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Pumpkin is not only an integral element of decoration and decor at the Halloween holiday and an improvised attribute from which the fairy godmother can conjure a carriage for Cinderella.
It is a healthy and nutritious product that, moreover, has a long shelf life even in room conditions.
Best of all, this vegetable is stored in a cool (5-15 ° C) and spacious room protected from light (pumpkin fruits are quite large, and it is advisable to store them so that they do not touch each other), for example, in a cellar.
Can pumpkin be frozen in the freezer? The most compact storage method is for dried and dried pumpkin. Pieces of pumpkin dried in an oven at a temperature of 50-60 ° C or in an electric dryer are stacked in layers in an airtight container, transferred with parchment paper, and can be stored this way for almost a year.
Read about the possibility of storing pumpkin at home on our website. But the most popular way to harvest pumpkin for future use today is freezing.
How to freeze pumpkin for the winter at home? One of the stages of preparing the pumpkin for storage, of course, is harvesting. Choosing a ripe fruit without visible damage... Cut the carefully washed vegetable in half and remove the seeds (then dry the seeds separately or fry them in the oven, turning them into a healthy treat). Next, we act depending on the chosen method of freezing.
If you decide to freeze it raw (in pieces or grated strips), then the pumpkin must first be peeled.
The peel of this vegetable is quite dense, so first we cut off the top and bottom of the fruit with a knife, and then, setting it vertically on a cutting board, peel off the peel completely.
The peeled vegetable can also be steamed for 7-15 minutes.... And if we are preparing mashed potatoes (the most delicious is from baked pumpkin), then it is better to separate the tough peel from the tasty pulp after baking (the pulp is easily scraped off with a metal spoon).
Very small pumpkins can be cut into quarters or even halves. We cut large fruits into slices 3 centimeters thick (they can be frozen in this form, or used for further mashed potatoes) or cubes. Next, cut into cubes with a side of 1-2 centimeters or grind on a grater.
When freezing in pieces, pre-place the sliced pumpkin in one layer on a flat surface (baking sheet, cutting board, or polyethylene laid right in the freezer) so that the pieces do not touch each other, otherwise they will stick together. After a couple of hours, when the cubes are well frozen, you can pour them into a container for further storage (plastic container, plastic bag).
Leave a couple of centimeters of free space before sealing the storage container. Since the pumpkin, freezing, increases in volume, and the overfilled container may burst over time.
Packaging and storage
How to properly freeze pumpkin for storage? There is nothing complicated in this procedure, the main thing is to choose containers that are convenient for storage.
Usually used containers:
- Plastic containers (special containers, containers for yogurt, sour cream, etc.).
- Plastic bags, regular or special with a latch.
- Any container of suitable size can be used.
If we pack mashed potatoes, then it is very convenient to place the bag before filling in some container with rigid sides (for example, a plastic bucket), and then spoon (or pour) the pumpkin puree into the bag thus shaped.
The bucket reliably supports the shapeless bag and it becomes much more convenient to place flowing puree in it.
Next, we release air from the bag, leaving a little space for possible expansion of the pumpkin, tie it, remove it from our shape and give the tied bag a flat shape. So its contents will freeze faster and be stored more compactly.
The prepared and cooled pumpkin puree is pre-frozen also in:
- Freezer molds for ice cubes or silicone baking dishes. After hardening, the resulting frozen portions are placed in a large bag or container for long-term storage.
- Plastic cups. Once frozen, the contents can be removed and stacked in a common large container or bag. Alternatively, cover each cup with foil and store it as it is.
For convenience, prepared packages are signed, indicating the name of the product and the date of packaging.... And then placed in the freezer and stored until use. Can pumpkin be kept in the freezer for a long time?
Pumpkin frozen at a temperature of -18 ° C and below can be stored in the freezer for up to 10-12 months.
One way to freeze pumpkin for the winter in this video:
For baby food
Is it possible to freeze pumpkin for the winter for baby purees? Pumpkin has a pleasant sweet taste and therefore children like it. It is well absorbed and is especially useful in the treatment and prevention of constipation.... Contains B vitamins, magnesium, beta-carotene, iron, as well as phosphorus, silicon, vitamin C, carotene, glucose, and, of course, vitamin D, which prevents rickets.
How to freeze a pumpkin for feeding? You can freeze the pumpkin for complementary foods either separately or as part of a vegetable mixture by adding diced zucchini, broccoli, carrots (we cut it smaller than the rest of the ingredients, since it takes a little longer to cook). After thawing, it will be possible to make mashed potatoes from such a mixture, and then, when the child grows up, a vegetable stew with the addition of meat and fish.
Is it possible to freeze baked pumpkin for the winter? Baked pumpkin can be mashed immediately and frozen in separate portions. This is especially convenient in order to save time, since further processing of the product after defrosting is not required.
Frozen pumpkin for the winter is an excellent addition to cereals, especially oatmeal, millet, rice and even semolina (we add pumpkin cubes during cooking without thawing, and put mashed potatoes at the very end of cooking), a good component for baking (pies, muffins, pancakes, cookies, various fillings).
Grated pumpkin is good to add to casseroles and stews, soups, borscht, cutlets. Jelly is also made from pumpkin. Pumpkin can be dried, and dried pumpkin seeds are also very useful.
You can find out how to dry seeds and dry pumpkin on our website.
To prevent the pumpkin pieces from becoming too watery and flabby after defrosting, before freezing, you need to let them dry out a little in the open air, or even better dry them in the oven... In this case, they will become sweeter.
The most compact option for storing pumpkin is mashed potatoes, frozen in layers in bags. In addition, this product does not require processing after defrosting.
You can freeze not only pumpkin, but also various other vegetables in the form of puree for baby food. For example, squash, rhubarb, celery, green peas, cauliflower, broccoli, spring carrots, spinach.
And also fruits: apricots, peaches, plums, pears, apples. And you can also prepare a combined puree, for example, apple puree with the addition of blueberries, strawberries, currants or raspberries.
Pumpkin is frozen raw (quarters, slices, cubes, grated) or pre-thermally processed (stewed, blanched or boiled), most often chopped to a puree state.
Freeze mashed potatoes:
- We cut the vegetable in half, and then into slices, which we bake in the oven at 180-200 ° C for about an hour.
- Scrape out the baked pulp with a metal spoon and chop. We do not add sugar, salt and other spices.
- When the pumpkin has cooled down, put it into portioned forms for freezing with a spoon.
How to freeze pumpkin slices for the winter? Freeze with cubes for storage:
- Put the pumpkin cut into pieces of the same size on a flat surface in one layer so that the parts do not come into contact with each other.
- We put it in the freezer for a couple of hours.
- Pour vegetable cubes frozen to a solid state in prepared plastic bags.
Is grated pumpkin frozen for the winter, and how? Freeze grated pumpkin as follows:
- We clean the vegetable, cut into large bars, and then grind them on a grater.
- We pack with a spoon in portioned bags.
This pumpkin is especially suitable for baking.
- Dishes served in a pumpkin look very impressive.
- To get rid of excess moisture when frying, you can pre-salt the prepared pumpkin pieces and leave for a couple of hours, and then blot with a paper towel.
- It is useful to add milk and butter to pumpkin dishes, which contribute to better absorption of fat-soluble beta-carotene, which is rich in pumpkin.
Can pumpkin be frozen raw for the winter? Vacuum freezing raw pumpkin in this video:
The pumpkin is beautiful, tasty and healthy. Great for baby and diet food... In Russia, this vegetable imported from America has been known since the 16th century, 300 years earlier than potatoes. And has won an excellent reputation for itself.
By the way, pumpkin is perfectly used not only for cooking, but also in cosmetology, as a basis for rejuvenating and toning masks for the skin and hair.
If you do not know what you can make from frozen pumpkin, we will help you. We have prepared for you a series of recipes for delicious and healthy pumpkin dishes: pancakes, pancakes, muffins, casseroles, first courses and sautés, vegetable and meat stews, cereals and salads, as well as pie fillings and a variety of sauces.
So, a stock, albeit small, of this wonderful vegetable is necessary in every home.