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Pumpkin Varieties

A Pumpkin shortage this Halloween meant many people had to go without. Unusually wet weather in the north of England caused thousands of pumpkins to rot.  Despite this shortage the Telegraph reported that 18,000 tons of pumpkin would be binned in the U.K after carving Jack-O-Lanterns for Halloween.  That’s the same weight as 15,00 double-decker buses.

It’s everyone’s responsibility to cut back on food wastage, so before you throw out any pumpkins leftover from Halloween why not consider having a go at one of these simple yet delicious recipes.

The nutrients in Pumpkin are really world class so even more reason to use up any leftovers.  High in fibre and low in calories, pumpkin is full of disease fighting nutrients such as potassium, pantothenic acid, magnesium and vitamins C and E.  The key nutrient that makes pumpkin a superfood is its synergistic combination of carotenoids. Carotenoids have been shown to decrease the risk of various cancers and have shown great promise in lowering the rates of heart disease.  They have also been shown to decrease the risk of cataracts and macular degeneration.

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Emma’s Pumpkin and Sage Soup

Emma’s Roasted Pumpkin and Sage Soup.

A refreshing and healthy way to use up that Halloween pumpkin.

Serves Four

Time: 1hr:20 mins.

Ingredients

1 medium pumpkin/squash.  (This recipe works best with Carnival Squash, Red Kabocha Squash or Sweet Dumpling Varieties).

2 onions

2 cloves garlic

Sea salt and black pepper

Olive oil

1 litre vegetable stock

6 sage leaves chopped.

 

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Preparation Method:

1) Preheat the oven to 200C/Gas 6.  Cut the top off your pumpkin and clean out the seeds.  Season the inside with sea salt and black pepper.  Roast in the centre of the oven for 1 hour or until tender.  Leave to cool for ten minutes.

2) Fry onions and garlic in a medium saucepan until tender.

3) Add 1 litre of vegetable stock and bring to the boil. Simmer for 5 minutes.

4) Scoop out pumpkin flesh and add to the stock.  Mix in the chopped sage.  Stir thoroughly and set aside to cool for 15 minutes.

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5) When the soup is cool enough label contents into a blender and blend until smooth. Pour into a clean saucepan and reheat the soup before serving.

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Emma’s Pumpkin Traybake

Emma’s Pumpkin Traybake.

If you like carrot cake then you’ll love my pumpkin traybake.  A perfect pick me up for dreary Autumn days.

Serves 12-15

Time: 50 minutes

Ingredients:

Cake

1) 300g Jack-O-Lantern Pumpkin Flesh-grated.

2) 300g self-raising flour

3) 300g caster sugar

4) 1 large handful of sultanas

5) 2 tsp bicarbonate of soda

6) 4 eggs

7) 200g melted butter

8) 1 tsp cinnamon

9) 1 tsp mixed spice

10) A splash of orange juice

Cream Cheese Frosting

1) 1 200g pack of cream cheese

2) 2 tbsp icing sugar

3) Chopped walnuts or chocolate shavings for topping

 

 

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Cream cheese frosting topped with walnuts

Preparation Method:

1) Preheat the oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4.  Grease and line a 30×20 traybake tin with baking paper.

2) Add the flour, sugar, spice, cinnamon, bicarbonate of soda and the sultanas to a large mixing bowl. Stir thoroughly.

4)  Add the melted butter, the beaten eggs and the orange juice to the mixture.  Stir together.

5) Mix in the pumpkin.

6) Pour the cake mix into the tin and bake for thirty minutes, or until golden brown on top.

7) To make the frosting scoop the cream cheese into a medium-sized mixing bowl.  Add two table spoons of icing sugar and mix together until they form a smooth icing.  Refrigerate for later.

8) Remove the cake from the oven and leave to cool completely.

9) Give the cream cheese frosting a stir to loosen and spread over the cake with a palette knife.  Chop walnuts and sprinkle over the top or decorate with chocolate shavings instead.

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Cream cheese frosting topped with chocolate shavings

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Pumpkin Carving – Miles!

 

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