10 Ways to Re-Use your Pumpkin

At the end of each day, our stores donate their surplus food to those who need it most right across Ireland. We do this through our partnership with social enterprise, FoodCloud, whose app helps us connect with local groups and charities that can benefit from our excess food.

This month we are proud to have donated over 2 million meals countrywide and to be doing our bit to help reduce food waste in Ireland. We’re encouraging our customers to do their bit too, and to help, we’re bringing you 10 ways to re-use your leftover pumpkin!   

Pumpkin puree topped with seeds

1. Pumpkin Puree

Homemade pumpkin puree is one of the best ways to re-use leftover pumpkin. This puree is a delicious option that can be used for a multitude of baked goods and filling soups.

Slice your pumpkin into quarters, then peel and cut into chunks. Boil for 20 minutes until tender, drain and season well. Puree the flesh in a food processor or simply mash with a potato masher. Your pumpkin puree will keep for 3 days in the fridge or between 3 to 6 months in the freezer.

2. Warm Spiced Pumpkin Cider

An ideal warming winter drink, this spiced pumpkin cider certainly ensures there’ll be no pumpkin wastage as the recipe calls for 200g of pumpkin puree – which you’ve already made. 

To make the heated cider, mix 600ml of apple cider, 200ml of spiced rum, 200g of pumpkin puree, one teaspoon of pumpkin spice and one cinnamon stick in a pot and gently simmer for 20 minutes. Once thoroughly heated, strain the mixture and add more cider or water to thin it out.

3. Pumpkin Seeds

Packed full of healthy fats, anti-oxidants and fibre amongst other nutrients, seeds are a wondrous day time snack. When carving your pumpkin remember to separate the seeds from the guts as they can be baked to create a deliciously healthy treat. Lightly drizzle the cleaned pumpkin seeds with some olive oil, season and bake on a low heat until golden brown – yum!

4. Pumpkin Dessert

Luckily for you, pumpkin puree is a vital ingredient in a lot of scrumptious desserts. Whether it’s a pumpkin pie, chocolate pumpkin brownies or pumpkin and cinnamon waffles, your baking skills will be put to the test. 

5. Pumpkin Vase

A pumpkin vase I hear you say? This is certainly a creative and bio-degradable use of your old jack-o-lantern. A hollowed-out pumpkin is a quirky way to display your autumnal foliage and flowers and can also be used as a seasonal centre-piece for any dining table.

To keep your pumpkin vase from rotting, leave it steep in a bleach solution (1tsp. bleach per 3 litres of water) overnight before adding your flowers.

6. Pumpkin Bird Feeder or Bath

With the frosty mornings nearly upon us, Ireland’s birds will need a helping hand to get their dinner this winter. With a few minor tweaks your hollowed pumpkin can house a delightful bird feeder or even a bird bath.

To create your bird feeder, insert two sticks in a cross shape, across the hollowed pumpkin – these will be used as perches. Then, knot two lengths of rope together in the centre and tack the knot to the bottom of the pumpkin and hey presto, you have a bird feeder!

7. Pumpkin Face Mask

Full of vitamins A and D, pumpkin can help soften and soothe tired skin and fight the dreaded signs of aging. You can create your own rejuvenating pumpkin face mask at home by using a few simple ingredients. Start by whisking together two tablespoons of pumpkin puree and one egg, then add a tablespoon of honey or a handful of oats. Apply to moist skin and leave for five to ten minutes. Gently wash off to reveal a glowing complexion.

8. Pumpkin Body Scrub

Much like the pumpkin facemask, this brown sugar pumpkin body scrub will leave you with lusciously smooth skin and ensure there’s no food wastage over the Halloween period.  

To make this scrub you’ll need, 115g of pumpkin puree, 115g brown sugar, one tablespoon of olive oil and one tablespoon of honey. Mix it all together and gently scrub away dull skin to reveal radiant skin underneath.

9. Pumpkin Potpourri

Bring the warm cosiness of autumn into your home with this beautifully scented pumpkin spice stovetop potpourri. This home-made potpourri will fill your home with the warming smells of cinnamon, pumpkin, cloves, nutmeg, vanilla and apple.

10. Animal Feed or Compost

It’s not just humans that love pumpkin, your pets and farm animals will enjoy it too. Throw any extra scraps into their feed and watch them gobble it up in seconds. If there’s no pets at home, make sure to throw your pumpkin scraps into the compost.

 

We're doing our part to cut down on food waste in Ireland with the help of our partner, FoodCloud. To find out more about signing up please email charities@foodcloud.ie.

You can learn all about FoodCloud here.