Monday, 30 October 2017

3 Ways to Cook Halloween Pumpkin Leftovers

After 3 of us carved Halloween pumpkin lanterns at my flat last weekend, I was left with A LOT of orange guts to use up. Rather than wasting what was actually a decent amount of food, I set to work in the kitchen. I've put together three super easy yet tasty pumpkin creations with hopes of encouraging more people to cook up their leftovers instead of throwing all that autumn potential in the bin. (I actually attempted a fourth recipe but it was somewhat of a disaster so we won't talk about that...) They're also all vegan friendly which is always a bonus!
Pumpkin Soup
Inspired by my favourite childhood book 'Pumpkin Soup' by Helen Cooper, pumpkin adds a rich flavour and creamy texture to any winter soup. This requires the flesh of the pumpkin, which is the tough part you scoop out rather than the slimy pulp. To serve one person you will need:
  • Flesh of 1 small pumpkin, cut into chunks
  • 200ml of tinned coconut milk
  • 100ml of vegetable stock
  • Half a brown onion
  • 1 teaspoon of paprika
  • 1 garlic clove
  • Half a teaspoon of turmeric
  • Half a teaspoon of ginger
  • Toasted pumpkin seeds
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
Steam your pumpkin chunks over a boiling pan of water for about 10 minutes until soft. Fry the onion and garlic until softened, add the spices and fry for another minute. Add the pumpkin chunks and fry for a few more minutes then pour in the milk and stock. Leave to simmer for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the soup is thick. Pour into a blender and mix until smooth, or serve as is if you prefer chunky soup. Top with the seeds.

Toasted Pumpkin Seeds
These are so quick and easy but make really moreish snacks. All you need to do is pick the seeds out from the pumpkin slop, pat dry with kitchen roll, spread on a baking tray and drizzle with olive oil. I like them sprinkled with sea salt but you could also try pepper, paprika, garlic or cinnamon for a sweet treat. Roast them in the oven at 180℃ for between 10 and 20 minutes (depending on how many seeds you have) until browned but keep an eye on them because they burn fast! Once they've cooled, you can nibble on them as they are or sprinkle over soups, bread or cakes.
Pumpkin Spiced Pancakes
Any excuse to get my pumpkin spice fix, I like these for brunch on a weekend when I have more time. Although I'm yet to master getting them to look pretty, I promise they taste good. This requires the pumpkin pulp, which is the stringy wet mush, blended to create a puree. To serve one person you will need:
  • 1 banana
  • 2.5 tablespoons of oats
  • 2 tablespoons of pumpkin puree
  • 1 tablespoon of chia seeds 
  • 2.5 tablespoons of vanilla milk (I use Alpro soya)
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon powder
  • 1 teaspoon of ginger powder
  • A pinch of salt
  • Whatever toppings you fancy - dark chocolate chips, walnuts and maple syrup are yummy
Soak the chia seeds in water for about 20 minutes until they have a jelly like consistency, then drain the excess water. Break up the banana into small enough pieces for your blender to handle. Throw everything into the blender and whiz it all up until you have a smooth batter. If it's sticking to the cup add a touch more milk, if it's too runny add more oats. Split into three portions and fry on both sides in a hot pan until slightly browned. Top with anything yummy.

 I have a few more pumpkins that are yet to be carved, I'm thinking pasta sauce, spiced muffins and potentially pizza. What do you think? Let me know if you try any of the recipes or can recommend any delicious creations of your own! I also have a new Instagram account dedicated to my foodie experiments so head over there for more yummy ideas.