Use up your leftover pumpkin this autumn with these 13 delicious ideas

Customer compares pumpkin prices at every main supermarket

When people think of October, they usually think of colourful fiery leaves, cosy jumpers, and of course pumpkins, as right now is the best time to buy this autumn staple. 

The majority of people buy pumpkins to carve up as a spooky decoration for Halloween, but this bright orange vegetable generates record levels of food waste each year, as around eight million will be binned without ever being eaten.

According to research done by the stock cube brand Knorr and the environmental charity Hubbub, pumpkins contribute to around £15 billion in food waste each year, which is the equivalent of more than 18,000 tonnes of food. 

Although they are fun to carve silly faces onto, pumpkins are incredibly good for you are they strengthen your immune system as they are a good source of vitamin C, vitamin E, iron and folate. Not only that, but they are incredibly delicious and super versatile. 

You can cut down on both your food shopping plus help the environment by saving your pumpkin pulp into a tasty treat or a hearty homemade meal. Here are some ideas on what to do with leftover pumpkins.

Pumpkin Soup: Make a creamy pumpkin soup by blending leftover pumpkin with vegetable or chicken broth, onions, garlic, and your favourite spices. Garnish with sour cream, croutons, or toasted pumpkin seeds.

Pumpkin Pancakes: Add pumpkin puree to your pancake batter for a fall-inspired breakfast. Season with cinnamon and nutmeg for extra flavour.

Pumpkin Smoothie: Combine pumpkin puree with yoghurt, milk, a ripe banana, and a dash of honey for a healthy and seasonal smoothie.

Pumpkin Pasta: Toss roasted or pureed pumpkin with cooked pasta and a creamy sauce for a delightful pasta dish. Add sage, Parmesan cheese, and toasted pine nuts for extra flavour.

Pumpkin Muffins: Use leftover pumpkin to make moist and flavorful pumpkin muffins. Add chocolate chips or nuts for extra texture and taste.

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Pumpkin Curry: Incorporate pumpkin chunks into a flavorful curry with coconut milk, spices, and your choice of protein (chicken, tofu, or chickpeas).

Pumpkin Risotto: Stir pumpkin puree into your favourite risotto recipe for a creamy and comforting dish.

Pumpkin Bread: Bake a loaf of pumpkin bread or pumpkin rolls. Add spices like cinnamon and nutmeg for a warm, autumn flavour.

Pumpkin Hummus: Mix pumpkin puree into your hummus for a seasonal twist. Serve it with pita bread or vegetable sticks.

Pumpkin Pie: If you have enough leftover pumpkin, you can make a second pumpkin pie or mini pumpkin pies for dessert.

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Pumpkin Ice Cream: Add pureed pumpkin and spices to a vanilla ice cream base for a homemade pumpkin ice cream treat.

Pumpkin Seeds: Don’t forget about the pumpkin seeds! Roast them with your favourite seasonings for a tasty and nutritious snack.

Pumpkin Dog Treats: If you have a furry friend, you can use leftover pumpkins to make homemade dog treats. Just be sure to omit any ingredients that may be harmful to dogs.

Remember that pumpkin can be used in both sweet and savoury dishes, so get creative and experiment with different recipes to make the most of your leftover pumpkin.

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