I married a chef so this gives me a free pass when it comes to the kitchen. Yet, here I am buying more pumpkins than I’ll ever need with absolutely no clue how to cook them.

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You see, I’ve never cooked a pumpkin. I’ve been carving them for years and chucking all the ‘stuff’ from the insides into the bin. This year, I’m a much more conscious shopper and trying my hardest to reduce food waste so I’m on a mission to find out how to cook Pumpkin and feed it to my children without starting a dinner time stand off. As I find success I’ll be updating this post so stick with me if you’re after some simple, child friendly pumpkin recipes.

Pumpkin Pasta Sauce

I’m not well rehearsed in the kitchen so measurements are not really a language I speak. For this recipe I filled half a baking tray with tomatoes and half with chopped pumpkin. Chuckled 4 garlic cloves on the top and put the whole lot into the oven for 1 hour at 160 degrees.

IMG_9917Once roasted, gently scoop everything into the blender and at this stage add any extra seasoning if you wish;  salt, mixed herbs etc.

Cook your pasta separately and mix through this sauce before serving. This can also be batch frozen for future easy teas.

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Pumpkin Hummus

This recipe doesn’t even require any cooking!

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The ingredients you will need are; 3 cups of diced pumpkin, 1/2 cup of tahini paste, 1 tbsp of lemon juice, pinch of salt, pinch of cumin, I garlic clove.

Chuck it all in the blender and serve. That’s it!

I serve this with crudités and home made tortilla chips. To make these slice a tortilla wrap and pop it in the oven for 12 minutes.

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Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

These are game changer. Who knew those slippery seeds could make such a delicious snack AND be so good for you? Once you’ve scooped out the seeds ( this is the easiest part for kids to be involved with)

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Sit them in a colander in a bowl of water, seeds float and this will separate from the gloopy pumpkin flesh. Tip the seeds onto a baking tray and leave to dry out overnight.

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Season with olive oil, salt and pepper or any other seasoning of your choice. Roast on a low heat of about 110 degrees for 40 minutes then turn the heat up to 180 for a final 15 minutes. It’s up to you if you share these with your kids.

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Slow Cooker Pumpkin Chicken

I didn’t expect the kids to eat this. I don’t normally do slow cooker tea’s and wasn’t sure what they would make of it but the plates were clean within 15 minutes.

You can literally throw everything into the slow cooker as you go before turning it on fir 6 hours.

You have to blend the pumpkin before adding to the slow cooker – take this opportunity to blend any other veggies your little ones won’t eat.

Ingredients; Dice an onion, 3 cloves mined garlic, small tin sweetcorn, 1 diced red pepper, 400g whole chicken breasts, 1/2 pint chicken stock, 3 cups of pumpkin puree, 1 tsp paprika and 1 tsp cayenne pepper.

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After six hours shred the chicken and mix back through the sauce. Serve with mashed potatoes, Rice or Naan Bread.