Canning pumpkin puree isn’t recommended because its density interferes with proper heat penetration. An alternative is to cut and blanch 1-inch pumpkin cubes and hot-pack them into canning jars. Process the pumpkin in a pressure canner for 55-90 minutes. Canned pumpkins may be pureed immediately before use.
Can Pumpkin Puree Be Canned?
No- the USDA and other trusted sources warn against canning mashed or pureed pumpkin in a pressure canner or water bath canner. According to the National Center for Home Food Preservation, the variation in viscosity of this pureed vegetable means there is no universal canning recommendation for it.
Further, pumpkin puree is a low-acid food with a dense consistency. The thickness inhibits proper heat penetration, making it difficult to destroy botulism spores.Print
How to Freeze Pumpkin Puree
Freezing is a convenient method of preserving pumpkin puree or pumpkin butter for up to 6 months. The container chosen to freeze pumpkin puree will impact the method for freezing it.
1. Freezer Containers
- Once the pumpkin puree is prepared, set it aside to cool to room temperature.
- Pack the cooled puree in rigid, freezer-friendly, airtight containers, leaving ½-inch headspace.
- Seal the containers with airtight lids and label the containers before storing them in your freezer at 0°F.
2. Freezer Bags
- Pack prepared and cooled pumpkin puree into freezer bags.
- Squeeze the package gently to release air bubbles before sealing them.
- Flatten the puree on a baking sheet, lock the bags, and place them side by side in your freezer until they are frozen solid. This enables them to be stored flat and will reduce the amount of space they take.
- When ready to use the puree, remove the bags and let them thaw to room temperature on a kitchen counter.
3. Muffin Tins
- Pack pumpkin puree into muffin tins for smaller batches. One muffin tin holds approximately ½ a cup of puree.
- Smooth the puree with the top of a spoon to make a level surface.
- Place the muffin tin on an even surface in the freezer and freeze at 0°F until rock-hard.
- Remove the muffin tin from the freezer and invert it over a cutting board to release the frozen puree. Move the solid, muffin-shaped puree blocks into freezer containers or bags and keep them frozen until needed.
4. Ice Cube Trays
- Fill ice cube trays with pumpkin puree to make small portions of puree. 1 cube is equivalent to roughly 1-3 teaspoons of puree, depending on the ice cube tray size.
- Place the ice cube trays on an even surface in the freezer and freeze the cubes until solid.
- The pumpkin puree can be kept in the ice cube trays or removed and transferred into airtight, freezer-safe containers or freezer bags for proper storage.
How Long Can Pumpkin Puree Last in the Fridge?
Homemade pumpkin puree lasts for 3-5 days in the fridge. Opened cans of commercially-prepared pumpkin puree keep in the refrigerator for 5-7 days.
What are the Benefits of Canning Pumpkin?
- Canned pumpkin is a versatile ingredient for quick pumpkin pie, pumpkin bread, pumpkin banana smoothies, or coconut-pumpkin soup!
- Canning pumpkin is a safe way to save fresh pumpkins to enjoy all year long and reduce waste.
- Home canning pumpkin or butternut squash saves money as you can buy it in bulk from the grocery store.
- Pumpkin is an excellent source of proteins, zinc, carbohydrates, magnesium, fiber, vitamins, and minerals that help support a strong immune system.
How Long Does Canned Pumpkin Puree Last?
According to the USDA, commercially-canned goods will last for years as long as the can is in good condition (no rust, dents, or swelling). Homemade pumpkin puree isn’t shelf stable and should be refrigerated and eaten within five days or frozen and consumed within 3-6 months.
How to Store Cubed Canned Pumpkin
Store cubed canned pumpkin in a cool place with a temperature between 50-70 degrees Fahrenheit. Avoid storing canned pumpkins in direct sunlight as it can lead to spoilage.
What is the Shelf Life for Canned Pumpkin?
Canned pumpkin has a shelf life of up to 18 months. However, the NCHFP and USDA recommend a best-used-by date of one year for maximum flavor, texture, and nutrition of canned pumpkin.