Growing pumpkin is relatively easy and depending on the type you are growing, each one can yield quite a bit. Freezing pumpkin puree is a good way to save money on food if you use canned pumpkin frequently, and if you aren’t picky about the type of pumpkin you are freezing.
Having had to be pretty tight with my budget over the past 30 years (save for the past 6), I’ve picked up a lot of different ways to save money on food.
The key to saving money on pumpkin puree is to grow your own pumpkins. The yield that you will get from you garden will likely be higher than if you bought pumpkins at the store–especially if you are buying before Halloween.
Still, if you buy the largest Halloween pumpkins you can, you will most likely get more puree than if you bought store-bought canned pumpkin for the price. And make sure not to discount the idea of buying them after Halloween if you can find them!
Freezing Pumpkin Puree Properly
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Cut around the top of the pumpkin, removing the stem. Cut pumpkin in half.
- Scoop all seeds and stringy stuff out of the pumpkin. Cut pumpkin halves in pieces. Scrape pieces until clean (if necessary).
- Put pumpkin pieces on baking sheets (a tall sided baking sheet works best). Fill the bottom of baking sheets with about a half-inch of water, and carefully set in the oven. (You may feel safer putting the baking sheets into the oven before pouring the water.)
- Set aside your pumpkin seed gunk if you would like to roast your seeds later. You can put it in a plastic bag in the fridge if you need a few days to get to those.
- Bake, checking every 30 minutes until fork-tender. This will take a while. The pumpkin halves are done when you can easily stick a fork through the skin and the flesh inside is tender.
- Once pumpkin is cooked, cut off the rind and dice in 1-inch (or so) cubes. Fill your blender about halfway and add water so that it is even with the top of the pumpkin pile. Blend and freeze in 2-cup portions.
- Use in your favorite recipe that calls for pumpkin puree!