It’s that time of year again when ghosts, spooks and spirits fill the air. But have you carved your Jack-o’-lantern yet, to invite all the good spirits into your home this Halloween? If not, you’d better get cracking, ready for tomorrow!
Gut your pumpkin and carve the eyes and mouth, not forgetting the candle you’ve placed inside, and there you have it: a lovely, luminous pumpkin “face”. But what to do with all that pumpkin flesh and seeds left behind?
Snack on health-giving seeds
Roasted pumpkin seeds make tasty, healthy snacks. These little gems are not only low in calories and carbs, they are rich in vitamins A, B and K as well as iron, magnesium, potassium and zinc, all of which are believed by health professionals to reduce high blood pressure, prostate and bladder problems, in addition to reducing anxiety and depression. Simply spread the seeds across a baking tray and bake for 45 minutes or until golden brown.
Feast on delicious, healthy dishes
- Pumpkin puree – Mix it with your favourite spices for a tasty addition to macaroni cheese, spaghetti or even pancakes. Pumpkin puree is also an interesting new flavour for the babies of the family to experiment with. It’s easy to freeze too so you can decant it into manageable servings.
- Hummus – For a touch of autumn in your standard hummus, try blending your hummus with some puree made with cumin and cloves.
- Pumpkin lasagne – Use pumpkin puree instead of meat to create a vegetarian-friendly alternative to the standard recipe – it’s both tasty and lower in fat.
- Pumpkin ale – Why not try your hand at a Halloween home brew? Once a traditional ale ingredient in colonial times, pumpkin beer is medium bodied and moderately spicy – try this easy recipe.
- Smoothies – Pop a cupful of puree into your blender, along with a banana, a cup of coconut milk, a pear, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, vanilla and nutmeg to conjure up a magical smoothie.
Make a planter
Once they’ve served as lanterns, pumpkins make lovely, colourful plant pots. Simply transfer a pot-plant (without its pot) straight into your pumpkin and, when the skin starts to deteriorate, plant the entire thing into the ground – the pumpkin will fertilise the plant as it breaks down in the ground.
Grow more pumpkins!
Who says that’s the end of your pumpkin? Keep some seeds aside to grow new pumpkins and you’ll be just in time for next Halloween!