Q:

Can you freeze fresh pumpkin before cooking it?

A:

Quick Answer

A fresh pumpkin should be cooked before being frozen. The best candidate is solid and heavy for its size with no bruises or soft areas. The stem should not be shriveled.

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Full Answer

To prepare a pumpkin for freezing, it is first washed in warm water. A gentle soap and brush should be used only if needed to clear away dirt. Next, the pumpkin is sliced in half using a serrated knife. The seeds and stringy pulp are removed with a spoon, paring knife, plastic scraper or ice cream scoop. Then the pumpkin is cooked in a microwave, standard oven or on the grill. At this point, the flesh is separated from the rind, which is discarded. The flesh is pureed in a food processor or blender before being put in freezer bags with excess air removed. Prepared pumpkin lasts nine to 14 months in the freezer.

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