Can you freeze a whole pumpkin?
In this brief guide, we’ll address the query: “Can you freeze a whole pumpkin?” Also, we’ll explore how pumpkin should be frozen, what happens if you freeze a whole pumpkin, what the nutritional content of pumpkin is and what are the health benefits of eating pumpkin.
Can you freeze a whole pumpkin?
It’s not recommended, though it is possible to freeze a whole pumpkin inside a chest freezer, as it is not practical.
Due to a pumpkin’s size and the amount of space it’ll take up, it wouldn’t be convenient to store a whole pumpkin inside a freezer.
Also, the frost may inflict freeze burns that damage the pumpkin’s surface, and freezing it whole would require thawing it out just to use a fraction of it.
Instead, many authors recommend cutting up the pumpkin and removing the rind, then storing the pieces in the freezer, as it economizes space and only requires thawing out of the portion that’ll be used in cooking.
How should pumpkin be frozen?
Depending on its later use, pumpkins can be frozen either cut into pieces or in purée.
Freezing it into cut pieces requires that the pumpkin’s rind is removed, and some authors suggest blanching it to preserve its flavor.
Blanching is when fresh vegetables are submerged in scalding water and then cooled beneath running or cold water, each for the same amount of time. The “shock” provided by the sudden change in temperatures, that’ll inactivate enzymes, will help food preserve its quality, taste, and texture
Cut pieces of pumpkin can be blanched and then placed inside quality freezer bags or inside containers that seal tightly, but can have air drawn out through a valve. Taking out as much air as possible reduces the risk of pumpkins suffering freeze burn.
Once stored, the cut pumpkin can then remain in a freezer for up to one year at peak freshness.
Freezing pumpkin purée requires that a whole pumpkin be cut into quarters, baked in a pan, and the flesh removed from the rind with some water and then mashed into pureé.
As it may still be hot from the oven, it’ll first have to be cooled down to room temperature before being jarred.
When jarring, at least one inch of airspace should be left under the lid, as once frozen, the purée will expand and push against the lid, generating pressure. Not having enough space may result in the jar cracking or even bursting.
Similarly to cut pumpkin pieces, purée can be stored frozen for up to one year.
Defrosting either can be done by letting them sit overnight in a refrigerator, at room temperature on the counter, or even placing them in a bowl of warm water a la bain-marie.
What happens if you freeze a whole pumpkin?
Storing a whole pumpkin at subzero temperatures will result in it suffering freeze burns and the entire pumpkin solidifying, which may complicate using portions of it down the line, as it’ll first have to be thawed out just to take a piece.
Unless the whole pumpkin is wrapped in cling wrap and then packaged in another impermeable wrapping, it’ll definitely suffer a loss of moisture, that’ll cause it to lose its flavor and texture, making it unappetizing.
We recommend preserving pumpkins in a freezer in a purée or cut-up presentation, as it makes rationing easier and economizes space.
What is the nutritional content of pumpkins?
A serving of 100 grams of pumpkin will provide:
- 56 calories
- 1.08 grams of protein
- 2.82 grams of fat
- 7.86 grams of carbohydrates – including 2.8 grams of dietary fiber, and 3.2 grams of sugar.
- 15 milligrams of sodium
Additionally, pumpkins may provide beta carotenes, potassium, phosphorus, zinc, copper, thiamin, riboflavin, Niacin, vitamins B-6, B-12, folate, vitamin A, vitamin E, lycopene, vitamin D, and vitamin K.
What are the health benefits of eating pumpkins?
Pumpkin is a healthy food, due to the many elements, vitamins, and nutrients it provides, and because it has few calories, fat, and sugars.
The vitamins it supplies can stimulate immune function, reduce damage from oxidative stress, and stimulate digestive health, as well as contribute to ocular health, skin health, heart health, and metabolic health.
There are many recipes for enjoying pumpkin that can easily be incorporated into weight loss dieting. Though to be clear, these benefits apply to harvested pumpkin, and not necessarily to canned, store bought pumpkin purée, which is often made with a cousin of pumpkins, known as sugar pumpkins.
Sugar pumpkins are smaller, sweeter, and processed by well-known brands that offer them as purée. They may not provide the same health benefits as harvested pumpkins, due to their high amounts of sugar.
Other FAQs about Pumpkin that you may be interested in.
In this brief guide, we’ve addressed the query: “Can you freeze a whole pumpkin?” Also, we’ve explored how pumpkins should be frozen, what happens if you freeze a whole pumpkin, what the nutritional content of pumpkin is and what are the health benefits of eating pumpkin.