Halloween is one of my favourite times of year; what’s not to love about dressing up and decorating the house, or watching scary films whilst carving questionable faces into pumpkins? But what happens to these gruesome lanterns once the fake blood has been washed away and the pointed hat has been reinstated on top of the wardrobe?
I have realised that this otherwise brilliant day has an unexpectedly un-spooky dark side. Each year, on and around the 31st October, 18,000 tonnes of potential food are wasted in the UK: the remnants of those hollowed out pumpkins. Considering that millions of people turn to food banks on a daily basis, an example of the UK’s huge issue of food poverty, I find this realisation almost sickening. Particularly because carving pumpkins has been one of my favourite things to do every year since I can even remember: at home my four siblings and I each carve a pumpkin every year and I have now made my uni house-mates join in on the carving fun too. That’s a whole lot of pumpkins.
Considering the commitment to recycling that has been drummed into me from a young age and my subsequent hatred for waste, the realisation that I have personally been wasting such a vast amount of potential food every year is a bit depressing. So this year I have decided to scoop up all of the excess pumpkinny gunk and seeds from my house’s glorious pumpkins, which do look especially fantastic, and turn it all into something delicious in order to avoid waste. Why not swap the butternut squash in this curry recipe for its orange sister…? Alternatively, a quick internet search revealed that you can make pumpkin the star of almost any dish, dessert or even drink, so there’s no excuse to bin that drooping face! Simply click on the ideas below, and get cooking!
Pumpkin SOUP – that’s lunch sorted for the week.
Pumpkin SPAGHETTI – an impressive house meal?
Pumpkin CAKE – everybody loves cake.
Pumpkin pie SMOOTHIE – start your day in the most seasonal way!
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Image credit: Natalia Deane