A healthy body is considered a real treasure for a person who leads an active lifestyle. To constantly maintain it, you need vitamins, and freezing pumpkins for the winter is a wonderful opportunity to stock up on them. As you know, the fruit is well preserved in the basement, provided that it does not have scratches, cracks and a dry root is present. But not everyone can afford such a luxury. In a city apartment, it is quite difficult to store large fruits. And when cut, they quickly deteriorate and lose their valuable properties. How to solve this problem in the best way? We learn what experts say.
Pumpkin freezing for the winter: competent product preparation
For a long time, gardeners valued the unique pumpkin fruit for its useful properties, excellent taste and external beauty. It contains a whole arsenal of vital elements for the body:
- vitamins of group B, C, E, D.
Therefore, reasonable housewives try to serve the fruit as often as possible for a family meal. Often they think: is it possible to freeze a pumpkin for storage in order to cook various dishes from it in winter. Experienced chefs confirm the effectiveness of this method. The main thing is to make blanks in accordance with the accepted rules.
So that the slices of the vegetable do not stick together during storage, they should be folded into small bags or containers. So much more convenient to use the product for cooking.
There are several options for freezing bright vegetables for the winter, which are practiced by true connoisseurs of healthy fruit. Some housewives cut it into pieces, put it in plastic bags, and then put it in the freezer. Unfortunately, the product is watery and is suitable only for making mashed potatoes. Experts advise freezing the pumpkin for the winter in three variations:
- raw product
This approach allows you to determine in advance for what purpose the semi-finished product will be used:
- pie filling,
- baby food,
When the goal is set, you can begin to freeze pumpkins for the winter at home and the first step is the preparatory work.
The right fruit is the key to success
First, a sufficiently ripe product of any kind is chosen. It must meet the requirements of:
- small size
- elongated shape
- no visible cracks,
- lack of darkening
- without dents
- dry root
- bright orange flesh color,
- pleasant aroma.
Then it is thoroughly washed under running water to eliminate residual soil or debris. With a sharp knife, the vegetable is cut in half. Remove seeds with fibrous pulp. Wipe the formed funnels with a kitchen towel or napkin.
It is advisable to wash the seeds, dry and eat them raw on an empty stomach. This is a wonderful method of dealing with worms.
Raw product slicing methods
Depending on the selected method of procurement, cutting is done. Some housewives doubt whether it is possible to freeze a pumpkin with a peel to increase the volume of the product. Experienced culinary specialists noticed that in its raw form it is very tough, so it is better to remove it. To do this, cut the pumpkin into several parts and carefully peel it. Then they chop:
- long stripes
- on a coarse grater.
Each hostess chooses an option that is suitable for her winter menu.
Raw fruit freezing
The first step is to peel the vegetable. Dice in various sizes. If the workpiece is made for filling pies, small options will work. For the preparation of hot dishes, large sizes are allowed. Then they are laid out on a countertop or cutting board covered with cling film. When the cubes dry out a bit, they are sent to the freezer. After 30 minutes, the finished product is transferred to bags or special containers. Grated pumpkin is packed and immediately placed in a chamber with a temperature of –18 ° C.
Bags with a grated product should be signed. When frozen, they are very similar to carrots.
A boiled product for all occasions
Young mothers should know how to freeze a pumpkin for the winter to feed small children. Since this product is an important ingredient for kids, you need to cook it in such a way as to preserve the beneficial elements. To do this, pumpkin is boiled in the following ways:
- Boil water in a large container. Dip the slices there for a few minutes. When they are softened, immediately take out.
- Microwave heat treatment. Pieces of vegetable are placed in special dishes. Set maximum power and cook for 15 minutes.
- Use of a double boiler. For a quarter of an hour, the product is kept over steam. Ready pumpkin is put in a colander so that water leaves it.
Whatever cooking method is used, the main thing is to bring the fruit to a mild state. After that, it is crushed to a homogeneous consistency, laid out in sachets, cups or small containers. The cooled blanks are placed in the freezer.
It is advisable to freeze a pumpkin for winter to feed children in small containers in order to rationally spend the product.
Storage of baked “queen” vitamin
As you know, pumpkin cooked in this way is considered a particularly useful product. Even in frozen form, it does not lose its properties. Bake the fruit in two ways: cubes or slices. In the first case, you need to remove the peel, in the second - the product is cleaned after heat treatment.
Finished pumpkin is crushed using a blender, pusher or table fork. Puree is laid out in small forms or silicone cups.
Try filling out ice cream molds with pumpkin puree. After freezing, unpack the prepared cubes in dense plastic bags.
Cooking delicious pumpkin frozen treats
Before proceeding with the preparation of the amber fruit, you must properly defrost the ingredient. There are several basic rules:
- slices of pumpkin immediately dipped in boiling water,
- the finished mashed potatoes are placed on the lower tier of the refrigerator for several hours,
- a homogeneous mass of vegetables is thawed in the microwave,
- grated product is added at the very end of cooking.
Consider the popular recipes for frozen pumpkins for the winter, which are offered by experienced chefs.
The dish is often served for breakfast or dinner. It is distinguished by excellent taste and aroma. For cooking, you will need the ingredients:
- 0.5 kg of frozen pumpkin,
- juicy apples (200 g),
- chicken eggs (2 or 3 pieces),
- semolina (100 g),
- granulated sugar (tablespoon),
- butter (150 g),
- a pinch of baking soda
- salt according to the preference of the cook.
First you need to figure out how to cook frozen pumpkin for casserole to get an excellent treat. To do this, it is placed in hot water and boiled until soft. Then the liquid is drained, salt is added and kneaded with a crush.
Grated apples, butter, semolina, soda are put in the cooled puree. After that, the ingredients are mixed and poured with beaten eggs with sugar. The prepared slurry is transferred to a baking dish covered with foil or special paper. Bake in the oven for about 30 minutes at a maximum temperature of 200 ° C.
Step by step recipe with photo
If you like bright and tasty pumpkin dishes, then you just need to freeze it for the winter, especially if there is no cellar or basement in which it can be stored. Pumpkin freezing for the winter is good for those who live in apartments and have a roomy freezer.
The pumpkin is not frozen completely, but with a sliced or chopped mass, so that after thawing you do not have to work with a cold product. In this recipe, we will consider the workpiece by cutting into cubes and chopped mass. You can use pumpkin cubes for making stews, soups, compotes, for baking, etc. Ground mass - for casseroles, pancakes, pancakes, mashed potatoes for babies.
Choose a pumpkin by smell and color - the aroma of ripe pumpkin is similar to melon. We get either the whole fruit, or its excellent piece.
If you have a whole pumpkin, then cut it and peel it from seeds and internal pulp, and then peel it. If a separate fragment, then just cut off the peel from it. Rinse pumpkin pulp in water.
We cut half of it into plates, and the plates into medium-sized cubes.
Grind the second half of the pumpkin on a coarse or fine grater - who likes what size mass!
We will prepare the packages or containers and place the pumpkin cubes and the crushed mass separately in them. Tie the bags tightly or close the containers with lids and place them in the freezer for storage.
Pumpkin freezing for the winter is completed. The shelf life of frozen pumpkin is about 6 months. We will get it as we create delicious dishes, without defrosting.
Charlotte for dessert
For those who don’t know what can be made from frozen pumpkin, culinary offers a simple recipe for charlotte. To prepare it, you will need products:
- frozen pumpkin
- soda or baking powder,
- salt to taste.
In a separate container, ordinary charlotte dough is prepared. Next, the baking dish with high sides is covered with parchment. Slices of frozen pumpkin in raw form are laid at the bottom. Vegetables are poured with cooked dough. Bake in the oven at a temperature of approximately 180 ° C. Serve a dish for breakfast or dinner.
Practice shows that many dishes can be made from frozen pumpkin. The main thing is to inspire yourself, turn on your imagination and act. May there always be an amber “queen” of vegetables on the table — Her Majesty the “Pumpkin”.
How to choose the right pumpkin for freezing
Not all varieties are, of course, suitable for storage in a freezer. It is best suited for freezing oblong shaped pumpkins with a lot of dense orange pulp. The lighter the pumpkin inside, the worse it is stored - try to use such instances fresh. It is also necessary to ensure that the peel of the vegetable intended for harvesting by freezing is free from damage and stains. Any undetected rotting process in the freezer will continue and affect everything in the bag. So make sure your pumpkins are perfect. If you want to freeze directly from the garden, keep in mind that this is also a risk. Soak the fruit at room temperature for at least a week to evaporate excess moisture.
How to freeze grated pumpkin in a freezer
For the preparation of pumpkin pancakes and pies, grated pumpkin, by the way, will be necessary. Grate the peeled vegetable on a medium or coarse grater, place in a bag, release air from it, close it tightly and send it to the freezer.
A few tips for proper grated pumpkin freezing:
- choose fruits with dense pulp, not overripe,
- before rubbing, clean the inside of the pumpkin well,
- gently peel with a sharp knife,
- wash the pumpkin pulp and dry on a napkin,
- it is undesirable to make portions of grated pumpkin large,
- maximum in the package should be 500 grams of grated vegetable.
How to freeze pumpkin slices raw
Pumpkin in the form of mashed potatoes is not suitable for all dishes. If you need pumpkin cubes or slices, freeze them without prior heat treatment. The frozen pumpkin is stored in this way just fine, and the method is very simple. Let me remind you that the raw fruit for harvesting in the freezer should be uncut - a piece lying in the refrigerator will not work for freezing.
- chopped raw pumpkin flesh into small pieces or slices,
- dry with a paper towel or napkin,
- sprinkle in a single layer in a container for freezing or spread on a baking sheet,
- put in the freezer with the lowest possible temperature,
- after a few hours, remove the frozen pumpkin, pour into a storage container with a lid or in a bag with a zipper,
- send the pumpkin slices to the freezer for long-term storage,
- slices or cubes frozen in this way will not stick together.
What then to cook from them? The easiest recipe is to cook rice in a slow cooker until cooked, then add hot milk and frozen pieces of pumpkin. The program "Milk porridge" is included and after half an hour you have ready a delicious rice porridge with pumpkin. In the same way, you can cook pumpkin with millet. These dishes are very tasty and healthy for both adults and children.
Very tasty is stew or regular stew with the addition of pumpkins. You can use some branded recipes or just stew the same beef, for example, with the addition of various vegetables, including pumpkins. Do not be afraid of a specific taste - it will not be, but juiciness will appear, as well as a pleasant color of gravy. Be sure to add spices. By the way, garlic and red hot pepper are suitable for all meat dishes with a pumpkin component. Spices must be added at the very end of cooking, as well as fresh herbs, which in any case will not be superfluous. Meat that goes well with pumpkin is beef, veal, lamb, to a lesser extent pork, turkey and chicken. Goose and duck are best stuffed with pumpkin slices and baked, but the offal of any poultry with pumpkin sauce will be delicious. You can share your options for cooking meat with pumpkin in the comments.
How to freeze pumpkin for mashed soup
Sometimes it’s completely not time to fuss with pieces or graters. A large piece of pumpkin can be frozen for puree soup very simply - remove the peel and cut into arbitrary slices of approximately the same size. Wrap each slice in a plastic bag, tie it tightly, tighten the ends so that they do not come loose. Put it in the freezer and forget until the time comes to cook the soup. This is one of the easiest ways to freeze pumpkins.
How to freeze a pumpkin to feed a baby
Young mothers come in handy recipe for freezing pumpkins for feeding. This vegetable can be frozen both independently and in a mixture with other vegetables, for example, zucchini and carrots. Clean everything, dry it on a napkin, finely chop and freeze in small portioned bags with a clasp. When you are preparing the soup for the baby, put the vegetable freeze in the pan directly, without defrosting. Cook until cooked, chop the food with a blender if necessary.
Please do not forget that any vegetable or fruit complementary foods are introduced gradually into the baby’s diet. This also applies to pumpkin feeding - start adding it a little to the baby’s food, watch for stool, appetite, and skin condition. You can switch to a full-fledged nutrition of pumpkin dishes no earlier than in a month (and preferably in 2-3) of the gradual introduction of this vegetable to the menu.
How to freeze pumpkin for desserts
In some cases, it is convenient to freeze pieces of pumpkin with sugar, while the shelf life of vegetable freeze is increased, because granulated sugar is an excellent preservative. You can use a sweet pumpkin for any desserts, pastries, and even sweet milk porridges.
- prepare capacious containers from food plastic with a cover,
- cut the pumpkin pulp into medium-sized cubes,
- dry on a napkin for 15-20 minutes,
- put the slices in a container, pouring sugar,
- for every 500 grams of pumpkin cubes, take 1 cup of sugar,
- fill the containers not to the top so that you can shake the contents,
- cover each container tightly
- shake the slices of pumpkin mixed with sugar,
- put in the freezer.
How to freeze mashed baked pumpkin
Pumpkin puree can be used as a complementary food for a child or a base for dessert. Freezing it is very simple.
- slice a piece of pumpkin along with the peel,
- bake in the oven at 160 degrees for about an hour,
- peeled and baked pumpkin, softened and chopped with a blender,
- pour the finished puree into plastic cups,
- wrap each glass with a film and freeze.
Dear friends, we tried very hard in the process of writing this article. But maybe they didn’t tell about some kind of method? We look forward to your feedback and comments in the comments. And do not forget, please, take our tips and freeze a delicious, healthy, unique pumpkin!