Halloween signifies fall and the bounty of the year's harvest. There's no better time to load up on colorful squashes, including the incredibly versatile pumpkin. Carve them, cook them, bake them. Savory or sweet. Tossed with olive oil and roasted or simply mashed with butter. There are many different varieties and ways to use this nutritious fruit. Pumpkins are an excellent source of fiber and a good source of vitamin A. Get the most out of your squash while they’re in season with our fresh ideas to perk up a pumpkin.
Don’t let Halloween creep up on you this year! Here are some ghostly easy tips to help hone your sculpting skills.
● Lighten Up. A heavy pumpkin is likely to have tougher skin, making it more difficult to carve. Choose one that's fresh, with a sturdy stem and no bruises.
● Avoid Mess. Lay down lots of newspapers or paper towels.
● Be Safe. Roll up a kitchen towel in a circular shape to rest the pumpkin on and stop it from rolling, or choose one with a flat bottom.
● Keep it Simple. Scoop out all the pulp. Sketch first, then carve.
● Involve the Kids. Little hands are best tasked with adding scary special effects with glitter or felt pens.
● Play it Safe. Use an LED light inside instead of candles.
Delicious Pumpkin Recipes
The soft, golden juicy pumpkin flesh has a similar flavor and texture to sweet potatoes, making it a great addition to both sweet and savory dishes. Get creative and try something truly wholesome. Add pumpkin to baked goods, quick breads, soups, curries, chili and pasta.
● Steaming: steaming pumpkin in the Varoma while other ingredients cook in the mixing bowl is a great way to save time and effort. See our Pumpkin Curry for a delicious vegetarian family meal.
● Roasting: this method really brings out the sweet flavor of pumpkin. Simply slice it, skin-on or off, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with your favorite herbs and spices. We recommend garlic, crushed black pepper and a touch of sea salt for a savory kick - perfect for adding to Mashed Potatoes.
● Blending: once softened, pumpkin can be easily blended to act as a tasty sauce. Try our Turkey Lasagna Rolls with Pumpkin Sauce and discover how comforting and satisfying cooking with pumpkin is.
● Puréeing: pumpkin purée can be used in many recipes. Once prepared, it will last for up to three days in the fridge or 3-6 months in the freezer. As well as being a staple in many sweet and savory recipes, pumpkin purée along with spices such as cinnamon, cardamom and nutmeg is also delicious when added to coffee!
● Baking: sweeten up your autumn with some delicious homemade treats. Pumpkin can be the star of the show in many well-loved desserts, from Pumpkin Streusel Muffins to moist, mouth-watering Pumpkin Pie.
Using Pumpkin Seeds
Pumpkin seeds are edible and packed with protein, as well as healthy fats, so enjoy their goodness. Add to salads or bread recipes, or as a topping to your soups. You can also add pumpkin seeds to your granola for a heatlty breakfast, or try our Spiced Pumpkin Seeds and enjoy them on their own.
Decorating With Pumpkins
Transform your hollowed out pumpkin into a spectacular Halloween party centerpiece. Simply insert a glass bowl, fill with your favorite punch, and let your guests help themselves. Try our Harvest Punch or Citrus Punch Cocktail with cranberry ice ring.
So, what are you waiting for? Dust off the cobwebs, invite some ghostly guests and use our tricks, treats and tips to prep your pumpkins for a perfect Halloween.