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Pumpkin: How can I preserve it?

It’s pumpkin time! Pumpkin pie ice cream, pumpkin spice lattes, pumpkin rolls, pumpkin pie, pumpkin…everything! It is the time of the year when people start thinking about ways to keep pumpkin around longer because they love it so much. “How can I preserve it?” “Can I make pumpkin pie filling and store it in a jar?”

Unfortunately, most ways that people would like to can pumpkin are not recommended. Canning pumpkin pie filling or any form of pureed pumpkin is not recommended. The product is too dense to be safely canned at home.

There are, however, ways to preserve pumpkin. You can freeze it—the most recommended way. Or you can pressure can it in cubes using an approved recipe. For more information about preserving pumpkins check out the National Center for Home Food Preservation’s website.

“How can that be—I mean, I see the cans of pumpkin pie mix at the stores?” Well, that is true. However, the process for commercially canned goods and the home canning process are quite different. Commercially processed foods have preservatives added which allows different items to be preserved.

When it comes to canning anything (pumpkin included), make sure that you find a tested, trusted recipe.

As always, Happy Canning!