Pumpkins are the go-to image for each years harvest. Big, beautiful and round they represent the very best of the autumn crop.
We all know its use as a scary Jack-O'-Lantern for Halloween and it often features as part of a vegetable stew. But believe it or not, this so-called vegetable is actually a fruit due to the average pumpkins' seed content.
Naturally sweet, these orange autumn gourds are perfect for making the USA's traditional thanksgiving pumpkin pie or for adding seasonal flavour to a silky smooth pumpkin soup.
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There are many ways to turn your pumpkin into a party centrepiece. Throw a Jack-O'-Lantern carving party and use the shells of extra pumpkins to make wonderfully rustic-looking edible bowls.
And pumpkin pulp isn't just for eating, you can use any extra pulp for a hydrating facemask. Its high concentration of vitamin A, vitamin C and zinc is good for sun-damaged or dry skin. Just add a dab of honey and apply to the face for fifteen minutes before basking in your new glow.
Or why not take a tip out of Pippa Middleton's new book, Celebrate, and do a spot of Pumpkin Bowling. Find the roundest mini-sized pumpkins you can use to knock down small bottles decorated as ghosts. The pumpkin will never roll quite straight, but that's half the fun on the crooked holiday of Halloween!
Don’t be daunted by the size of these hefty Halloween treats when creating wholesome autumn dishes. Rich, smooth and velvety once prepared, they're worth following these easy steps:
• Take the pumpkin and cut it in half and use a sharp paring knife around the inside of the pumpkin to slice off the strings and seeds. But you can also use a spoon or ice cream scoop if you want a safe way to get your kids involved.
• After you've removed the seeds and strings you'll want to cut your pumpkin in a few smaller pieces. How many pieces depends on the size of your pot or roasting tin.
• Pop in the oven and you'll when know the pumpkin has finished cooking by sticking a fork into the flesh and gently pulling away from the skin. If it 'falls off' the skin it is finished. If not, cook for a little longer.