Pumpkins come from the American continent and belong to the same family as cucumbers. They are immensely popular at this time of year and one of the tastiest is known as "butternut". It makes a lovely, rich soup – but what can you do with the pips?
A "butternut" is a perfect size for making soup for a family of four. An unopened butternut pumpkin keeps for weeks or, under the right conditons, even months. The deep orange meat has, when cooked, has a sweet and somewhat nutty taste. (A secret when making pumpkin soup is to balance the sweetness with salt and with just a touch of chili heat.)
The bright orange meat from the Halloween pumpkin – the one you use to cut out a scary facy and highlight with a flickering candle – is also edible. The taste is a bit lika a mix between carrots and zucchini.
But what can you do with the pips? Two suggestions:
1. Roast them. The simplest way to do it is in a dry frying pan. Add salt towards the end and eat them as a snack, in a salad, or use them as garnish on – for example – your pretty, yellow pumpkin soup.
2. Make sprouts – a fun and tasty experiment that takes a few days. Like this:
- Clean the pips in running water. Put them in a jar and cover with water for a few hours.
- Pour of the water and rinse them again. Put the humid pips back in the jar. Pour off excess water.
- Cover the jar with a thin, porous cloth. Attach it with a rubber band.
- Place the jar upside down. Lean the jar a little so that you have a gap where water can trickle out and a little air can come in.
- Place the jar in a light (but not sunny) place in room temperature. Rinse the sprouts every day.
- After 3 to 5 days you should have some tasty, nutricious sprouts...