Making the most of your pumpkin after Halloween

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In the UK, 7 million tonnes of food and drink are wasted per household every year. That’s more than we throw away in packaging, and equates to £470 a year, or if you’re in a family with children, £700 per year. That’s £60 every month going in the bin!

This Halloween, a large proportion of our pumpkin lanterns will end up adding to this number, but considering their nutritional breakdown, you can try something new instead!

One cup of boiled pumpkin is overflowing with Vitamin A, making up well over 100% of our daily recommended amount. It also contains Vitamins C, E, B6, potassium, copper, iron and magnesium.

At Hey Like Wow, the thought of rejecting these vital vitamins and nutrients goes against our nature, so we’ve put together a selection of ways to use our Halloween pumpkins in delicious and exciting ways to ensure they don’t end up in the bin. To support what we gain from pumpkins, try any one of our exotic flavoured drinks, which additionally includes vitamin D while remaining sugar free and without any artificial preservatives, colours or sweeteners.

  1. Pumpkin crisps

Although crisps don’t sound like a healthy snack, if you make them yourself and bake them instead of frying, they can be! You can also adapt this recipe to make regular potato crisps, or sweet potato, butternut squash, parsnip crisps, etc.

http://food.onehowto.com/recipe/how-to-make-pumpkin-crisps-easy-and-delicious-recipe-750.html

  1. Pumpkin soup

A classic for a reason, pumpkin soup is exceptionally simple to make, and makes for an uplifting meal as the weather gets colder outside. Soup particularly benefits from being made in a slow cooker, if you have one, as the slow, gentle heat really draws out all of the natural flavours.

http://www.jamieoliver.com/news-and-features/features/glorious-roasted-pumpkin-soup/

(Also, check out the mouth-watering roasted pumpkin pasta salad he describes in the beginning paragraph!)

  1. Pumpkin salad?

I’m not sure if you can class this as a salad, or just a delicious medley. The unusual combination of flavours of sweet honey, sour cherries and salty feta is contrasting yet complimentary, making for a fresh yet comforting main or side.

http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/roasted-squash-sour-cherries-spiced-seeds-feta

  1. Pumpkin purée

Often when looking to make pumpkin based desserts, the recipe calls for pumpkin purée. Or, any other baking recipe will ask for oil or butter at some stage. You can make up a whole batch of pumpkin purée and freeze it, and use in replacement of oil or butter in any recipe! (This is a particularly delicious combination when baking banana bread).

http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/food-recipes/dessert/a22021/homemade-pumpkin-puree-recipe/

  1. Pumpkin seeds

Make sure you’re using every part of the pumpkin by roasting the seeds, even if what you’re making doesn’t require them. You can add them to a warm vegetable salad, scatter over soup or baked foods, or if you add other flavourings, have them on their own as a snack packed with essential minerals such as zinc and magnesium!

http://allrecipes.co.uk/recipe/2171/roasted-pumpkin-seeds.aspx?o_is=LV

Any way you use them, pumpkins are a valuable source of nutrients and to waste them would be the true horror of Halloween. Let us know your own ideas on how you plan to cook up and eat the pumpkin poltergeist of your household!

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No Tricks This Halloween With These Healthy Halloween Treats!

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It’s that time of year again! Halloween is a time to get creative with your costume, channel your inner artist with a pumpkin, and get the kids together for a night of games; bobbing for apples, wrap the mummy, and of course, trick or treat.

However, these ‘treats’ are usually bursting with processed sugar, preservatives and E numbers, which we all know to be the true horrors of Halloween, with their links to obesity, heart disease and hyperactivity.

So we have found five tasty alternatives to keep your kids happy and healthy this Halloween! With their creative and fun appearance, children will love them, and you get the peace of mind that you are keeping the real monsters at bay.

1. Chocolate Apples

chocolate-apples

A perfect alternative to toffee apples, these apples coated in dark chocolate have all the health benefits of dark cocoa. They’re rich in antioxidants and contain qualities which help the heart and circulation, without the high sugar content of toffee and dramatic effect on tooth decay, liver damage and diabetes.

2. Stuffed Pumpkin Peppers

stuffed-pumpkin-peppers

A more savoury option, these stuffed pepper make a great choice if you’re hosting a few children over dinner time! You can get creative with the filling (maybe try spaghetti in a tomato sauce to look like brains spilling out!), or substitute the mince with black beans for a tasty vegetarian option high in protein.

3. Frankenstein Kiwi Heads 

frankenstein-kiwi-heads

Providing 273% of your daily recommended amount of vitamin C (five times more than an orange!), the kiwi is a valuable treat when the nights are getting colder and you’re in need of a natural immune booster! Kiwis also contain 89% of your daily recommended amount of vitamin K, which has been dubbed ‘the forgotten vitamin’ as despite its major benefits, it’s often being overlooked. Vitamin K is crucial for fighting blood clots, strengthening bones and preventing heart disease. Decorate this healthy head with either blueberries or dark chocolate chips and you’re left with not only an exceptionally nutritious snack but a seasonal Frankenstein head too!

4. Strawberry Ghosts

strawberry-ghosts

Strawberries have a long list of health benefits, earning their title as a ‘superfood’. Not only do they contain immunity boosting vitamin C, they promote eye health, fight cholesterol, reduce inflammation leading to arthritis, regulate blood pressure and boost fibre.

Tip: for a more accessible product, use vanilla yoghurt. Simply put yoghurt in the freezer until it becomes a little firmer (not frozen!), dip strawberries, place on parchment paper and refreeze after adding dark chocolate chip eyes and mouth!

5. Witches Broomsticks

witches-broomsticks

While cheese has a bad reputation of having a high fat content, this is entirely dependent on the type of cheese you use. This recipe suggests a reduced fat mozzarella, but you can of course make any other substitutions!

Cheese also has substantial health benefits, such as being a rich source of calcium. This is important for bone strength and growth, as well as helping your heart and muscles function properly. There is also a substantial amount of protein in cheese, which our body uses to rebuild muscles, blood, bones and skin.

It’s important to stay healthy over festive holidays. Head to Pinterest for more ideas on how to stay nutritious and delicious this October. Plus, why not replace the tricks with treats with a luscious Apple drink from Hey Like Wow! Get your fill of vitamins B6, C and D, while still enjoying the excitement of ghosts and ghouls with your sugar and spice and all things nice, as well as the rats and snails and puppy dog’s tails!

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