So you’ve had some Halloween fun carving your pumpkin and marvelled at the effect with the lights turned off. But, it isn’t long before you’re left with a saggy, smelly old jack-o-lantern. So, what next?

Pumpkins that are simply thrown into landfill can take a long time to decompose due to a lack of sufficient oxygen. So, what do you do with the contents and the jack-o-lantern itself one the scary, ghoulish fun is over? We have the answers right here!

Pumpkin soup

What better on a cold, dark winter day than wholesome, warming, revitalising pumpkin soup? Here’s how to make the spicy version to serve 4 people –

You need –

  • Chopped flesh from one medium sized pumpkin
  • One onion, finely chopped
  • One carrot, chopped
  • One potato, chopped
  • Two cloves of garlic, crushed
  • Two chillies, deseeded and sliced
  • One teaspoon ground cumin
  • One pint of vegetable stock
  • One teaspoon olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to serve
  • Half a cup of milk

To make –

  • Heat the oil in a large saucepan and add onion, garlic, chillies and cumin and sauté until onions are soft.
  • Add the pumpkin, potato and stock and bring to a gentle boil, cover and simmer for 30 minutes, or until pumpkin is soft.
  • Puree soup in a blender or food processor and return to the pan. Add the milk and reheat gently, seasoning to taste.

Roast the pumpkin seeds

This is a delicious and easy treat to make. You don’t even have to clean the seeds as the pumpkin gloop just adds to the flavour. Simply set your seeds aside when you’re carving your pumpkin and season with salt, pepper and any other seasonings you decide. Roast them up and you have a delicious healthy snack!

Replant the seeds for next year

Keep the seeds in a safe place and make a note to plant them around March or April next year. If you plant them when the frost is around they’ll just wither away and produce nothing.

Pumpkin pie

If your Halloween pumpkin is still in good shape after Halloween, you might consider scooping out the insides and making a pumpkin pie from it. Autumn is the perfect season for baking, and nothing says Autumn like a home-made pumpkin pie.

Take your pumpkin to the zoo!

Many zoos accept used pumpkins as special treats for the animals. It’s also a good excuse for a day out. It’s best to contact your local zoo first to see if this is something they do.

It’s not just about pumpkins

Why purchase a Halloween costume when you’re only likely to ever use it once? You could use some old clothes to fashion a more realistically scary outfit out of clothes that you can’t use anymore anyway.

Halloween is a fun time of year and there’s lots to do and enjoy. But, it’s also a time when you can think about the environment and ensure that even while you’re having fun you’re cutting down on the waste you create too!

Happy Halloween!

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