Spooky season is here, and while carving pumpkins can be a fun and creative activity during this time, it often leaves us with a heap of discarded pumpkin flesh and seeds. But before you toss them away, consider the sustainable possibilities they hold. In this blog post, we’ll explore how to transform pumpkin carving waste into delicious recipes, turning a seasonal ritual into a sustainable culinary adventure!
- Pumpkin Puree: A Dessert Game-Changer
Pumpkin puree serves as the base for numerous dessert recipes, from pies to cakes, muffins, and more. By using the leftover pumpkin flesh from your carving, you can create a rich and flavourful puree that adds a natural sweetness to your desserts. Here’s how to do it:
- Pumpkin flesh
- Baking sheet
- Blender or food processor
- Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C).
- Cut the pumpkin flesh into manageable chunks, ensuring they’re free of tough or stringy bits.
- Arrange the pumpkin chunks on a baking sheet and roast them for about 45 minutes, or until the flesh is soft and easily pierced with a fork.
- Allow the roasted pumpkin to cool, then scoop out the flesh and place it in a blender or food processor.
- Blend until you have a smooth, velvety puree.
- Store your homemade pumpkin puree in airtight containers for use in various desserts.
- Pumpkin Bread: A Moist and Spiced Treat
Pumpkin bread is a classic fall dessert, and it’s the perfect way to use your freshly made pumpkin puree. Here’s a simple recipe to get you started:
- 1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
- ¼ tsp ground cloves
- ½ cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- ½ cup water
- Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C) and grease a loaf pan.
- In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, and spices.
- In a separate large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
- Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then stir in the pumpkin.
- Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, alternating with the water. Begin and end with the dry ingredients.
- Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan and bake for about 60-70 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Allow the pumpkin bread to cool before slicing and serving. Optionally, sprinkle some roasted pumpkin seeds on top for an extra crunch.
- Pumpkin Seed Brittle: A Crunchy Delight
Don’t forget about those pumpkin seeds! Turn them into a sweet and crunchy pumpkin seed brittle with this easy recipe:
- 1 cup pumpkin seeds (rinsed and dried)
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup light corn syrup
- ¼ cup water
- ¼ tsp salt
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ½ tsp baking soda
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine sugar, corn syrup, water, and salt.
- Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the mixture reaches 300°F (150°C) on a candy thermometer (hard crack stage).
- Remove the saucepan from heat and quickly stir in the butter, vanilla extract, and baking soda.
- Add the pumpkin seeds and stir to coat them evenly with the sugar mixture.
- Pour the mixture onto the prepared baking sheet and spread it out with a spatula.
- Allow the brittle to cool completely, then break it into pieces and enjoy!
This October, let your creativity flow not only in your pumpkin carvings but also in the kitchen. By repurposing pumpkin carving waste into luscious desserts like pumpkin bread and pumpkin seed brittle, you’re not only satisfying your sweet tooth but also reducing food waste and promoting sustainability. Embrace the flavours of the season and make your desserts as sweet as your commitment to the environment!