Wednesday, November 12, 2014

How to Freeze Pumpkins

Just because Halloween is now over doesn't mean it's time to forget about pumpkins. Actually, this is the perfect time for them. It's nearing the end of the season, where I live anyways, and farmers are clearing the fields and pumpkins are one of the last things to go. You can get them for next to nothing! With Thanksgiving just around the corner, there's not a better time to get your pumpkin puree out of the way.

I am a person that loves pumpkin all year round. I'm not crazy about pumpkin pie, but I love a hint of pumpkin in other desserts and I LOVE LOVE LOVE savory pumpkin dishes ... you can't go wrong with Pumpkin Burgers or Savory Pumpkin Quinoa). So, I like to have a few jars of puree in the freezer for whenever my pumpkin craving sparks.

A little pumpkin goes a long way too and this process is very simple for the output that you get, you can't go wrong! I can't necessarily say 1 pumpkin = 4 cups, because even with the weight of pumpkin, the seed weight vs flesh can vary. This year, I did 3 smaller pumpkins and one medium size this year and I got 14 jelly jars. I like using jelly jars for pumpkin because most of the recipes that I use it for call for 1 cup. If you need more at a time, use pint jars and of course, you can use freezer bags too.

The USDA has said that it's unsafe to can your pumpkin puree because it is so dense that the heat can't penetrate the inside, that is why many home canners will cut theirs in cubes and then can it. You can use this to your discretion, I still know canners that do it, but the information is out there so take it how you will. Other people will cube there pumpkin, add water and then can it. It's easy to do, but if I can avoid a few extra steps and I have the freezer space, I'm going to do it!

How to Freeze Pumpkins

  1. Cut your pumpkins in half and scoop out the seeds.
  2. Preheat your oven for 375ยบ. Place your pumpkins downward with a 1/2 inch of water in the pan. Depending on the size and thickness of your pumpkin the time that it takes them to cook will vary, start checking after 30 minutes. You want the insides to be completely soft.
  3. How to Freeze Your Pumpkins
  4. The outer skin becomes very hard so it's easy to scoop the flesh right out.
  5. Next, pour into your jars or freezer bags. If you are using freezer bags, make sure you write how much you are putting in each bag so that you don't thaw too much.
  6. How to Freeze Your PumpkinsHow to Freeze Your Pumpkins
  7. Finally, put them in the freezer. It's always best to thaw items in the refrigerator rather than leaving them on the counter!

How to Freeze Your Pumpkins

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