Pumpkin puree is a delicious ingredient that you can use in both savory and sweet dishes. If you have some leftover pumpkin puree, you might be wondering what to do with it. Can you freeze pumpkin puree?
Pumpkin puree is one of those ingredients that you can easily freeze for later use. However, you need to use the right freezing method to make sure that it stays fresh. Before you store pumpkin puree in the freezer, you’ll need to transfer it to an airtight freezer bag or plastic container.
In this article, I’ll show you a quick and easy method to freeze pumpkin puree along with the correct defrosting techniques. I’ll also share some ways to use your leftover pumpkin puree to prevent food waste.
Freezing Pumpkin Purée: Quick Method
Keep in mind that pumpkin puree starts to lose its original flavor pretty quickly. If it has been out for too long (over two hours), it may begin to taste sour and smell bad and won’t be safe to freeze. So, make sure it’s still fresh and use the steps listed below to freeze it.
Step 1: Divide Pumking Purée into Small Portions
The first step is to start portioning the leftover pumpkin puree. The size of portions depends on the recipes you’ll be making after thawing the puree. For example, if you’re planning to make pumpkin pie filling or pumpkin bread, you can make portions weighing 12 to 15 ounces.
But if you want to make pumpkin soup or batter for muffins, then each portion should be about 1/2 cup. You can also fill ice cube trays with pumpkin puree if you like pumpkin smoothies.
Step 2: Place The Pumpkin Purée into Freezer Bags
After dividing the pumpkin puree into portions, add each portion to a separate freezer bag. However, if you’re using an ice cube tray, you’ll need to flash freeze it for two to three hours before transferring the puree ice cubes to freezer bags.
Using an ice cube tray to store pumpkin puree in the freezer long-term isn’t safe. It’ll lead to freezer burn, and your puree won’t be safe to use in any recipe. Don’t forget to press out excess air from each freezer bag before sealing it.
Step 3: Label and Freeze The Purée
Once you have transferred the pumpkin puree to freezer bags, use a marker to label each bag with the current date. Freeze all the plastic bags and make sure your freezer’s temperature is 32 degrees Fahrenheit or below.
You can use this method to freeze both homemade and canned pumpkin puree safely. If you’re working with puree can(s), make sure that you open it/them and transfer the puree to an airtight plastic container or freezer bag.
Never store an unopened puree can in the freezer. It’ll break at the seams as the puree freezes and expands, which will create a mess in your freezer.
How to Thaw Pumpkin Purée
The following are the best methods that you can use to thaw pumpkin purée.
Using a Refrigerator To Thaw Pumpkin Purée
The best method to defrost frozen pumpkin puree is to place it in the refrigerator overnight. It’s a time-consuming process, but the slow thaw prevents microbes from multiplying quickly and keeps the puree fresh, healthy, and tasty.
This method comes in handy if you’re making pumpkin pie, cake, or any other recipe that calls for pumpkin puree in semi-liquid form.
Thawing Pumpkin Purée in Cold Water
If you don’t have enough time to defrost frozen pumpkin puree overnight in the fridge, you can use cold water. You only need to place the freezer bag/container in a big bowl of cool water for about an hour.
Change out the water a couple of times over the course of the hour when it gets too cold in order to keep things moving along. Only place the container in cool water as hot water will thaw the puree unevenly and may allow bacteria to form.
Using The Stovetop To Thaw The Purée
It’s possible to defrost frozen pumpkin puree on a stovetop. You’ll need to place a non-stick skillet on the stove and set the burner to low to medium heat.
After that, place the puree on the skillet and let it heat for a couple of minutes while stirring continuously. It’s not the best method, but it thaws the puree quickly.
Microwave: Defrosting Pumpkin Purée
If you’re extremely short on time and need to thaw pumpkin puree within minutes, there’s no better option than using the microwave.
You’ll need to set your microwave to 50 percent power or on defrost mode and microwave the pumpkin puree for about 30 to 50 seconds.
Keep in mind that the microwave can dry out the puree. In such a case, you’ll need to add one or two tablespoons of water to it to achieve the desired consistency.
How to Use Thawed Pumpkin Puree
If you freeze and defrost pumpkin puree using the methods discussed above, you’ll be able to use it pretty much the same way you use fresh homemade or canned pumpkin puree.
It means you can add it to all of your pumpkin puree recipes without making any changes. You can also use your thawed puree in most recipes that call for butternut squash.
How Long Can You Freeze Pumpkin Puree?
Pumpkin puree remains edible for one week in the refrigerator and up to 12 months in the freezer if you freeze it correctly. Although it won’t go bad, it’ll start to lose its original taste after six months.
So, I recommend you use your frozen pumpkin puree within three to six months to enjoy the best taste.
How to Use Leftover Pumpkin Puree
If you have leftover pumpkin puree in a small amount and you don’t want to freeze it, you can use it in the following recipes.
- Use it in your latte along with nutmeg, ginger, and cinnamon to spice things up.
- Add it to your favorite pancake recipe with a dash of maple syrup and pumpkin spice.
- Give a new flavor to your milkshake by blending pumpkin puree with milk and vanilla ice cream.
- Add a few tablespoons of your pumpkin puree to your favorite smoothie to enjoy the amazing taste along with its health benefits.
Freezing Pumpkin Puree – Final Words
Pumpkin puree is a delicious food item that offers many health benefits, and it must never be wasted. The best way to preserve it is to store it in the freezer.
The best part about freezing pumpkin puree is that you can use it the same way you use the fresh puree in your favorite recipes.