Halloween time again in Hong Kong; a non-traditional holiday celebrated very well on these shores. Our local hotspots are spookily dressed for the occasion and trick-or-treaters will be in abundance over this coming weekend. And although it's the free flow packages and sweet treats that are normal attention grabbers at this time of year, I thought it would be nice to look at the hallows-eve mascot – the humble pumpkin. If pumpkin carving isn’t on your to do list this week, or weekend, here are some alternative ways to get the most out of this versatile vegetable, skin to seed!

PUMPKIN SEEDS – Yes these are edible! Pumpkin seeds, also known as pepitas, are the kernels found in the mushy inside part of the pumpkin. If de-seeding isn’t your thing, you can find these seeds prepackaged at any health food store and selected supermarkets. They carry a nice crunch and are packed full of fiber, protein, good fat, minerals, vitamins and antioxidants. Sprinkle in your salads, on top of your porridge or blend with basil and parmesan for a homemade pesto! I love to bake pumpkin seeds in the oven with some olive oil, garlic salt and paprika.

PUMPKIN FLESH – pumpkin is one of the easiest, cheapest and deliciously sourced vegetable on the market. It is low in calories and high in fiber making it an excellent addition to any meal. Roast, boil, bake, grate, mash or blend – there isn’t much you can’t do with pumpkin. When the weather cools down slightly, I’ll be whipping up a batch of my Mum’s homemade pumpkin soup – her trick is to roast the pumpkin first and then blend! Delicious.

PUMPKIN SKIN – if you want to snack on crisps, without snaking on crisps, look no further than your pumpkin skin! Peel as thinly as possible, line baking tray with a sprinkle of olive oil and salt. Bake until crisp and eat! Also nice sprinkled on your pumpkin soup or tossed through your salad.

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Trick or treat!

Jonny

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