As Halloween approaches the whole of the country suddenly becomes obsessed with pumpkins. Yes, pumpkins.
You go from never seeing them to finding them on every doorstep and window ledge and they are usually crafted into scary faces or well-known characters. But what about the insides of the pumpkin? When you carve a pumpkin for Halloween, the majority of people with throw the pumpkins guts in to the bin, but they can be used again.
This is one of Sustainability Project Officer, Alex’s pumpkins from last year
As a mother, I like to try to teach my daughter not to throw things away that can be used like pumpkin seeds and insides. Here are a few things that you can do to put those extra pieces to good use:
If you separate the seeds, you can roast them into a great snack. Pumpkin seeds are a great source of magnesium and a quarter of a cup of pumpkin seeds will contain around half of your recommended daily allowance. They are also great in providing Zinc and Omega-3, all vital for your body to function.
To make posted pumpkin seeds, first you need to scrape them all out of your pumpkin. Try and get as many of them as you can and give them a clean. Make sure you pull away all the strings of flesh before you rinse them. Spread the seeds evenly onto a baking tray. Use as many trays as you like to accommodate all the seeds.
At this point, you can add some really great extras to add a little more flavour to the seeds. Most people add sea salt and ground fennel seeds but feel free to add your favorite herbs and spices. Add a good few tablespoons of olive oil over the seeds and mix it all together.
Finally, bake at 180 degrees / Gas mark 4 for around 10 minuets and presto! Some lovely, roasted pumpkin seeds.
For those who like to feel and look great, you can also use the leftover pumpkin insides to create a natural body scrub. All you need to do is mix the raw pumpkin with coarse sugar or salt. Add a bit of honey and sweet almond oil and you’ll have a great homemade beauty product! Don’t forget to store it in an airtight container and keep it refrigerated.
You can easily use the pumpkin insides for animal feed. It requires no cooking and the natural vitamins and minerals are great for animals. Household pets like dogs, rabbits and guinea pigs can get some real benefits from pumpkin, but you have to feed it to them in moderation. Pumpkin can work as a laxative for some animals. You can always double-check with your local vet if you’re unsure.
Alternatively, you can see if a local farm, animal park or rescue center would like them. Making sure animals are well fed through the winter months is essential and every little bit can help them maintain their strength.
Searching through the Internet, I found quite a few different uses for pumpkin so take a look and see what else you can do with them. One thing I discovered is that there are a lot of food recipes out there, so why not give them a go!
by student blogger, Alex Hurton