Make the Most of that Pumpkin!

pumpkin

Autumn is upon us! It brings with it a rich harvest of wholesome English fruits, from apples to squashes, and so today I thought I’d  sing the praises of a wonderful and often under-appreciated squash, the pumpkin.

Pumpkin Carving

Yes, we all love to carve a pumpkin Jack-o-Lantern style (or for less creepy and more cute, with a heart shape instead!), but let’s not throw the baby out with the bathwater in the case of the pumpkin – just think, if the skin alone is this great, how much better is the contents?? (By the way, here’s how to carve a pumpkin!)

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Pumpkin Soup

After carving out your pumpkin (or just peeling it, if you’re not a big lantern fan), why not make good use of the food within?  Pumpkin soup can come in SO many different forms – it can be like a thick puree, warm, creamy and cinamonny, or even nice and spicy with orange, carrots and ginger added.  There are countless recipes online, but the thing they all share in common is a good lot of chopped pumpkin that is slowly boiled until soft, before being blended.  The hardest part of using pumpkin is the peeling, so once you’ve done that the rest is easy!

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Pumpkin Seeds

Whilst chopping up your pumpkin, don’t be tempted to throw those seeds away! There are loads of them in there, and as well as being really good for you (they contain vitamin E, vitamin K, zinc, phosphorus, magnesium, manganese, iron and copper, as well as being high in protein, and there are even claims that they help you have a good night’s sleep and aid depression!), they taste absolutely delicious once roasted in the oven!  Simple spread them out onto an oven tray and pop it into the oven to roast until they look nice and brown.  Then take them out and pop into a jar or container, and get out whenever you fancy a little snack! They’re honestly so tasty, even my husband likes munching on them, and apparently they become more nutritious the longer you leave them for, so they can stay in the cupboard (if they manage to last that long because they’re great to munch on!) and you don’t need to worry about them going off!

Pumpkin Pie

A north american tradition, we hardly ever come across Pumpkin Pie over in the UK, and boy are we missing out! It is soooo scrummy!  Because my sister-in-law comes from Canada but lives in the UK, we’ve always taken extra care to celebrate Thanksgiving, and so my mum managed to get hold of a delicious Canadian recipe for Pumpkin Pie, and I must admit I’ve never actually attempted to make it, because it’s just perfection, so why try and cook it myself with it when I could just eat it at my parents house??

Pumpkin Pie is an open pie, which is a desert and not a starter!  It has a shortcrust base and the filling is made from cooked pumpkin and a lot of sugar and cream!  Again, there are many many recipes online, why not try it out? Here’s the BBC’s Recipe!

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Face/Hair Mask

Yes, you read it right! Once you’ve gone to the trouble of peeling, chopping and cooking and blending your pumpkin, why not try out a home-made face or hair mask? Or for a really simple nourishing body scrub, simply mix pureed pumpkin with grainy brown sugar and scrub it on (and off again!) in the shower, it’s supposed to work wonders for your skin!

And a whole lot more…

Get creative! Or even easier – get googling! There are so many great recipes and ideas for pumpkins – pumpkin muffins, loaf (like banana loaf) or cake (like carrot cake) are just 3 ideas that literally popped into my head without a thought, so how many more possibilities must there be?

I hope this little post has inspired you to make the most of your pumpkin this year, and not to let any of it go to waste! Let me know what you do with your pumpkin!

Yummy Mummy Xxx

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