Halloween is almost upon us, and you may be wondering what to cook up with the produce that you have grown in your polytunnel. With so many delicious seasonal recipes, there is no excuse for cooking up the same old things each year. Here are some Halloween Recipe ideas for 2019, to help inspire you to make the most of the food that you grow and buy.
Pumpkin Recipes for Halloween
Many of us will be carving pumpkins this Halloween. But rather than opting for a tasteless and non-organic carving pumpkin, why not consider carving a pumpkin that is good to eat. Whether or not you have actually grown pumpkins (or squash) in your polytunnel, choosing one that will taste good can mean you can carve your pumpkin and eat it too.
Simply scoop out a good lot of the flesh before you begin carving, and save the pieces of flesh that you remove. Here are a few suggestions for what you could do with it:
- Roast and blend the pumpkin or squash and use it to make a filling for savoury tarts, pies or ravioli. Why not try serving some pumpkin stuffed ravioli with a sage butter, or a piquant pesto of some kind made from your home grown herbs?
- Add the roasted pumpkin or squash to a curry. It goes extremely well, for example, in a Thai style curry with coconut milk, ginger, lemongrass and chillies.
- Blend roasted pumpkin or squash with oats, onions, herbs and seasoning to make a delicious vegetable loaf, that you can serve with kale or other greens, and an onion gravy.
Pumpkin Seed Suggestions
When you carve your pumpkins and squash, or prepare them for eating, do bear in mind that you should save the seeds too. Those that you are not saving for planting next year are delicious roasted simply with a little olive oil and salt, or dusted with other herbs, spices or seasonings.
Pumpkin seeds might be used:
- In or on top of some fresh baked bread.
- To top a vegetable or nut/seed loaf. (Such as the oat and blended pumpkin loaf described above.)
- Scattered on top of a simple pumpkin soup or stew. (Of course there are almost endless recipes that you could consider.)
A Meal Plan for a Halloween Party
Halloween is not all about pumpkins. If you are planning a halloween party this year, why not consider ways that you might be able to use up other seasonal ingredients and ring the changes? Here is a meal plan that will allow you to get into the spirit of the occasion without falling into anything too cliched.
Bloody Marys may be a go-to for those blood-coloured cocktails. But why not ring the changes and consider something more fruity instead? An elderberry syrup added to some vodka with a grating of fresh ginger is the perfect pick-me-up for adult guests on a cold autumn evening.
A Halloween Starter
A beetroot and feta cheese tart topped with some seeds could be a great way to start a Halloween meal. If you want a spooky feel to the Halloween meal, why not shape beetroot stained feta filo ‘fingers’ to peep out the top of your tarts?
Halloween Main Course
For a main course, what could be more fitting for Halloween than serving ‘brains’ – AKA a whole, roast cauliflower served with delicious mushroom paprikash and cauliflower rice. This Hungarian inspired, rich paprika dish is a great way to use up some produce from your polytunnel garden.
Finish off the meal with a show-stopping beetroot and chocolate cake, topped with a sumptuous blackberry sauce to use up the last of the berry harvest. (You could also use raspberries or other fresh berries that you froze earlier in the year.
Sweet Treats for Little Monsters
Of course there are also plenty of other recipes that you could cook up to keep your little monsters happy. If you are trying to cut down on your plastic waste, Halloween can be a tricky time of year. But you can make your own Halloween candies, sweets and chocolates. For example, why not try making:
- Fruit gummies using frozen summer fruits from your garden. Chewy sweets can be made using three simple ingredients – blended and strained fruits, honey and gelatine.
- Fruit ‘serpents’ (Made from dried fruit leather made from garden fruits.)
- Candied apple ‘faces’ – made by carving faces into apples from your garden, and covering them with a simple toffee.
- ‘Surprise’ chocolates made by coating sweet blended vegetables, almond meal and other ingredients in melted chocolate. They’ll never guess the healthy ingredients they contain.
There are plenty of ways to make use of the food that you grow to feed people this Halloween. So why not try some of these more unusual Halloween Recipe Ideas for 2019? Got your own frightening food ideas? Share these in the comments below.
Elizabeth Waddington is a writer and green living consultant living in Scotland. Permaculture and sustainability are at the heart of everything she does, from designing gardens and farms around the world, to inspiring and facilitating positive change for small companies and individuals.
She also works on her own property, where she grows fruit and vegetables, keeps chickens and is working on the eco-renovation of an old stone barn.