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Pumpkin carving is one of those activities that has grown hugely in popularity recent years and with most of the supermarkets offering them at bargain prices, often the whole family will get involved and have a pumpkin each. While pumpkin carving provides hours of child friendly fun, especially during half term when Halloween usually falls, it can also produce a lot of unnecessary waste. This post is all about how to avoid Pumpkin waste this Halloween.
In the U.K almost 40% of families now buy a pumpkin at Halloween and most of these families will buy than one. This culminates in over eighteen thousand tonnes of pumpkin being wasted each year source: redindustries
Why Does So Much Pumpkin Get Wasted?
According to research people often don’t actually see pumpkin as an edible food – they literally just see it as something to be carved up and thrown away. Further to this, many people simply haven’t tried pumpkin so don’t know if they like it or how to cook it or use it in a recipe.
With the cost of food continually increasing and the amount of time and effort it takes to cultivate the food we eat it seems a real shame that so much pumpkin will go to waste over Halloween this year.
How To Avoid Pumpkin Waste This Halloween
Pumpkin is vegetable, a member of the squash family that doesn’t taste dissimilar to its ever popular cousin the butternut squash. There are loads of recipes that can use up your pumpkin leftovers, the most obvious soup, but there’s also pumpkin pie and pumpkin brownies. Some of these recipes call for pumpkin puree so I’ve added a recipe to make that from pumpkin guts too. If you carve your pumpkin on Halloween or the day before it should be fine to chop up to roast and eat one November the first. Much earlier and you might be on dodgy ground.
Pumpkin can be frozen so there’s no need to worry if you seem to have mountains of it!
It should go without saying but DO NOT eat your pumpkin if you’ve used any type of preservation spray, glitter or paint on your pumpkin. If you’re worried about candle wax spilling pop the candle on a small saucer or plate.
Main Meal Recipes
Hopefully those recipes have got your mouth watering, however if you really don’t fancy cooking your pumpkin leftovers then here are a few more ideas to avoid pumpkin waste.
- Do you or a friend have pet guinea pig? Pumpkin is safe for them to eat in small amounts, just avoid giving them the seeds as these can be harmful to them. Tortoises like to nibble on pumpkin too.
- Grow your own – if you have a vegetable patch or some space in the garden you try growing your own pumpkin from your left over pumpkin seeds. It could save you some money next year not having to buy one and if your grow a few you could even try selling them on! See this post on how to grow pumpkin for advice.
- If all else fails and you do need to dispose of your pumpkin make sure it ends up in the food waste bin and not in with the non recyclables.
If carving up pumpkins with your little darlings has got you longing for the pre-kid drunken Halloween nights of your youth, you’re sure to appreciate this brilliant post from Erica at the Incidental Parent.