I love Autumn - The colours, the dark evenings, bonfires, Halloween, digging the scarfs and boots out from the back of the cupboard and most of all the seasonal flavours like rich caramel, sweet apple, and most importantly pumpkin!
For me, pumpkins are one of those ingredients that really sums up this time of year and a great way to get the whole family involved in the fun. From picking your pumpkin and carving it to making soup or baking with it – the possibilities are endless. Not sure what to try first? Here are 10 pumpkin themed activities to inspire you:
Go Pumpkin Picking. Once just seen in spring for strawberries, Pick Your Own farms have now become popular all year round. There is a surprising amount dotted around most of the country so we would highly recommend researching where your nearest one is. We were spoilt for your choice at our pumpkin patch – big, small, unusually shaped, striped, even white pumpkins!
Make A Lantern. It wouldn’t be Halloween without this pumpkin carving tradition. You can get so much design inspiration from Pinterest or even download cutting templates online, but I think it’s nice to just let your inner creativity run its own course. Most supermarkets sell handy little carving kits which are ideal for basic pumpkins design. Once your pumpkin is carved, pop it outside, spark the tea lights hidden inside and watch it glow.
Top Tip: Don’t forget to save the pumpkin flesh and seeds when you’re carving – we will show you how to use these later.
What’s great about pumpkins is that there is no wastage, all the delicious flesh scooped out of the centre can be used in a whole host of seasonal recipes.
Mini Pumpkin Pies – these ‘scream’ of autumn flavours, pumpkin and spices in little bitesize pies.
Pumpkin & Ginger Cupcakes – if you’re a fan of cupcakes then this is the seasonal recipe for you. Best enjoyed with your feet up and a warm drink in hand.
Pumpkin & Molasses Cookies – if you are looking for a homemade alternative for trick or treaters why not give these a try. The molasses sugar in this recipe gives a lovely treacle flavour.
Hand Baked Spiced Pumpkin Loaves – we love this bread. Shaped like a pumpkin this acts as a great centre piece at an autumn dinner party. For an added twist why not spread a flavoured butter on your slices when serving?
Pumpkin, Goat’s Cheese & Rocket Pizza – ideal if you are planning on having a Halloween night in. This frightfully tasty pizza is a perfect treat for your little ghosts and ghouls.
Don’t forget the pumpkin seeds can be used too:
They are particularly great for a topping on home baked bread. Simply sprinkle on top prior to popping your loaf in the oven.
For a healthy snack, roast your leftover pumpkin seeds. If you like them salty, boil the seeds in salted water before roasting in the oven. Don’t forget to oil the roasting tray first!
If you have more of a sweet tooth, try frying up the pumpkin seeds in a pan with brown sugar to caramelise and make a delicious sweet treat. Ideal to eat huddled around the bonfire whilst watching fireworks.