soup is definitely worth cooking up!

SMASHED PUMPKIN ON TOAST

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past five years, you’ll be aware of how avocados have become the new super food. They’ve made the term “smashed” especially popular in our society with many top brunch spots offering ‘smashed avocado on toast’. But have you ever tried smashed pumpkin on toast? Just as flavoursome, if not more, and posing a nice alternative to the generic avocado. A few chilli flakes, feta, sun dried tomatoes and poached eggs are just a few optional accompaniments for this mid morning snack, which add to the flavoursome explosion in your mouth.

PUMPKIN PLANTING

If you’ve decided that actually this vegetable is highly underrated and should be added to more dishes then why not save some of the seeds and plant your own. The satisfaction of nurturing and watching your very own pumpkin grow will leave you feeling proud, and all home grown vegetables taste miles better than shop bought ones, right (probably because they’re free!) Whatever it is, planting your pumpkin seeds is another great option to avoid waste!

BIRDFEEDER

If cooking isn’t really your thing then do not fret! How about you help nature a little by turning your pumpkin carving into a bird feeder? It may sound a bit bizarre but if you cut out a hole to allow birds in and then put bird seeds on the inside then you’ll be sure attract plenty. You can even add some string to each side and hang it up!

So this year when you go to throw away your pumpkin, just stop for a second and consider a different fate for your spooky decoration!

Carys Reid-Davies