How To Dehydrate Fresh Pumpkin To Use All Year Long

by Texas Homesteader ~ 

I like to dehydrate fresh pumpkin. It’s so easy to do, y’all. And unlike using the freezer, dehydrated pumpkin uses no additional energy to store. Come see what I did!

How to dehydrate pumpkin to use all year long! These fresh pumpkins won't be wasted and now can be stored in tiny jars in my pantry. #TexasHomesteader

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Fresh Pumpkin Harvest

Last year’s garden included a very robust pumpkin harvest! When the season was over I harvested all those pumpkins and brought them inside before the first frost. But there were just so many!

I gave several fresh pumpkins to family & friends and used the remaining pumpkins for fall decoration purposes. One by one I cooked & pureed the pumpkins, using them in my Pumpkin Granola or other dishes.

Orange pumpkins grouped together. #TexasHomesteaderBut here we are months later and I’m staring at those two remaining pumpkins. And RancherMan’s filled our freezer with so much wild pork that there’s no room to spare there.

But when providing that garden pumpkin starts with planting the seed, you make sure none is wasted! I decided to cook & dehydrate the two remaining pumpkins & store ’em in my pantry instead.

How To Cook Fresh Pumpkin In The Oven

I started off by cutting the pumpkin in half and scooping out the seeds and membranes.

Since these sugar-pie pumpkins are heirloom I typically save some of the seeds to replant next season in my garden.

After the pumpkins are cut & cleaned out it’s time to cook it up.

First I retrieve my large, vintage covered roaster. The two pumpkin halves are placed cut-side down in the roaster and I add a cup or two of water. This will steam the pumpkin to cook it.

To cook the pumpkin in the oven:

      • 350 degrees Fahrenheit,

      • 45 minutes.

I usually have plenty of time for pumpkin cooking. So instead I typically only cook for 30 minutes & then turn the oven off & let the pumpkin stay in the hot oven to soak up the residual heat until it’s cool to finish cooking.

Oftentimes if the sun is out I’ll use my Solar Oven to Cook The Pumpkin. It’s almost impossible to burn it in the moist environment of a solar oven, so I just put it out there for a couple of hours or so until it’s cooked soft. Then carry on with making the puree.

A covered enamel pot cooking food using FREE solar energy in my solar oven. #TexasHomesteader

How To Make Pumpkin Puree

When the pumpkin’s cool I pull the roaster from the oven & scrape the pumpkin meat from the shell.

You can use a heavy spoon but I love to use a large ice cream scoop. The scoop is heavy duty & there’s no fear in bending it if I get a little carried away scooping.

Does anyone else get a little heavy-handed when scooping pumpkin? 
No?  Just me?  Alrighty then!

Now I place that cooked pumpkin into my *Ninja Blender(have I mentioned how much I love that thing??!!) 

My Ninja Blender makes pureeing cooked pumpkin a snap. #TexasHomesteader

The Ninja will blend it all into a flawless smooth pumpkin puree in no time flat – no lumps!

Can You Dehydrate Cooked Pumpkin Puree?

You betcha! Dehydrating pumpkin puree is so easy!

I plop about 2 cups onto each *Paraflex Sheet for my Excalibur Dehydrator trays and spread it all smoothly.

You’re basically treating this puree the same as you would for Fruit Rollups.

How to dehydrate pumpkin to use all year long! These fresh pumpkins won't be wasted and now can be stored in tiny jars in my pantry. #TexasHomesteader

When all the puree has been smoothed onto trays I put them all into my *Excalibur Dehydrator and set the temp to 125 degrees. The pumpkin needs to dehydrate for about 12-14 hours.

So for convenience sake, if I’ve cooked the pumpkin during the day & pureed it at night I can turn the dehydrator on when I go to bed and let it do it’s thing all night.

That’s a lot of hands-off time and I’m lazy, errrr I mean efficient that way!

Dehydrate fresh garden pumpkin and store in the pantry all year long #TexasHomesteader

In the morning I peel off the sheets of dried puree and flip them over to make sure it dries properly on the underside too. Then I let it dehydrate for a few hours more.

All in all to fully dehydrate my pumpkin puree it took about 12 hours for me, but your dehydrator and even the relative humidity in your home could make your time slightly different.

You’re looking to dry the puree until it’s completely dry & brittle, crisp enough to break up easily.

How To Easily Powder Dehydrated Pumpkin

I break up the pieces and drop them into a *coffee grinder I reserve for just this task. A couple of pulses will grind the chunks until they’re once again perfectly powdered – no lumps!

Now that it’s dehydrated and powdered that whole pumpkin doesn’t even fill up a tiny 1/2-pint canning jar!

How To Rehydrate Dehydrated Pumpkin Powder

When it’s time to rehydrate my pumpkin powder for puree use I’ll simply boil some water (4:1 ratio water to pumpkin) and stir in some pumpkin powder.

Some say it needs 15-20 minutes standing time to rehydrate. But in my experience (I suppose because it’s so powdered) my dehydrated pumpkin powder rehydrates in minutes right as I’m stirring in the boiling water.

BOOM!  Pumpkin puree!

It’s a no-waste way to make sure that delightful pumpkin harvest is fully used.

~TxH~

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Tagged in Our favorite pumpkin posts. #TexasHomesteader  All our posts about food preservation - dehydrating, canning, freezing, etc. #TexasHomesteader  A list of our posts about cooking with the garden's harvest. #TexasHomesteader  Save money by dehydrating food. #TexasHomesteader  A complete list of all our zero-waste living articles. #TexasHomesteader

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8 thoughts on “How To Dehydrate Fresh Pumpkin To Use All Year Long

  1. Stephanie

    This is such a good idea. I tried it out last week and it came out great! I put a freshness packet in the jar just in case it was needed. I think I’m going to try this with kale, broccoli, and some other veggies and make my own greens powder.

    Reply
    1. Texas Homesteader Post author

      It sure makes it easy to make (and USE) fresh pumpkin in future months. And since RancherMan’s about to fill up our freezer, space in there is limited. Works great for us too. ~TxH~

      Reply
  2. Nana

    With four to one ratio of the mix would that be equal one can of store bought pumpkin? Or do you need to double the amount?

    Reply
    1. Texas Homesteader Post author

      It’s easy to rehydrate & use your dehydrated pumpkin. Simply rehydrate 4 parts water to 1 part pumpkin – to whatever amount you desire. (a 15-oz can of pumpkin puree is just under 2 cups. The larger 29-oz of pumpkin puree is about 3.5 cups) ~TxH~

      Reply
  3. Nana

    Nancy, I have been trying to read up the directions on rehydrating the pumpkin powder but my I pad won’t let me. I don’t know what I am doing wrong but I would like the directions so I can dehydrate my purée from the freezer. Can you help, please?

    Reply
    1. Texas Homesteader Post author

      Yessum, From the dehydrating pumpkin post: “Now I plop about 2 cups onto each *Paraflex Sheet for my Excalibur Dehydrator and spread it all smoothly. You’re basically treating this puree the same as you would for Fruit Rollups.

      When all the puree has been smoothed onto trays I put them all into my *Excalibur Dehydrator and set the temp to 125 degrees. The pumpkin needs to dehydrate for about 12-14 hours. So for convenience sake, if I’ve cooked the pumpkin during the day & pureed it at night I can turn the dehydrator on when I go to bed and let it do it’s thing all night. That’s a lot of hands-off time and I’m lazy, errrr I mean efficient that way!

      In the morning I peel the sheets of dried puree and flip it to make sure it dries properly on the underside too. Then I let it dehydrate for a few hours more. All in all about 12 hours for me, but your dehydrator and even the relative humidity in your home could make your time slightly different. You’re looking to dry the puree until it’s crisp enough to break up.

      But for me it’s about 12 hours in the dehydrator until the puree is completely dry & brittle.

      I break up the pieces and drop them into a *coffee grinder I reserve for just this task. A couple of pulses will grind the chunks until they’re once again perfectly powdered – no lumps!

      Now that it’s dehydrated and powdered that whole pumpkin doesn’t even fill up a tiny 1/2-pint canning jar!”

      Reply
  4. Nancy

    I wonder if it would be good to put some seasonings in it and make like a fruit roll-up. The little sugar pumpkin my other granddaughter brought home from school was Soo sweet, I don’t think it would need any sugar. Or make your own pumpkin spice oatmeal, with your powder….hmm I saved seeds from all the pumpkins so I may try it out this year.

    Reply
    1. Texas Homesteader Post author

      I made apple fruit rollups for the first time last fall with my aunt’s apples and they were delicious. I’d planned to make ‘pumpkin pie rollups’ just as you mentioned, adding the seasonings, etc. But RancherMan’s not a fan of pumpkin pie so I’d be eating them all myself. Hummmm…. I still plan to make some this fall & share ’em with the grandbabies to see how they like ’em. ~TxH~

      Reply

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