By Katie Kelly
With October comes Halloween, and with Halloween comes the celebration of one of the humblest vegetables, the pumpkin. Every year throughout the country hundreds of these vegetables are carved out to celebrate all things Halloween. The resulting masterpiece is appreciated by children and adults alike, but what about the inside? In the spirit of waste reduction, we should consider what else can be done with this delicious and nutritious vegetable. After all, isn’t it what’s inside that counts?
So, if you find yourself near a younger sibling, or someone young at heart, carving the insides from a pumpkin, try to rescue that flesh and put it to good use. Pumpkins are so versatile and are delicious roasted in the oven, along with butternut squash and carrots, or used to make soup. They also can be used to make muffins, just like the recipe included below!
- 1 ½ cups light brown sugar
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- 3 large eggs
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- 2 cups plain flour
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
- ¾ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¾ cup milk
- Preheat the oven to 180°C. Line a baking tray with paper cases. This recipe should make 24 small muffins.
- To make the pumpkin purée, place the pumpkin flesh onto a tray and pop it into the oven until the flesh is soft. The time will vary depending on the size of the pieces of flesh. Once the flesh is soft, blend until smooth, using a hand blender or food processor.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the sugar, vegetable oil, eggs, maple syrup and vanilla extract. Beat until the eggs and oil are well combined and the mixture is lighter in colour.
- Mix in the pumpkin purée and beat until well combined.
- In a medium sized bowl, combine all remaining dry ingredients. Add half of the dry ingredients to the mixture, followed by half the milk and beat until it starts to combine.
- Finally, add the remaining dry ingredients, mixing while pouring in the milk and beating until all of the ingredients are well combined.
- Use a spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl and stir the mixture from the bottom to the top to ensure it’s well mixed.
- Divide the mixture evenly into the baking tray, filling each case 2/3 full.
Bake at 180°C for 14-16 minutes. To check if they are done, insert a toothpick into the centre of the muffin to see if it comes out clean.