This recipe was sponsored by Love Food, Hate Waste.
We need to stop fearing whole ingredients.
Not fearing as in ‘boo’ but fearing the consumption of eating a whole ingredient and not seeing the lesser used bits as gross or inedible. These are adopted attitudes that need to be dropped.
From root to toot, there are so many whole ingredients at our fingertips that can give us a full food experience without its elements ever seeing the dark of the bin. It’s an approach to food with brand-new attitude that has so many positive benefits for both the environment and us as individuals.
Yes, there has been a significant shift lately in perception when it comes to food waste and more people are taking on a more proactive approach when it comes to what they throw away, but there is still so much we can do in our very own Kitchens.
Did you know we throw away £800 worth of food a year? That’s £70 a month.
Would you throw seventy of the Queen’s whole pound into your waste bin on the last day of every month? No, because neither would I. And if you would, then we need to meet. You can throw it in my bin instead.
But coins aside, have you ever actually looked at your waste bin contents before you fling them? I urge you to. I have a sneak peek every time I go to the bin and always have a think about what I could have used so that I don’t make the same mistake next time and my waste bin is getting smaller and smaller every week.
Next time, have a look. What could you have done to use up some of the things in there before you threw them out.
Potatoes can be baked with their skins. Herb stalks can make fantastic additions to soups and stir fries. Bones make the best (and I mean the BEST) stock. Stale bread makes the ultimate bread and butter pudding. Carrot tops can be processed up to make a pesto. Fruit that is just about to turn can be boiled down with sugar to create syrupy compotes to be spread on toast or porridges.
Where there’s waste, there is a way. Cheesy, right?
Cheese! That’s another one. Don’t throw cheese in the bin, throw it in a soup regardless of how hard it is. It’ll soften up and melt perfectly.
Financials aside, there is so much resource in bringing ingredients to our kitchen countertops, what’s the point in wasting all of that?
From an ecological perspective, collectively we can make a huge difference to the environment Between water, energy, fuel, packaging, staffing, driving (I even hate carrying the damn things from my car!) a lot of whole foods we have in our kitchens does not need to see the jail cell of the bin.
So this year for Pancake Day, I’ve partnered with LOVE FOOD, HATE WASTE’s #Compleating campaign to encourage you to reduce the amount of food you waste. #Compleating means you eat every part of the ingredient that is edible! Simple concept.
And no, we won’t eat stalks and pips just for the sake of it, but we will make sure that every piece of the ingredient that CAN be used WILL be used in the best way possible.
The ingredient in question? The Pumpkin.
I’m not a Fairy Godmother, so I won’t be bibbidy-bobbidy-booing anyone’s pumpkin into a horse and carriage, but I will find a way to use the whole thing up, with no waste. That means, the only thing left in your bin is that weird gnarled up stalk poking out of the top.
Eating the whole of a pumpkin is really good for us. Google tells me it contains carotenoids which our body turns into Vitamin A, which ultimately leads to strong and healthy skin! And who doesn’t love good skin? So in the name of having a good complexion, I will eat these pancakes for Pancake Day! It’s a sacrifice I am willing to make.
Throughout the recipe I’ll also be dropping you #Compleating tips, so that every ingredient you use throughout the recipe will have other uses with no need to ever make an unnecessary trip to your bin.
Those little green bags fill up so fast anyway, what’s the point in adding to them? I live in a high rise and the thought of making more trips to the bin room than I need to is enough of an incentive for me.
First preheat your oven to 180c and wash your pumpkin. No soap (duh) just give it a little rinse under your tap.
Take the pumpkin and halve it. Using a spoon, scrape out the seeds from the inside belly of the pumpkin
#Compleating – on another day, rinse these under some water and dry fry them in a pan. Throw them into a blender with some basil, olive oil, garlic, lemon zest, salt and pepper and you got yourself a handy little Pumpkin Pesto blend to run through some pasta.
Take your halved pumpkin and cut into slices. Now carefully slice off the skins using a sharp knife. It takes all of 5 – 10 minutes, I promise.
#Compleating – chop the skins up into bite size pieces and coat with olive oil, salt, pepper, paprika and cumin. Bake in an oven for 20 minutes on 200c and they will dehydrate out into gorgeous crisps. Serve with a banging dip – I personally love garlic and chive.
With the leftover pumpkin flesh, drop them onto a roasting tray, coat with a little olive oil and then scatter with a little soft brown sugar and some cinnamon.
Bake for 30 – 35 minutes until the pumpkin begins to catch and caramelise.
Remove from the oven, carefully tip into a bowl and blitz to a puree with a hand mixer. If you don’t have one, you can easily do this with an enthusiastic arm and a potato masher!
While the pumpkin puree cools, make some buttermilk. How you do this is you combine a cup of regular milk with a tablespoon of lemon juice and let sit. If you can’t be bothered with this, just grab yourself some Greek yogurt. It’s the same thing.
Once the pumpkin puree has cooled, throw in your buttermilk/yogurt. Crack in 2 eggs and add 3 tablespoons of soft brown sugar. Shake in 200g of plain flour, 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon and 2 teaspoons of baking powder.
Grate in the zest of one orange but keep the orange handy because we’ll be using the juice later.
#Compleating – if you’ve bought oranges especially for this recipe, I have a perfect recipe to use up some oranges. This Chocolate Orange & Rum Cake uses up whole oranges – pips and all – in the batter. It’s like a Jaffa Cake Cake… with rum… it’s speaks for itself.
Mix all your bowl ingredients together to create a silky, smooth batter.
For the sauce, get a small saucepan and empty in few glugs of maple syrup. Squeeze in the juice of the orange from earlier and bring to a boil. Drop it a very gentle bubble and allow to simmer while you make your pancakes.
Heat a tiny drizzle of oil in a frying pan and one hot, ladle small amounts of batter (about a double shot glass full) of the batter into the pan. They will spread a little as they cook, so depending on the size of your frying pan, cook as many as you can fit at one time.
My frying pan is a decent size but I only cook four at a time!
Don’t touch the pancake until you start to see little bubbles cracking up on the surface, at which point you can carefully but quickly flip them on to the other side for about a minute or so before transferring them to a plate.
Keep doing this until you use up all of your batter – this recipe is enough for four people.
I serve these sprinkled with some crystallised ginger and the Orange Maple syrup.
#Compleating – if you have any crystallised ginger leftover, use them in in a chilli to give extra warmth and heat.
Get #Compleating with me this Pancake Day and if you have any tips for other ingredients you have bee #Compleating, jump in my DM’s on Instagram @immikeybell