Preserving Pumpkin, Canning or Freezing!

Pumpkins are a favorite of mine to grow in my garden. You can always find a few trailing vines….or should I say a few other veggies stick up above the pumpkins vines. Just a few pumpkin seeds will give you plenty of pumpkins!

My favorite pumpkins to plant are the neck pumpkin or crooked necked squash. These can grow to rather large size. The neck of the pumpkin gives you a large amount of “pumpkin”. Then there is pie pumpkins, Jarrahdale Pumpkin, Long Island Cheese Pumpkin, and the list goes on of pumpkin/squash that you can use for pumpkin. Pictured below is the variety of pumpkins, squash, and gourds we planted in our little garden.

We have Birdhouse gourds, Jarradale Pumpkins, Butternut Squash, white mini pumpkins, and an orange pumpkin from a vine that sprouted in my garden.

If you ever drive the back roads of Lancaster County you will find roadside stands of colorful pumpkins, gourds, etc.

photo compliments of Eileen Horning—who is my sister!

Pumpkins can be stored for months in a cool dry place but they can also be preserved by canning or freezing which is very easy to do. I pressure can most of my pumpkin since it is so handy to grab a jar when I want to make a recipe. I have found it is just as easy to peel, cube, pack in jars, and pressure can the pumpkin as it is to bake, blend, and freeze. And no, you don’t need to add water to can pumpkin. Just pack the cubes as tight as you can in the jar and process.

Preserving by Pressure Canning:

Cut pumpkin into pieces. Peel, and cube pumpkin. Packed raw cubes tightly into jars. Add lids and rings. Pumpkin must be pressure canned…you cannot safely water bath pumpkin. It must be pressure canned to prevent botulism. It is not recommended to can pumpkin puree as it is too dense to heat thoroughly and kill all the bacteria.

Pressure Canning is easy to do. Just follow the manufacture’s instruction with your canner and you won’t have a problem. I use Presto Pressure Canner…in fact I have 2 of them.

I know many people worry about the safety of pressure canners. We all have heard stories that exploding canners. But in all my years of canning I have never had an accident with my Presto Pressure Canner. There are several safety features with this canner. If the pressure gets too high the weight that is on the vent will start to jiggle. That is the first alert that your canner needs attention. All you need to do is adjust the heat lower on your burner. There is also an small over-pressure plug that will pop out if the pressure gets extremely high. What that will do is release steam and pressure. I have never even come close to that happening. Pressure canners are really easy to use and are just as safe as any other kind of canner.

pressure canning changes by altitude chart

When you use a pressure canner your jars are not covered with water. The jars are canned by the steam being under pressure.

Here are a few jars of pumpkin I have canned. There is a slight difference in color from the neck pumpkins I used. Canning will cause the pumpkin to shrink in the jars but it will still keep very well.

Did you know there are many Canning and Preserving recipes in Around the Family Table Cookbook? This cookbook can be purchased using this link.

Preserving by Freezing:

I cut the pumpkins/squash in half and scoop out all the seeds. Bake at 350 degrees until fork tender. Cool until they are easy to handle.

Scoop out all the flesh. Blend with a hand blender or a food processor.

After I have blended the pumpkin, I spoon it in freezer boxes to freeze. Pumpkin freezes very well. You do have to plan ahead and have it thawed for baking.

Just look at these piles of neck pumpkins….can you image the amount of pumpkin puree these would make?

photo compliments of Eileen Horning—who is my sister!

Preserving Pumpkin–Canning or Freezing

Cuisine American
Keyword Preserving pumpkin
Author Glenda Groff

Ingredients

  • neck pumpkins, butternut squash, pie pumpkins, or any kind of meaty pumpkin

Instructions

  1. To Pressure Can Pumpkins: Cut pumpkins in pieces and peel the skin. Dice pumpkin into cubes. Pack the raw cubes tightly into quart jars. Wipe the rim of the jar with a damp paper towel. Add lids and rings. Directions for using a Presto Pressure Canner: Fill the canner with 3 quarts water. Add the filled jars. Turn on lid. Adjust your burner to high. Allow the steam to flow form the vent for 7 minutes. Add weight. When pressure is at the correct pressure set your timer for 90 minutes for quarts and 55 minutes for pints. You will need to keep lowering your heat to keep the pressure at 11 psi. When the time is up turn off heat. Allow the canner to cool and the pressure to go to zero. Remove jars. Allow to cool for 24 hours. Check seals. Store in a cool dark pantry. These will keep for a year or more.

    To Freeze Pumpkin: Cut the pumpkin into large pieces. Lay pieces in a large roasting pan. Roast at 350 degrees F. until pumpkin is fork tender. Remove form the oven and allow to cool. Scoop pumpkin flesh out of shell. Blend until smooth. Freeze in freezer boxes or bags.

Pumpkin Recipes:

You can even start your day with pumpkin in pancakes. These Pumpkin Pancakes are so delicious with just a bit of maple syrup or any on-plan syrup!

Do you want an easy to make pie? Try this crust-less Pumpkin Cheesecake Pie … it is so good and you won’t even miss the crust.

Don’t have enough of energy to make a pie? Try these Pumpkin Pie Bars! So easy to do and they taste just like pumpkin pie with out all the work of a pie!

Sourdough stars in this No-knead Pumpkin Sourdough Bread. You don’t have to bake it shaped like a pumpkin but it is fun to do. This bread smells amazing while it is being baked. Serve this bread with Curried Pumpkin Bisque.

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls bring a new twist to “cinnamon rolls”. These are so tasty. The pumpkin and cinnamon go so well together.

cupcake

If you want to win someone over to sugar-free, low carb baking this is the recipe to try. These Pumpkin Cream Cheese Cupcakes will score big every time.

This post has affiliated links, if you purchase items through these links, I receive a small commission but your price doesn’t change. Your purchase help support this blog, keeps new recipes coming, and assist with our move to a mission outreach of our church. Below are a few of my favorites listed under the affiliate store I purchase them.

Amazon

Presto 01781 23-Quart Pressure Canner and Cooker

The Presto Pressure Canner is what I have been using for years. They are so very easy to use and require little maintenance. I replace the over-pressure plug and sealing ring every 2-3 years for safety reasons.

The All American Pressure Canner is a very durable canner. It is more expensive but you will not need to replace any sealing rings and lugs. Your initial cost will be more but you will recoup it since you don’t have any extra expensive.

Canning Tools
Nordic Ware Natural Aluminum Commercial Baker's Half Sheet (2 Pack), Silver

Baking Sheets

The Original Vidalia Chop Wizard

This is one of my favorite kitchen tools…The Vidalia Onion Chopper. You can quickly cube pumpkin to can using this chopper.

The Trim Healthy Mama Store has wonderful products. Here is my affiliate link if you wish to use it. Trim Healthy Mama Store.

Trim Healthy Mama Store

You will find many more recipes in the spiral bound 600+ page Around the Family Table Cookbook. All recipes are sugar-free and label with the correct fuel. Books can be purchased using this link.  We have now added additional items to our store… Sourdough Starter Kits and more. Buy It Now.

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