The how to of zero waste pumpkin carving

Every year, millions of pumpkins are sent to landfill between Thanksgiving and Halloween. It doesn’t have to be that way, because everything in a pumpkin (with the exception of the stem) is edible and can be turned into delicious food.

So when you carve away, set aside the “pumpkin waste” to make these tasty recipes:

1) Roasted pumpkin seeds

Wash and dry the seeds and toss them in a big bowl with olive oil, salt, pepper, chili powder and smoked paprika. Roast in the oven at 350 °F for 30 minutes or until golden brown. Let them cool and enjoy a tasty and nutritious snack!

Tip: The seeds will be entangled in pumpkin flesh. To separate them, put the mix in a deep bowl with water. The seeds will float at the surface and it will be easy to collect them.

2) Pumpkin skin fries

Remove as much flesh as you can from the skin and set the flesh aside (we'll use it in the next recipe). Cut the skin into small fries (roughly two millimeter thick). Toss them in a big bowl with olive oil, salt, pepper, chili powder and smoked paprika. Roast in the oven at 350 °F for 30 minutes or until crispy brown. Enjoy hot or cold like chips!

3) Pumpkin pie

Scoop out as much flesh as you can when you carve your pumpkin and use all the flesh from your cutouts. Lay the pieces on a baking tray and bake at 350 °F for 20 minutes or until the flesh is soft and can be easily blended. Blend to a puree.

Delicious pumpkin pie recipe:

Ingredients:

400g pumpkin puree from your carved pumpkin

175ml coconut milk or coconut yogurt

30g cornstarch

100g brown sugar

50ml maple syrup

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp salt

3 ½  tsp pumpkin pie spice OR make your own mix with 2 tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp ground ginger, ½ tsp ground nutmeg

Shortcrust pastry (see my favourite recipe below)

Mix all the ingredients in a bowl. Roll out the shortcrust pastry to the size of your pie dish. Butter the dish and place the pastry inside. Cut off excess pastry. Top with the pumpkin pie filling. Place in the oven at 350 °F for 45 minutes. Take out and leave to cool for an hour.

To make a great shortcrust pastry, mix 250g all purpose flour, 125g butter, a pinch of salt and 100ml cold water. Instructions on how to make the perfect pastry (pâte brisée in French) can be found in this youtube video (the video is in French, but the visuals are pretty self explanatory). 

Another delicious use for pumpkin puree is pumpkin soup. Pumpkin goes very well with coconut milk, so I usually mix pumpkin puree, coconut milk, vegetable bouillon and lots of spices. Spices that go well with a savoury pumpkin dish are nutmeg, cloves, ginger, chili, paprika, cayenne, pepper and cinnamon. This recipe for a pumpkin soup has it all! 

Bon appetit and Happy Halloween!

Valerie

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