How to use the whole pumpkin
Pumpkin is a vegetable you can eat every part of. But people often throw out pumpkin seeds and pumpkin skins. I hope this post will change they way you use pumpkin, because pumpkin seeds are a nutritious snack and pumpkin skin chips are always a winner. And they’re very easy to make.
When I run food waste workshops, these simple recipe ideas, are popular with attendees, because they’re so quick easy. But be warned, once you start making pumpkin skin chips and roasting pumpkin seeds, you may find yourself looking for different ways to use the pumpkin flesh.
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Pumpkin skin chips recipe
Pumpkin skin chips are so delicious that sometimes we eat the skin, before we do the pumpkin, then I’ve got to find ways to use the flesh of the pumpkin. Soup and roasts are standard, but grated pumpkin is great in fritters and pumpkin cake is always a winner too.
- Pumpkin skin, in bite size pieces
- Flavourings (optional)
- Toss pumpkin skin in oil and a little salt
- Toss in flavourings (optional)
- Place in a baking tray, skin side down
- Bake at 180 degrees Celsius for 15-20 min, until skins start to be crisp
- There is no need to turn the pumpkin skins. You can, but they’re fine if you don’t.
- Be careful with different sizes as smaller pieces will cook quicker. You may wish to remove some smaller pumpkin pieces from the over earlier, or accept they will be crispier.
- I use a knife to cut off the pumpkin skin, but if you want them thinner, or without pumpkin flesh, you can use a peeler.
Roast pumpkin seeds recipe
Roast Pumpkin seeds are so quick and easy, that I hope you never throw pumpkin seeds out again. A great addition to salad for that extra crunch, on top of soups in place of croutons or just as a snack on their own
- Pumpkin seeds
- Flavourings (optional)
- Clean the membrane off – I do this over a strainer, pull off the fleshy parts, and rinse.
- Dry the seeds – leave them on a clean tea towel to air dry. Or you can pat them dry, if you want to speed it up.
- Toss the seeds in some oil, with a sprinkle of salt, (and optional flavourings)
- Spread pumpkin seeds in a single layer on an oven tray.
- Bake at 180 degrees Celsius for 10-15 min, or until seeds are lightly golden brown
- If you hear the seeds pop, they’re done (this doesn’t always happen)
- You can toast the seeds in a pan on the stovetop (If the oven is on I prefer the oven, but if I’ve got the pan out then I’ll use that.)
- A sustainability tip is to use a bowl underneath the strainer to catch the water. You can pour this on your garden, or better still use it in soup or stock.
Pumpkin skin chips and pumpkin seed flavours
- Salt and pepper
- Smoked paprika.
- pizza herbs
- Experiment and use whatever you have on hand or what you need to use up.