How to preserve pumpkins

In every season, it’s fruits! If in summer we have fun among the colors of salads, tomatoes, and courgettes, in autumn it is time for warm and enveloping colors. And what’s hotter than pumpkin colors? In this period she is the queen of the garden, everyone knows her, many appreciate her flavor and many ask themselves: “and now what do I do with all these pumpkins?”. Yes, because when the pumpkin grows, it does not discount anyone.

So let’s see together how to get the best out of the harvest and how to best preserve the pumpkin.

Pumpkin is the autumn vegetable par excellence. With its warm and cheerful colors in this period, it can be used in a thousand ways in the kitchen to prepare sweet and savory recipes and, if in a decoration version, therefore not edible, it can be used to create many Halloween-themed decorations, now just around the corner.

There are different shapes, round, with an elongated shape, with a rippled appearance, and the most disparate colors, ranging from green to brown to the unmistakable orange color. Some pumpkins are not edible, while others are so beautiful to look at that many people try to keep them as long as possible to be able to use them as decoration, as a centerpiece, or to make the classic carved pumpkins.

To grow the pumpkin takes a lot of space in the garden, but if you decide to try your hand at this project, you will not miss the satisfaction. If you are lucky you could collect dozens of them, of all sizes. But don’t worry; Unlike many other vegetables, pumpkin should not be consumed immediately, or rather, no one forces you to do so. On the contrary, this vegetable can be easily preserved according to different types.

If you decide to open the pumpkin, cut it and eat it immediately, then yes, you don’t have many days to spare. You will have to keep it in the refrigerator and cook it in a short time. But if you want to keep it you have many possibilities to choose from, in addition to the advantage of being able to keep the pumpkin even for several months.

Store the pumpkin

Whole squash can be stored for a long time, even for six months.  What matters is to keep it in the right place and make sure it has matured to the right point before picking it up

Whole squash can be stored for a long time, even for six months. What matters is to keep it in the right place and make sure it has matured to the right point before picking it up. Otherwise, if it is still a bit unripe, the water inside it could cause it to rot very soon.

When harvesting the pumpkin it is very important not to remove the stalk but to leave it attached to the pumpkin. If you tear it you could damage the rind and leave a part of the pulp exposed to the open air. And even in this case, the risk of rot is around the corner.

Where to store the pumpkin

Pumpkin must be kept in a warm place. If you put it in the cold, it is very likely that it will crystallize and, consequently, the whole vegetable will decompose in a short time. The ideal temperature for storing pumpkin is 10 degrees. The home environment, therefore, is fine. No balcony and no refrigerator, but a slightly humid and possibly ventilated place.

How long does the pumpkin last

A whole pumpkin can be stored for months starting with the fall harvest. Let’s say that if you carefully follow all the indications to preserve this vegetable at its best, you could preserve it at least until late spring. Everything also varies according to the type of pumpkin. In nature there are several and there are some that are better suited to be preserved precisely because they last a long time.

Cut the pumpkin and then keep it

We have said that a whole pumpkin can last a long time, but once it is opened you will have to consume it quite quickly, say in a week, otherwise in a few days you risk making it go bad. To avoid waste it is good to organize yourself and, above all, if you have collected a lot of pumpkins, understand what to do with them before opening them all.

The first thing to do if you have collected a lot of pumpkins is to give them away! Don’t be stingy, distribute the pumpkins among family, relatives, and friends and you will make them happy. After all, a cultivated pumpkin certainly doesn’t taste like one bought at the supermarket. Seeing is believing!

With those that remain, you can decide whether to keep them whole or cut them. Arm yourself with a lot of patience and a sturdy, sharp knife, because cutting the pumpkin can become one of those nerve-wracking operations. So calm down, cool, and go with the cut!

First, remove the internal filaments and seeds and then the rind. And remember that the seeds are edible, so by opening many pumpkins you could make a good feast, then toast them or use them to dress salads or to flavor vegetables.

If you cut the pumpkin into small pieces you have two options; the first is to keep it in the refrigerator but remember, as we said before, that this is a temporary solution and that within a week you will have to cook that pumpkin. The second is to keep the squash pieces you cut in the freezer. Just place them in a container, or in the special freezer bag, and for a few months, you will have a frozen pumpkin ready to use just in case.

When you feel like eating it, all you have to do is defrost it, dip it for a few minutes in a pot with hot water and that’s it! And it is not necessary to cook the pumpkin before you can freeze it: you can freeze the cubes cut directly as they are. More comfortable than that!

Alternative ideas

The pumpkin or eat it immediately, or keep it in the refrigerator for a few days or freeze it. But the possibilities are not over, because there are also many other alternative ways to preserve this vegetable. All you need to do is work a little!

For example, have you ever tasted dried pumpkin? All fruit and vegetables can be dried, all you need is the appropriate tool, the dryer. Anything that is dried can be used to flavor vegetables or to prepare minestrone.

Then there is the canned option, which does a lot of countryside and home. You can put the pumpkin in oil and pickle in the special jars et voilà … other preserves for the winter to add to the pantry. You can try a couple of jars, offer them on the table and test the waters to see if such a solution can be appreciated.

And finally, the pumpkin jam. Pumpkin has a soft and spongy texture, a neutral flavor that makes it the perfect ingredient to prepare sweet or savory dishes, so why not try making a pumpkin jam or a sauce to accompany cheeses or meat?

To you the choice! Choose the solution that best suits you, gives pumpkins in quantity, freeze them, dries them, cooks them for the whole family. What matters is not to throw anything away and not to waste even an ounce of what nature gives us!

What matters is finding the best solution to keep the pumpkin at its best without wasting it. In the vegetable garden, the pumpkin often gives its best and grows in abundance, so it is always better to be prepared to avoid waste and to avoid finding yourself with a huge amount of pumpkins to throw away because by now they are going bad. So, take note!