Don't Waste Your Halloween Jack-o-Lantern
I love Halloween. One of my favourite Halloween activities has always been carving pumpkins... and then eating them! That's right, both the seeds and flesh of your Jack-o-Lantern are edible (as long as you get to it before it rots on your doorstep).
According to a poll of 3,000 adults in the UK, carried out by the food charity Hubbub, only 42% of participants realise the fleshy innards of a carving pumpkin are edible. (source)
After Halloween, take your pumpkin inside and make some easy pumpkin puree to use in soups, pies and more. I recently made this vegan pumpkin pie recipe, and it may have been one of the most delicious pies I've ever had.
EASY PUMPKIN PUREE INSTRUCTIONS
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
- Slice the stem off the pumpkin and cut in half. If it’s large enough, cut it in half once or twice more. (if you're not working with an already empty Jack-o-Lantern, remove seeds and pulp with a spoon).
- Place the pumpkin wedges on a baking sheet skin-side down. Roast for 45 to 50 minutes until the skin begins to shrivel and the pumpkin is fork tender.
- Remove from the oven and let it cool until cool enough to handle. Remove the pumpkin from the skin and discard any pieces that may be tough.
- Add the pumpkin flesh to a food processor or high-powered blender and puree until smooth. If the pumpkin seems dry, add a few tablespoons of water until it is moist and resembled the puree you see in a can. Store pumpkin in the fridge in a sealed container for about a week! Also freezes well.
So, what if you don't like to eat pumpkin, don't have the time, or get to your Jack-o-Lantern when it's past its prime? There are still better options than throwing it in the garbage. Pumpkins sent to the landfill not only take up much-needed space, they also speed up the process of global warming.
When any organic waste decomposes in municipal solid waste landfills, it produces methane, a harmful greenhouse gas that plays a major part in climate change, producing more than 25 times the warming effect of the same amount of carbon dioxide emissions, according to the federal government. (source)
RESPONSIBLE PUMPKIN DISPOSAL
- put out with your organic waste / green bin
- donate to an animal sanctuary or farm for the animals to eat.
Don't let this fun tradition contribute to our growing waste problem.
Happy pumpkin carving, and Happy Halloween! 🎃