I simply love pumpkin! I love the versatility of this amazing food and the way that you can use it in so many different ways to make soups, stews, risottos, cakes, smoothies, pies …. and well you name it, and there seems to be a variation using it. I also adore that it looks wonderful alongside other colourful gourds to make a room, door entrance or party scene all the more interesting and uplifting. My own doorway at the moment is laden with all shapes and sizes of these globes to entice ‘trick or treaters’.
However one aspect of the American tradition that we’ve spectacularly failed to embrace here in the UK is using the flesh and innards of our jack o’lanterns around Hallowe’een and Bonfire Night. Around 95% of pumpkins sold here end up in the bin, creating over 18,000 tons of food waste – pretty criminal really when you realise how much you can do with it.
Cooking: Pumpkin flesh is great slow-roasted or ‘fried’ (use a spray or mist) in curries and risottos. Try it with herbs like sage or thyme, or with a warm spice like ginger or chilli.
Roasting: And don’t throw away the seeds either! Roasted in the oven, they make an incredible snack that will keep in an airtight container for weeks. Sprinkle over soups and salads too for extra nutrition.
In previous years we have produced many recipes for you to try so I urge you to look through the archive to find some of our favourites seen below.
However, this year we have gone a little further and produced a celebratory cake especially for Hallowe’en or Bonfire Night, but just great for autumn eating. It’s a high protein version and can be decorated as simply or lavishly as you like.
Make A Spectacle!
HALLOWE’EN PROTEIN PUMPKIN CAKE
225 g/2 cups all-purpose flour
50 g/2 oz pumpkin and chia seed protein powder (I used Pumpkin and Chia Seed Protein Power from That Protein, details here)
1½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
1½ tsp baking powder
2¼ tsp ground mixed spice or pumpkin spice powder
¾ tsp salt
6 tbsp light butter or spread
14 tbsp sweetener (I used Truvia)
225 g/8 oz canned pumpkin purée (not pumpkin pie mix)
2 tbsp oil
- Preheat the oven to 180 C/350 F/gas 4. Base line a 22 cm/8½ inch round non-stick spring-form baking tin/pan, about 7 cm/2¾ inches deep.
- Mix the flour with the protein powder, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder, spice powder and salt.
- In another bowl beat the light butter or spread with the sweetener until pale and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, with a tbsp of the flour mixture and beat to mix.
- Add the remaining flour mixture, pumpkin purée and oil and mix well to combine.
- Spoon into the prepared tin/pan and level the surface. Bake in the oven for 65-75 minutes or until skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean of mixture. Allow to cool in the tin.
- When cold serve plain or decorate as per the instructions below.
MAKES: 16 slices
WLS PORTION: 1/2-1 slice
V suitable for Vegetarians
CALORIES PER SLICE: 118
Images © Bariatric Cookery (UK) Ltd
TO DECORATE (OPTIONAL):
No need to go over-board if you don’t want to – here’s the cake simply decorated with some soft dried pears. Brush the pears with a little low-sugar jam/jelly to help them to stick to the top of the cake.
Or really push the boat out and decorate with a water icing made with xylobrit icing sugar/confectioners’ sugar (or normal if you can tolerate it) mixed with orange juice to make a smooth icing. Smooth on top of the cake, sprinkle with edible gold, orange or yellow cake crystals and then decorate with marzipan pumpkins, candy or plastic spiders.
Images copyright © of Bariatric Cookery (UK) Ltd