I love autumn – as the seasons change we are dazzled by a palette of colour and stunning landscapes. In the middle of it all there is Halloween – a tradition as long as I can remember. As kids the thrill and fun of dressing up, having parties and edible treats fills my childhood – it is a magical memory. Halloween has had negative press lately – worries about violent imagery and children. But Halloween is a fun time, and it is about kids, the mystical anticipation, being together and having fun – a simple celebration.
I wanted to look at the tradition of Halloween differently this year and to have a ‘Wholesome Halloween’. Especially focusing on the humble pumpkin… I have shown you how to grow them, now we can ‘celebrate’ them…carve them, cook them, theme a garden with them! Pumpkins are delicious for both savoury and sweet treats, and we literally cooked everything we didn’t use. Better still it is something the family can do together in preparation and there is not a scrap of plastic decoration or packaging in sight.
Here are some of my favourite Pumpkin recipes:
Double Chocolate Pumpkin Muffins
Instead of a handful of commercial chocolate treats why not dish out a batch of homemade Chocolate Pumpkin Muffins? Easy to make and better for you! Ours are decorated with a simple chocolate butter icing, cocoa dusting, orange zest and marzipan pumpkins! The flavours are amazing. Pack them in brown paper bags or boxes – it looks super cute and avoids plastic packaging!
Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Cookies
Delicious and wholesome sweet pumpkin based chocolate chip cookies decorated with orange coloured fondant icing. I have used coloured food gels to paint pumpkin faces onto the cookies for extra fun but you can do what you like. Pack in brown paper bags and make your own gift tags!
Pumpkin Chocolate Treats
Personalise and add more love to Halloween Chocolate treats – so good you won’t want to give them away to ‘trick or treaters’. All you need is a chocolate mould and your favourite chocolate. Set melted chocolate at different levels and add flavours of your choice! Pack in paper bags or individual boxes for an extra special twist.
The kids were most impressed by this simple and fun trick. We have painted satsumas look just like mini pumpkins with pumpkin faces! Enjoy! A healthy and fun snack for ‘trick and treaters’!!
We don’t often hear about Pumpkin Pie in the UK and it is simply delicious. How about baking a traditional rustic spiced Pumpkin Pie for sharing with friends and family, served warm with freshly whipped double cream on the side.
Don’t throw away your leftover pumpkin carvings, it is so easy to make a delicious and nutritious soup. Eat together or for lunches on the go. You will love this with a slice of crusty bread. We have garnished our soup with chopped chives but you can experiment.
The Black Gardener
27 October 2019
Photo credit: Michelle Broomfield and Neil Marshment