This is the most wonderful time of year for pumpkin-lovers because just after Halloween and before Thanksgiving, canned pumpkin is everywhere — and is incredibly cheap. Now is also the best time to stock your freezer with homemade pumpkin purée, and we've got a few tips that will give you more bang for your pumpkin buck. And don't worry — these tips will help you if you just find yourself with a bit of canned pumpkin that you don't want to waste.
Fresh and opened canned pumpkin purée only lasts for a week stored in the fridge, but stored in the freezer it will last for months. Freezing pumpkin purée in the increments you use most makes it easier to store, thaw, and eventually use. These are three of our favorite ways to do that.
Need a few ideas: 10 Smart Ways to Use Leftover Canned Pumpkin Purée
In a Zip-Top Bag
A can's worth of pumpkin purée is about 15 ounces by weight, which fits perfectly inside a quart-sized zip-top bag. Freeze the bags flat on a baking sheet and you can then store them upright like a file. These flat bags thaw easily at room temperature, or you can quickly thaw them in the microwave. We use this portion most for baking pumpkin bread and pumpkin pie.
In a Muffin Tin
Need just a bit of pumpkin for a soup or a batch of muffins? This is your go-to size. Fill a muffin tin with 1/2-cup measures of pumpkin purée, smooth out, and freeze. Once frozen you can remove the pumpkin pucks and move them to a reusable zip-top bag for long-term storage.
In an Ice Cube Tray
Smoothies can be made sweeter and creamier with just a few cubes of frozen pumpkin (pumpkin pie smoothie, anyone?), so filling up an ice cube tray with excess pumpkin purée can make your morning a little brighter. Just like the half-cup measures, you'll want to fill, freeze solid, and then move the cubes to a bag or airtight container for storing. Each cube holds about a tablespoon of purée!