It’s now October, and autumn is officially here, a season marked by warm sweaters, beautiful leaves, cozy beverages, and all things pumpkin — including pumpkin recipes for every meal!
We at Turning Green are interested in ways to make our enthusiasm for this fall fruit more sustainable. With Halloween bringing many jack o’lanterns to people’s front porches, more than one billion pounds of pumpkin are tossed into the landfill each year. To reduce your pumpkin footprint, you can leave your pumpkins out for squirrels to munch on (if you haven’t treated it with any chemicals) and compost the remains when Jack starts to look a little unwell.
While you’re carving, you can also hang onto the pumpkin seeds for roasting! They make a great snack or can be used as a topping for salads, breads, and soups, as you’ll find below.
We’ve gathered a collection of pumpkin recipes for you to embrace and enjoy the new season with a sustainable pumpkin menu! Make a full evening out of it or spread these seasonal recipes throughout the autumn when you need something new to (pumpkin) spice things up.
Remember the principles of FLOSN — Fresh, Local, Organic, Seasonal, and Nutritious. Pumpkins are definitely in season, and you can likely find them at your local’s farmers market to support local, organic farmers right in your own backyard! They’re also easy to grow at home, so you might want to hold onto some seeds for next year’s garden.
Appetizer: Pumpkin Seed Clusters
If you’re carving your pumpkin, use those seeds before you compost the rest! You can make and enjoy Wallflower Kitchen’s tasty vanilla pumpkin seed clusters as a snack, or as an appetizer to the rest of your pumpkin feast.
Salad: Roasted Pumpkin Salad
While pumpkin is a wonderful veggie in and of itself, we like to get our greens in as well with this delectable roasted pumpkin salad from Jar of Lemons. Grab some organic greens at the market or your local grocery store (don’t forget your zero-waste bags!)
Soup: Vegan Pumpkin Soup
Nothing says fall like a cozy squash soup, and Cookie and Kate’s vegan pumpkin soup is no exception! It’s perfect for chilly nights when you want something hearty and warm, or makes for great leftovers the next day for a healthy FLOSN lunch. Plus, it’s plant based, which cuts down on the environmental footprint versus using dairy.
Side: Cuban Pumpkin Pasta Salad
Try Turning Green’s very own Cuban pumpkin pasta salad from our Conscious Kitchen cookbook to shake up a classic pasta salad.
- 3 cups spinach
- ¾ cup whole grain pasta
- ½ cup mashed pumpkin (canned if out of season, or steamed and mashed for fresh!)
- ¼ teaspoon cumin
- ⅛ teaspoon smoked paprika
- ⅛ teaspoon ginger
- Add spinach to a bowl and set aside.
- Bring 3 cups of water to a boil and add pasta, cooking until soft.
- While the pasta is cooking, combine pumpkin and spices in a bowl.
- Heat the pumpkin mixture for 30 seconds, then add to the spinach bowl when done.
- Drain the pasta once cooked and add it to the other ingredients, mixing thoroughly. Enjoy!
Main Course: Creamy Pumpkin Spaghetti
Pumpkin goes Italian! For your main course, try this delicious creamy pumpkin spaghetti from Pinch of Yum, and make the garlic kale included in the recipe for an extra burst of flavor. Kale is on the Environmental Working Group’s dirty dozen list, so be sure to go organic for your greens.
Dessert: Vegan Pumpkin Bread
No meal is complete without dessert! Wrap up your meal with this delicious vegan pumpkin bread from Nora Cooks, a perfect dessert to end the evening. And have some for breakfast tomorrow too.
Which of these perfect fall pumpkin recipes are you most likely to try first?