Fun pumpkin fact: the world’s heaviest pumpkin ever recorded was grown in Belgium in 2016, weighing in at 2,624 pounds! A Connecticut man recently came close to breaking that record; his pumpkin weighed in at 2,294 pounds at the Topsfield Fair in Massachusetts.
Unfortunately, there are many not-so-fun facts about pumpkins out there too, like the reality that millions of them go to waste every year.
A 2018 study in the UK found that 8 million pumpkins go to landfills after Halloween. In the US, 1.3 billion pounds are thrown away, and most of the 80,000 metric tons of pumpkins grown in Canada are also wasted.
How’s that for spooky?
Food waste is a world issue, one that we all can change. Why only use pumpkins for porch decor when we can also fill our bellies with their natural goodness?
Pumpkins are a great source of beta-carotene, an antioxidant that reduces the risk of developing cancer, asthma, and heart disease. Boost your immunity, fiber, and vitamin A intake by adding the orange gourde to your diet.
Think pumpkin lasagna and gnocchi, pumpkin risotto, roasted pumpkin wedges or seeds, and homemade pumpkin purees or vegetable stocks, which freeze well and can be used year-round.
How To Roast A Pumpkin
Many recipes call for roasting the pumpkin before incorporating it. Yes, you can buy pumpkin puree in a can. But if you’ve already got some pumpkins, why bother? Roasting them is an incredibly easy process!
Cut your pumpkin in half.
Scoop out all of the seeds and put them aside to make a nutritious snack at a later date.
Cut the pumpkin halves into quarters, brush with olive oil, and place on a baking sheet.
Roast in 425°F oven for about 35 minutes. Once they’re finished roasting, let cool before peeling off the skin.
Now you have perfectly cooked pumpkin to add to a recipe of your choice. In my case, it was this healthy and delicious roasted pumpkin soup from one of my favorite food blogs, Cookie and Kate!