Carved pumpkins are great at Halloween but usually leave behind a fair amount of mess and waste. So, this year, we thought we'd share some great ways to re-cycle, up-cycle and re-vamp every part of your pumpkins!
Savour the Seeds
First of all, be sure to keep all of the lovely seeds from inside the pumpkin once you’ve carved your wonderful designs. Save about two thirds of them and create a healthy yet yummy snack simply by roasting them. This is super simple to do. First, pre-heat your oven to about 170 degrees and wash your seeds to remove all of the pulp from them then remove the shells from each seed. Next, grab a baking tray and grease it with olive oil. Scatter as many or as few de-shelled pumpkin seeds as you want across the baking tray. To add an extra kick, sprinkle some garlic or any seasoning that takes your fancy over them to add a little flavour. If you’d like them plain then we suggest simply adding a touch of salt and pepper. Then pop them in the oven for 20-30 minutes and you'll be amazed by the wonderful transformation. You can eat these just on their own or add them into a recipe. For example, sprinkle them in with your vegetables for a Sunday roast! They’re full of delicious flavour and texture. Pumpkin seeds are also in fact very good for your health as they’re full of fibre, magnesium, iron and zinc - So, a naughty but nice treat!
Grow Your Own
With the remaining seeds, why not save yourself some money next year and try to grow your own pumpkins? Particularly if you’ve got a spare patch in the garden. If this idea tickles your fancy, we recommend saving your seeds and sowing them from April onwards in a pot before planting them out in the garden in late May to early June. Pumpkins need a sunny spot and need to be fairly well protected from the wind. Water them regularly and give them some TLC and hopefully by next Halloween you’ll have a whole batch. If so, simply rinse and repeat!
If, like us, you’re a keen composter, then why not take this opportunity to compost your left-over pumpkins? This takes very little time and effort but represents a great bonus for your other plants. Simply remove any pumpkin seeds, so that no new ones grow from it, along with any candles or wax from Halloween festivities. Some of you may already have a compost heap. If not, find a spot tucked away that's exposed to the sun, but which won’t get trampled by the kids, the dog or any other garden visitors. Smash the pumpkin up so that it's easier to decompose (this is the fun part). Then, simply cover it over with a good amount of leaves and your work is done! Let nature take its course and fairly soon you'll have a little extra compost for your garden plants.
For the creatives among you, a pumpkin can be a great source of fun. You can easily recycle it into a plant pot by simply placing a plant inside, for example. This is sure to brighten up your garden during this autumnal period. You can even decorate it too to add that extra bit of sparkle. Here at Higgidy we love playing with different textures on our pack designs and shaped pumpkin parts can be great for applying paint if used a little like spud printing. Simply cut any part of the pumpkin to the size and shape you like and get painting or printing – you could even use the pulp to get some weird and wonderful results. Before you know it, you'll have a masterpiece to brighten up even the dullest of spaces. This is also a great one for the kids to keep them occupied on those days where it’s too cold to venture outside.
Finally, those of you who have our new cookbook may have seen our Roasted Risotto Pumpkin Pie recipe. This is a glorious pie if we do say so ourselves. What’s more, the filling sits beautifully within the walls of a pumpkin! Be sure to grab your cookbook from the local bookshop to give this a try or enter our cookbook competition to be in with a chance of winning your own. This recipe is fun and easy to do as there’s no pastry involved. It’ll get your guests gasping at your beautiful presentation and delicious flavour!
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