Halloween is almost here, and lots of people will be buying pumpkins to celebrate and decorate their homes.
However, once the trick-or-treating is done, and the costumes have been put away, what happens to our humble pumpkins?
Many Jack O’Lanterns end up becoming Jack O’Landfill.
Incredibly, as many as 25% of people who buy a pumpkin will throw it away without eating or composting any of it.
The UK throws away around 18,000 tonnes of pumpkin every year – that’s enough to fill 1,714 bin lorries!
We’ve listed some of Hubbub’s top tips for using up your pumpkins, as well as some from Love Food Hate Waste.
This year, why not use your pumpkin for something other than decoration? You can share your tips too, using the comments box below.
Ways to use your pumpkin
- Add it into your mulled wine mix for extra spice.
- Sprinkle toasted pumpkin seeds over a batch of brownies for added texture.
- Swap your cheese or cream for softened pumpkin to make a delicious, vegan pasta sauce.
- Dice it to make a sweet tart with ricotta and ginger.
- Use it to add some zing to a Scottish classic: mince and tatties.
- Combine it with green peas to make a rich Pakistani curry.
- Warm up throughout the winter with some pumpkin and pear soup.
- Try peeled pumpkin and apple in a fruit-infused blue cheese risotto.
- Roast pumpkin seeds for a healthy mid-day snack.
- Remember to compost the stalk.
Some of the health benefits of pumpkin
- Pumpkin is packed full of antioxidants which can reduce inflammation, as well as wrinkles. In particular, it’s rich in beta-carotene which can assist your body in preventing cancer.
- Pumpkin also boasts a lot of Vitamin A, which is good for your skin, bones, teeth and vision.
- Its high fibre content can help you stay fuller for longer, making you less likely to snack.
- Pumpkin also has a lot of potassium – great for recovery after a workout.
- It is full of tryptophan: an amino acid which helps the body create serotonin, improving your mood and helping you sleep better.
Check out the Love Food Hate Waste recipe finder for more advice about reducing food waste.
If you don’t fancy any of the recipes, you can pop your pumpkin in your green/brown bin or compost it once it’s past its best!