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Canning Pumpkin

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Canning pumpkin allows us to encapsulate the essence of fall, enabling us to savor the comforting taste of pumpkin even when it is out of season.

Close of a of canned pumpkin cubes.Pin
How to Can Pumpkin

What pumpkins to use

When it comes to canning pumpkins, choosing the right type is pivotal to ensure the safety and quality of the preserved product. Here’s a comprehensive guide to help you select the ideal pumpkin for canning:

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1. Choose “Pie” or “Sugar” Pumpkins

  • Size: Opt for small to medium-sized pumpkins, typically referred to as “sugar” or “pie” pumpkins. They usually weigh between 4 to 8 pounds.
  • Flavor & Texture: These pumpkins have a sweeter flavor and smoother, less fibrous texture, making them ideal for canning.
  • Flesh Thickness: Sugar pumpkins have denser flesh, yielding more pumpkin purée per pound compared to larger, carving pumpkins.

2. Avoid “Jack-O’-Lantern” Pumpkins

  • Large pumpkins used for carving, often referred to as “Jack-o’-lantern” pumpkins, are not suitable for canning. They have a more watery, stringy, and less flavorful flesh, which can lead to a bland final product.

3. Look for Mature Pumpkins

  • Select pumpkins that are fully matured. They should have a hard rind and a fully orange exterior, devoid of any green spots.
  • The stem should be firm and dry, which is usually an indicator of a fully matured pumpkin.

4. Inspect for Blemishes and Soft Spots

  • Choose pumpkins that are free of cuts, bruises, soft spots, or any signs of decay, as they can harbor bacteria, compromising the safety of the canned pumpkin.

5. Organic and Fresh is Best

  • If possible, choose organic pumpkins to avoid residual pesticides.
  • Preferably, use fresh pumpkins rather than store-bought pre-cut pumpkin pieces to minimize the risk of contamination.

What you need

For this recipe, you only need Pie Pumpkins, a pressure canner, canning tools, jars, lids, and bands.

Pumpkins on a black background.Pin
Fresh Pumpkins

How to can them

The most time-consuming part of canning pumpkins is cutting and peeling them. Use a very sharp knife.

Preparation Steps After Selection:

Once you’ve selected the right pumpkins, proper washing, cutting, removing seeds and stringy fibers, and cooking are crucial steps before canning. It’s important to follow the recommended guidelines and canning methods to ensure the preservation of nutritious and safe-to-consume pumpkin products.

Important Canning Note:

When canning pumpkin, the only safe method recommended is to can pumpkin cubes using a pressure canner, as pumpkin is a low-acid vegetable. It is unsafe to can mashed or puréed pumpkin at home due to the risk of botulism. Always follow established guidelines and use tested recipes to ensure the safety and quality of your canned pumpkin. This recipe is based on the National Center for Home Food Preservation guidelines.

Pre-Step

Wash your jars and lids with hot, soapy water. Rinse well. Step up your pressure canner with the amount of water recommended by the manufacturer. Turn your heat to low. Place the clean jars in the canning pot to warm. Heat the lids in warm water if your brand of lids recommends it.

Step One

Wash the pumpkin skins well on the outside.

Cut the pumpkins in half carefully. A large meat cleaver and a hammer will make quick work of this task.

Scrape out the seeds and the stringy pulp, botanically the endocarp.

Pumpkin cut in half, scraping out the seeds.Pin
Cut pumpkins in half. Scoop out seeds with a large spoon.

Step Two

Place the cut-side down on your cutting board.

Cut one-inch wide slices, as shown in the photo to the right.

Slicing the pumpkin.Pin
Slice pumpkin into 1 inch slices.

Step Three

Use a paring knife to cut the skin off of your one-inch slices.

This is the easiest way we’ve found to peel it.

You can use a vegetable peeler, but this way is much faster.

Cutting off the rind off of a slice of pumpkin.Pin
Cut off the rind with a paring knife.

Step Four

Cut each slice into 1-inch cubes after peeling.

1 inch pieces of pumpkin on cutting board.Pin
Cut the slice into 1-inch pieces.

Step Five

Heat a large pot with clean water to blanch the pumpkin cubes. Boil the water.

Once boiling, add pumpkin cubes in batches and blanch the pumpkin for 2 minutes, using a spider tool to remove the pieces and pack them into your warm jars, leaving a one-inch headspace.

Pumpkin cubes filled into jars.Pin
Filling jars with pumpkin cubes.

Step Six

Fill the jars with clean, boiling water, leaving one inch of headspace. Do not use the cooking liquid.

Tap the jars lightly on a board to remove air bubbles.

Wipe the rims of the jars clean with a damp paper towel.

Center the lid on the jar. Secure the bands finger-tip tight.

Wiping the rims clean.Pin
Wipe the rims with a damp towel.

Step Seven

Place the jars in your pressure canner.

Secure the lid. Turn up the heat and let the pot vent for a full ten minutes.

Add your weighted or dial-gauge regulator after 10 minutes have passed. See the recipe below for pressure adjustments for different altitudes.

Jars in the pressure canning pot.Pin
Place the jars in a pressure canning pot.

Once time has elapsed, remove the canner from the burner. Allow pressure to release naturally.

Once all of the pressure has been released, carefully open the lid and move it partially off the top of the canning pot. Let it rest like that for 5 minutes.

Then, remove the lid and allow the jars to rest another 5 to 10 minutes in the canning pot.

After resting, remove the hot jars to a kitchen towel placed on your counter and let them thoroughly cool for 12-24 hours, undisturbed.

Check the seals. Press down in the middle of the lid. If it flexes up or down, the jar is not sealed and should be refrigerated and used first.

Then, remove the bands. Gently pick the jar up by the lid to further check the seal. Again, if it is not sealed, use it first.

Label jars with contents and the date. Store in a cool, dark space.

How to use home-canned pumpkin cubes

Canned pumpkin cubes can be a versatile ingredient in your kitchen, allowing you to bring the autumnal warmth and nutrition of pumpkins to your table at any time of the year. Here are some creative and delicious ideas on how to use your canned pumpkin cubes:

Jars of canned pumpkin with a whole pumpkin in the background.Pin
  • 1. Pumpkin Soups and Stews:
    • The pumpkin cubes are the base for hearty and nutritious soups and stews, adding a rich, velvety texture and sweet, earthy flavor. Blend the cubes with broth and seasoning, and simmer with your choice of vegetables, protein, and spices.
  • 2. Pumpkin Purée:
    • Transform the canned cubes into smooth pumpkin purée, which can be used in an array of baking recipes, such as pies, pancakes, muffins, bread, and more. Blend the cubes with a bit of water or milk until smooth.
  • 3. Pumpkin Risotto or Curry:
    • Incorporate the pumpkin cubes in a creamy risotto or a spicy curry. The sweetness of the pumpkin balances beautifully with the savory, creamy, or spicy elements of these dishes.
  • 4. Pumpkin Smoothies:
    • Blend the pumpkin cubes with your choice of milk, yogurt, fruit, spices like cinnamon and nutmeg, and a sweetener, if desired, to create nutritious and flavorful smoothies.
  • 5. Roasted Pumpkin:
    • Drizzle the pumpkin cubes with olive oil and your favorite seasonings, then roast them in the oven until they are golden and caramelized. Enjoy them as a side dish or add them to salads or pasta.
  • 6. Pumpkin Hummus:
    • Mix blended pumpkin cubes into your traditional hummus recipe for a sweet and savory twist. The pumpkin will add a unique flavor and creamy texture to the hummus.
  • 7. Pumpkin Gnocchi:
    • Incorporate the pumpkin cubes into your homemade gnocchi dough for a sweet and colorful variation of the traditional Italian dumplings.
  • 8. Pumpkin Chili:
    • Add the pumpkin cubes to your favorite chili recipe. The pumpkin’s sweetness will complement the chili’s spiciness, adding a layer of complexity to the dish.
  • 9. Pumpkin Oatmeal:
    • Stir the pumpkin cubes into your morning oatmeal for a nutritious and flavorful breakfast. Top with nuts, seeds, spices, and a drizzle of maple syrup.
  • 10. Pumpkin Sauces:
    • Blend the pumpkin cubes to make a sweet and savory sauce for pasta, pancakes, or desserts. Season with herbs and spices to create a variety of flavor profiles.
  • Pumpkin Butter:

Bonus Tip: Flavor Enhancement

Enhance the flavor of your dishes by pairing pumpkin with spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and ginger or savory herbs like sage, thyme, and rosemary. Whether you prefer sweet or savory, the versatility of canned pumpkin cubes allows you to experiment and infuse the delectable taste of pumpkin into numerous culinary creations!

Pro tips

  • Important! Do NOT mash or puree the pumpkin before canning it. The pumpkin puree will not heat evenly, and the heat from home canners may not kill all of the botulinum toxins, potentially causing illness.
  • Use this canning recipe for any fall or winter squash. Butternut squash, acorn, blue hubbard, turban, etc., all can beautifully.
  • If you can pumpkin at too high of a psi or for too long, you may get some brown caramelization because the sugars have caramelized. It’s not necessarily a bad thing with pumpkins. It can actually taste good.
  • Pumpkin is a low-acid food and must be pressure-canned! DO NOT use a water bath canner, it will not get hot enough to kill botulinum toxin.

Helpful tools

More pressure-canned produce

Canning is the perfect way to preserve this seasonal, low-calorie, healthy vegetable for use in dishes all year long.

Line a canning jars with canned pumpkin.Pin
Canning Pumpkin
Jar of canned pumpkin cubes.Pin

Canning Pumpkin | How to Can Pumpkin

Canning pumpkin allows us to encapsulate the essence of fall, enabling us to savor the comforting taste of pumpkin even when it is out of season.
See Step by Step Photos Above!Most of our recipes have step by step photos and videos! Also helpful tips so that you can make it perfectly the first time and every time! Scroll up to see them!
5 from 2 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: canning
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 55 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 25 minutes
Servings: 7 pints
Calories: 43kcal
Author: Beth Neels
Cost: $6

Ingredients

  • 10 cups pie pumpkin or sugar pumpkin 1-6 pound pumpkin
  • boiling water

Instructions

  • Wash your jars and lids with hot, soapy water. Rinse well. Step up your pressure canner with the amount of water recommended by the manufacturer. Turn your heat to low. Place the clean jars in the canning pot to warm. Heat the lids in warm water if your brand of lids recommends it.
  • Wash the pumpkin skins well on the outside.
    10 cups pie pumpkin or sugar pumpkin
  • Cut the pumpkins in half carefully. A large meat cleaver and a hammer will make quick work of this task.
  • Scrape out the seeds and the stringy stuff, botanically the endocarp.
  • Place the cut-side down on your cutting board.
  • Cut one-inch wide slices, as shown in the photo above in the article.
  • Use a paring knife to cut the skin off of your one-inch slices.
    This is the easiest way we’ve found to peel it.
  • Cut each slice into one-inch cubes after peeling.
  • Heat a large pot with clean water to blanch the pumpkin cubes. Boil the water.
    boiling water
  • Get another clean pot boiling to fill the jars. Don't use the blanching liquid.
  • Once boiling, add pumpkin cubes in batches and blanch the pumpkin for 2 minutes, using a spider tool to remove the pieces and add them to your warm jars, leaving a one-inch headspace.
  • Fill the jars with clean, boiling water, leaving the one-inch headspace.
  • Wipe the rims of the jars clean with a damp paper towel.
  • Center the lid on the jar. Secure the bands finger-tip tight.
See all of my favorite tools and gift ideas on my New Amazon Store!Check out Binky’s Amazon Store!

Notes

Choose pie pumpkins or sugar pumpkins.
  • Size: Opt for small to medium-sized pumpkins, typically referred to as “sugar” or “pie” pumpkins. They usually weigh between 4 to 8 pounds.
  • Flavor & Texture: These pumpkins have a sweeter flavor and smoother, less fibrous texture, making them ideal for canning.
  • Flesh Thickness: Sugar pumpkins have denser flesh, yielding more pumpkin per pound than larger carving pumpkins.
Pro tips
  • Important! Do NOT mash or puree the pumpkin before canning it. The pumpkin puree will not heat evenly, and the heat from home canners may not kill all of the botulinum toxins, potentially causing illness. If you need purée, you can purée it for a recipe when you need it.
  • Use this canning recipe for any fall or winter squash. Butternut, acorn, blue hubbard, turban, etc., all can beautifully.
  • If you can pumpkin at too high of a psi or for too long, you may get some brown caramelization because the sugars have caramelized. It’s not necessarily a bad thing with pumpkins. It can actually taste good.
  • Pumpkin is a low-acid fruit/vegetable and must be pressure-cannedDO NOT use a water bath canner, it will not get hot enough to kill botulinum toxin.
See serving suggestions in the article above!
Altitude Adjustment for Canning Pumpkin
 
Dial Gauge canner Pint jars – 55 minutes Quart jars- 90 minutes
0-2000 feet above sea level                      11 pounds per square inch
2001-4000 feet above sea level               12 psi   
4001-6000 feet above sea level               13 psi
6000+ feet above sea level                       14 psi
 
Weighted-gauge canner Pints- 55 minutes Quarts- 90 minutes
1-1000 feet above sea level                       10 psi
1000+ feet above sea level                        15 psi

Nutrition

Calories: 43kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 0.2g | Saturated Fat: 0.1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.01g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.02g | Sodium: 2mg | Potassium: 563mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 14107IU | Vitamin C: 15mg | Calcium: 35mg | Iron: 1mg
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