Freezing Pumpkin & Roasting Pumpkin Seeds

pumpkin freezing

I’m taking a short intermission from corn recipes to put some pumpkin in the freezer. There are 2 recipes I make that call for pumpkin and I like to have it on hand-especially during the holidays.

First up-prepping the pumpkin makes a huge mess-or at least it does when I do it-so I usually spread out some newspaper to catch most of it. I rinse off the outside of the pumpkin before I start cutting.

Once I have it cut into pieces-I try for quarters but never succeed-I scrape out all the strings and seeds-making sure to save the seeds for roasting.

I used to cut the pumpkin up into small cubes and boil it-till I realized baking it was so much easier-no struggling to cut small pieces of hard pumpkin and peel them. I place the large pieces in a cookie tray or roasting pan pour some water (about a cup) around them and bake at 350 till they are done. It takes a while, after about 45 minutes-I start checking to see if they are soft yet.

Once the pumpkin has cooked-I scrape it from the shell into a bowl and mash it with a potato masher-you can also use a food processor if you want yours really smooth.

Next I freeze it in portions-since I typically only use pumpkin in 2 recipes I freeze it in those amounts.

While surfing around this morning I read where many folks rub the pieces of pumpkin with oil before baking them-I guess that prevents any browning that might occur. Also-many folks let the cooked pumpkin drain through a colander to get all the liquid out before freezing.

To roast the seeds-wash the gunk off of them-dry on paper towels-place them on an oiled/buttered cookie sheet and stir to coat-roast at 350 for 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Before roasting you can sprinkle them with salt and/or any other spice you like. Store in an airtight container.

The 2 recipes I use pumpkin for are Granny’s Pumpkin Pie and The Deer Hunter’s favorite-Pumpkin Roll. What about you-make anything with pumpkin in it?




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  • Reply
    Jay Henderson
    November 20, 2009 at 10:08 pm

    Roasted pumpkin seeds are, for me, the best part of the pumpkin. Don’t much care for pumpkin pie and such, but I’ll wash and roast all the seeds anyone cares to give me. Squash seeds, too. In Mexico roasted squash and pumpkin seeds are called pepitas, which are very popular.

  • Reply
    November 17, 2009 at 6:21 am

    This year my child carved the 5 pumpkins she grew herself. We saved the seeds. I told her that made those jack-o-lanterns all the more special and next year’s crop would be even better! I just found your blog (newspaper article)but will be reading it from now on. I returned to my own Appalachian roots not too long ago, had a disastrous year with the garden (blight killed nearly everything but the pumpkins)and am trying to get back in the grove of life in these hills of Virginia.

  • Reply
    My Carolina Kitchen
    November 15, 2009 at 8:01 am

    Tipper, this sounds well worth the work involved. Isn’t it great to use old family recipes? It’s so important to pass them on to your girls as you do.

  • Reply
    November 14, 2009 at 5:35 pm

    I’ve never frozen pumpkin myself, but I do roast the seeds~we all love them! I like your idea of baking rather than boiling. Maybe next year if we have a good crop, I’ll give it a try!

  • Reply
    Brenda Kay Ledford
    November 14, 2009 at 1:43 pm

    This sounds like a great recipe. I’ve never roasted pumpkin seed, but may just try this for Thanksgiving. I need to get my pumpkin pies baked for Thanksgiving. Thanks for visiting my blog. Maybe I’ll see you all at the Pumpkin Chunking at Hayesville.

  • Reply
    Fishing Guy
    November 14, 2009 at 9:02 am

    Tipper: Roasting a pumpkin and the seeds put some great odors into the house. That smell really says Fall and Thanksgiving.

  • Reply
    Just Jackie
    November 14, 2009 at 8:50 am

    I’ve got a wonderful pumpkin bread recipe that’s always a hit. I got it off the back of a storybook I got for my kids over 35 years ago. (I’ll give you a copy next time I see you.) I made 9 small loaves for a get together last week and came home with only crumbs. Yummy !! I’m going to tell my son about this post…he wants to make a “real” pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving. You always inspire !!!

  • Reply
    November 14, 2009 at 8:32 am

    Nothing in my plans for pumpkin this season…but the roasted seeds sure sound good! I love them.

  • Reply
    Kendra at New Life On A Homestead
    November 13, 2009 at 10:07 pm

    I’m gonna be canning pumpkin this week for the first time ever. I wanna can some pumpkin pie filling. And we’ll have to roast the seeds too, yummy!!!

  • Reply
    November 13, 2009 at 7:44 pm

    You make it look so very delicious.

  • Reply
    November 13, 2009 at 4:10 pm

    You make pumpkin saving look so easy. I tried Judy’s pumpkin bread, it is the best I’ve ever had. Get the recipe here:

  • Reply
    November 13, 2009 at 3:30 pm

    I froze pumpkin this year for the first time. I used those ‘free’ pumpkins I got at Kroger’s. I love pumpkin pie and pumpkin rolls. I made pumpkin muffins and they are very good, I just put the recipe on my blog.

  • Reply
    November 13, 2009 at 3:20 pm

    I always make pumpkin pies for Thanksgiving and Christmas, my grandson loves them. Last year, I made a pumpkin cheese cake. It was really good, and I’ve eaten pumpkin roll, but never made one.
    I made pumpkin butter last year. I got too much spice in it for my taste, so gave most of it away.

  • Reply
    November 13, 2009 at 3:01 pm

    I have lots of pumpkin put up for pies and other things I have yet to try. I’m looking forward to the new recipes I’m finding. The recipes your readers have mentioned here are making my mouth water!
    Thanks for the shout out, Tipper!!!

  • Reply
    November 13, 2009 at 1:17 pm

    I’ve never put up pumpkin because I don’t have much freezer space. I have recently made a new recipe with pumpkin that we liked. Mix one chocolate cake mix with one can pumpkin and bake. Don’t add anything else, just bake. Frost with chocolate icing. It’s delicious, moist, you don’t taste the pumpkin but you do get the fiber, and you don’t get the calories from oil and eggs. blessings, marlene

  • Reply
    barbara gantt
    November 13, 2009 at 12:48 pm

    WE love pumpkin bread and pies. Also have had a pumpkin crisp. I cooked and froze 4 pumpkins with one more to cook.

  • Reply
    A Joyful Chaos
    November 13, 2009 at 12:38 pm

    We love pumpkin rolls and pumpkin pie.

  • Reply
    November 13, 2009 at 12:16 pm

    I always look forward to roasting pumpkin seeds every October, it is for sure a part of autumn.

  • Reply
    Elizabeth Westmark (Beth)
    November 13, 2009 at 12:11 pm

    I enjoyed the photos, description and also Miss Cindy’s story! My grandson, Alex, is 13 now. He has always loved pumpkin pie and also gingerbread. Thanks to reading this post, my brain is generating warm pumpkin pie smells for me. Thanks! 🙂

  • Reply
    November 13, 2009 at 11:36 am

    Yes, I did pumpkins too. My granddaughter helped roast the seeds. I love fresh roasted pumpkin seeds.

  • Reply
    Sheila Bergeron
    November 13, 2009 at 11:30 am

    I am in the process of putting up a pumpkin now. I bake mine just like you and this year I grated some to interchange with zuchini recipes. I stewed some last night for my supper. I love this vegetable so much! What pumpkin roll recipe do you use? My twins wanted one this year-I have no idea how.(hint, hint) Have blessed day cause you know it’s Friday the 13th.

  • Reply
    November 13, 2009 at 9:36 am

    Pumpkin is a staple at our house this time of year. A couple of weeks ago I posted a recipe for Pumpkin Black Bean Chili that is super good; Pumpkin Cranberry Bread will be in the oven this weekend; pumpkin pie and pumpkin delight our favorites; a pumpkin sausage pot pie was gobbled right up awhile back. YES! We cook with pumpkin and freeze my own as well.

  • Reply
    November 13, 2009 at 8:48 am

    As my freezer space is at a premium, I can my pumpkin and squash using a pressure canner. It gets used up in pies, breads, muffins and cakes. Canning is more initial work but then you get to admire all those pretty jars!

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    November 13, 2009 at 8:45 am

    Hey Tipper, your gonna love this story…..a couple of weeks ago I was out doing my daily walk in the neighborhood where I live. I was not far from home, not even half way to the lake. I came upon a very tall( 6’5″ or so) thin young man with blond hair getting out of this very old and worn small truck with a small trailer attached to the back, with some boxes on it. He said “Hi, would you like some vegetables, I work on an organic farm in Madison county. We are at the end of the season and plowing the fields.” His name was Blue. I told him I’d love some vegetables but had no money with me. He said that was ok he just hated to see the food plowed under. So he opened his boxes, that were bungee strapped to the trailer to keep then from falling off, and gave me an Asian Pumpkin, a celeriac root. He also had potatoes. but I had nothing to put them in. The celeriac is a celery root he said was very good baked.
    Well, home I went with my goodies, courtesy of Blue. Blue does not live in my neighborhood but his girlfriend does! The Asian pumpkin was was small, as pumpkins go, about 8 inches across and a very deep pumpkin color. I processed it just as you described but froze it in chunks instead of mashing. The meat in it was very deep pumpkin color like the outside. It seemed to me to be very dense with no water to drain off. The seeds I saved for next summer. You get half of them and Saleh gets half. You also get the pumpkin that I put in the freezer. I think it will make a very good and pretty pie.
    Blue was correct the sliced baked celeriac was very tasty!
    I look for Blue’s truck every time I walk now so that I can thank him for the veggies and the adventure!
    So, to answer your question, yes, I have put up pumpkin this year.

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