Freezing Fresh Pumpkin: Quick and Easy Steps
Pumpkin is rich in vitamin A and fiber. If you’re concerned about your weight, it’s a food you should consume as it’s low in calories. It’s almost fat free and there’s no risk of cholesterol.
It’s a popular food that could be eaten as a vegetable or turned into mouthwatering dishes like pumpkin pie (with whipped cream), pumpkin soup, and pumpkin bread.
Here are the steps to preparing, cooking, and freezing fresh pumpkin.
Opt for pie pumpkins. They are smaller and easier to handle. What’s more, they are sweeter and their texture is finer than the larger type pumpkins. When selecting pie pumpkins, look for ones that are firm, those without cuts or scratches. Avoid those with soft spots and those that don’t have a healthy orange color.
A pie pumpkin, usually about six inches in diameter, can fetch you from two to three cups of puree.
Give the pumpkin a thorough wash. Use cold water or better still, lukewarm water. Don’t use soap, if the exterior doesn’t look clean.
Once the pumpkin is clean, you are ready to slice it into two. If you’re using a normal kitchen knife, you have to be extra careful. The hard surface could cause the knife to slip off easily.
So, for the sake of safety, use a tough serrated knife. Use a sawing motion to make the cutting secure and clean.
The next step is to scoop the seeds out. You also want to remove the stringy interior until you see a smooth inner surface. Before you think of disposing the seeds, let it be known that they could be planted, or roasted and eaten. Pumpkin seeds are a rich source of vitamins and minerals. You can easily find information over the Internet on how to roast pumpkin seeds.
With the interior now `clean’ you’re ready to cook the pumpkin by microwaving it. Look for a large microwaveable bowl that would hold the cut pumpkins. Otherwise, you can use a smaller bowl, but may have to cut the pumpkin into smaller pieces. The bigger the pumpkin pieces, the easier it is to scoop out the flesh after it’s cooked.
With the pumpkin in the bowl, add a sufficient amount of water and cover the bowl before putting it into a microwave oven.
The next step is to cook the pumpkin slices until they turn soft. Start by cooking in High mode for about 18 to 20 minutes. If after that time the pumpkin is not well cooked, cook in increments of five minutes until it’s soft.
You’re now ready to scoop out the soft pumpkin flesh. It only takes a few minutes to turn it into a puree with the help of a blender.
With the pumpkin puree done, you’re ready to freeze it. You can store the pumpkin puree in a plastic container or a Ziploc bag. The important thing is to draw out as much air as possible before putting it in the freezer. Pumpkin stored thus can last up to six months.
https://www.pickyourown.org//freezing_pumpkin.htm – preparing and freezing pumpkin
https://missourifamilies.org/features/nutritionarticles/harvesttohealth/pumpkin.htm - nutrition content and selection of pumpkins