Do you want to keep the goodness of fall pumpkins long after autumn is over? Dehydrate pumpkin and make pumpkin powder for baked goods, pies, smoothies, and dog treats. Enjoy fall all year long with this easy way to preserve pumpkins without canning or storing large jars of canned pumpkins.
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Pumpkin is my favorite fall flavor when altered with a little spice and creams in soups or every form of baked good.
This easy process takes a little time, but it's worth it when you can grab so many orange orbs of autumnal goodness and save them for the whole year.
And you'll never have to worry about those pesky, fake canned pumpkin shortages, either! This way, you can store pumpkin powder on the shelf and make your own pumpkin puree anytime you feel the need for fall and pumpkin spice!
If you want to use pumpkin powder, check out these uses for pumpkin powder that go beyond making pumpkin pie!
Learn more: How to Dehydrate Pumpkin Leaves
Kinds of Pumpkin to Use
You can use any kind of pumpkin for this recipe - including most winter squashes that can be interchangeable. Those larger, heirloom varieties with thick, flavorful flesh are best but are not always available to many.
Most of the ones listed here will be common varieties found in North America. But there are many varieties of pumpkins grown all over the world that will work, as well!
- Sugar Pumpkins
- Long Island Cheese
- Warty pumpkins - yes, all those wart-covered pumpkins are edible!
- Jack-o-lantern - while field pumpkins tend to be more watery and stringy than their smaller counterparts, they are edible!
- Butternut squash - you
Don't confuse ornamental gourds with pumpkins. Those varieties may not be edible.
How to Dehydrate Pumpkin
There are numerous ways to dehydrate pumpkins. We will focus on drying a puree to make pumpkin powder to store.
Step 1: Roast Pumpkin
- Wash pumpkins. It's important. Cutting into the skin and flesh and pumpkins can be very dirty.
- Cut the pumpkin into segments of your choice, and clean out the 'guts'.
- Set aside the seeds to roast later.
- Place pumpkin segments on oven-safe lined baking sheets and bake at 350°F / 175°C for 45-50 minutes until just fork tender.
- Remove the skins and allow the puree to cool.
Expert tip: Don't toss the skins and pulp! They can be dehydrated, too, for pumpkin powder!
Many people will put all the bits (minus seeds) into a blender and puree it together, keeping the pulp and skin incorporated into the puree. You can also just compost the skin or pulp if you opt not to use it.
If you don't want to save this for pumpkin puree, you can go to a pumpkin pie fruit leather instead.
Step 2: Dehydrate Pumpkin Puree
- Spread pumpkin puree onto fruit leather sheet line dehydrator trays and dry at 125°F / 52°C for 10-12 hours until brittle. ¼" to ⅛" is good. You're not making fruit leather, you're making pumpkin brittle!
- Condition pumpkin puree in an airtight jar for a week.
- Store in an airtight container for up to a year. It might be helpful to break it into small shards.
I use an Excalibur Dehydrator in this project, but any dehydrator will work!
How to Make Dried Pumpkin Powder
Grinder - whether a coffee grinder, a bullet blender, or a large blender. I have some essential dehydrating tools list suggestions if you need one.
- Place pumpkin puree shards into your choice bullet blender, blender, or coffee grinder.
- Blend until smooth.
- Place on a cookie sheet in an oven that has been warmed and then turned off, and allow to dry for 15-20 minutes.
- Store in an airtight container with a desiccant pack for six to twelve months.
The pumpkin yield from a typical sugar pumpkin is 2 ¼ cups of pumpkin puree to 1 cup of pumpkin fruit leather (shards) to ½ cup of pumpkin powder.
This, of course, will vary depending on the size of the pumpkin you make, the water content of the puree, or how large you break down the fruit leather.
Dried pumpkin powder can be stored in an airtight container (such as a mason jar or mylar bag) for up to a year.
Drying Pumpkin Tips
- An excellent cleaning tip is to use an old canning jar lid to scrape your pumpkin clean - it works wonders!!!
- If using giant watery pumpkins, you may want to place your puree in cheesecloth in a colander and allow it to strain.
- Alternatively, you can place the puree in a saucepan and simmer it on low heat to remove excess moisture.
- Alternatively, you can shred the pumpkin to dry without making a puree. It will be good for adding to breads for flavor, but may need quite awhile in hot water to 'cook' before using to create pumpkin pie.
- Don't use parchment paper if your puree is particularly wet as the parchment will absorb it and may make the leather stick in the end.
Of course, if this is a bit messy for you or if you don't have pumpkins available to you, you can make pumpkin powder from canned pumpkin!
How to Rehydrate Pumpkin Powder
Pumpkin puree is a mainstay in our home. From bread to smoothies to soups to pie, it's something I keep stocked all year long. I even did a video recently creating a year's worth of pumpkin powder!
However, I don't have space to keep as many jars as I might use in a year, so I dehydrate my pumpkin (I even dehydrate canned pumpkin!) to save space in my pantry.
Whenever I want to make something, I can either use the powder to flavor or reconstitute the dehydrated pumpkin powder back into a puree!
- 2 cups of hot water
- ½ cup pumpkin powder
These directions make enough pumpkin puree that you might typically find in a 15-ounce can of pumpkin puree from the grocery store.
- Mix 2 cups of hot water with ½ cup of pumpkin powder.
- Allow the mixture to sit for 10-15 minutes.
Use in any recipe that typically calls for pumpkin puree.
- If you need a loser puree, add some more water.
- If you need a denser puree, add a little less water or a little more powder.
Uses for Pumpkin Powder
Of course, using pumpkin powder to recreate pumpkin puree that you would typically use in any recipe is a given. But there are so many other ways to make pumpkin powder useful in the kitchen!
- Use a bit of powder in your pasta for pumpkin noodles
- Add 1-2 tablespoons in a bechamel to create a pumpkin pasta sauce. Be sure to allow the powder to fully rehydrate in the sauce to blend properly.
- Create a twist on a typical pumpkin spice late by adding pumpkin powder to your coffee grinds or create a mix for adding to any coffee!
- Add powder to a favorite gnocchi recipe!
- Add a tablespoon or more to boost the nutrition of pancakes or waffles - and they'll taste yummy, too!!
- Sprinkle onto dog food to help with your pup's digestion!
- Add a little pumpkin powder to your candied nuts.
- Add a tablespoon or two to your morning oatmeal.
- Sneak a little powder into your next round of mac and cheese. It boosts nutrients and color!
- Add into any tomato-based sauce for deeper flavor and added nutrients.
- Add to granola.
Get even more great ideas on how to use pumpkin powder throughout the year.
Dehydrate Pumpkin Cubes
If you want to dehydrate pumpkin to be used in soups or stews, it's super easy, too! Instead of using a puree, winter squash can be diced and used in soups, stews, and other dishes throughout the year!
- Cut and remove seeds and strings.
- Dice into ½" or smaller cubes.
- Blanch cubes for 4 minutes.
- Dehydrate at 125°F/35°C for 8-15+ hours.
- Condition for 5 days by placing in a jar and shaking once a day to check for sticking or moisture buildup.
- Store in an airtight container for up to two years
Dryness test: When cubes are slightly translucent, plink when dropped, leathery, and hard. Don't assume a slight color change and hardness on the outside to be fully dry, the insides should be dry as well.
Commonly Asked Questions
Yes - roast the pumpkin (I do recommend cutting it in half for a faster roast and easier managing - or even in large slices). Then simply puree the entire pumpkin. The skin and strings are edible.
Yes, you can dehydrate butternut squash in the same fashion as this.
Canned pumpkin tends to be thicker than typical pumpkin puree made from scratch. It's typically made from Dickinson pumpkins that can also be called squash.
If you find that roasting your pumpkins has given you a watery consistency, you can drain it in a fine mesh colander or put it on the stovetop and gently simmer it to cook out some of the moisture.
How to Dehydrate Pumpkin and Make Pumpkin Powder
- Blender or coffee grinder
- Fruit leather sheets Parchment can be used instead
- Offset Spatula
- Pumpkin Any variety
Preparing Pumpkin Puree
- Wash pumpkins thoroughly
- Cut in sections
- Remove pulp and seeds
- Place on cookie sheets lined with aluminum foil or silicone baking sheets
- Bake at 350°F / 175°C for 45-50 minutes until fork tender, do not let them burn.
- Allow to cook, then remove skin. Set puree aside to cool
- Spread puree thinly on dehydrating trays lined with fruit leather sheets. ¼" to ⅛" is good.
- Dry at 125°F / 52°C for 10-12 hours
- Puree should be brittle
- Store in airtight containers ion shards
To Make Pumpkin Powder
- Place pumpkin shards in a blender.
- Pulse until smooth powder is formed.
- Pour onto baking sheet and place inside oven that has been warmed to 175°F, but turned off.
- Remove after 20 minutes, allow to cool, store in airtight container with desiccant packs.
- Mix 2 cups hot water with ½ cup pumpkin powder
- Allow the powder to absorb by sitting for 5-10 minutes
- Adjust to your preference if too thick or too loose.
Nutritional information is an estimation only. Nutrient information for dehydrated foods is based on fresh. Use ¼ of the servicing size for the same nutrient information. Thus 1 Cup of fresh fruit has the same sugars as ¼ dried.
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I've roasted my pumpkin and it is soft but there's not enough water to be a puree. Should I add water and warm to make a puree or can I just do my best to spread this to dry?
Darcy Baldwin says
You don't need water. You can run it through the food processor or immersion blender and it will puree. But if you need to add a bit, it's fine. It's not meant to be like tomato sauce.
I have just made a batch of powder and am wondering if it should be stored in the pantry or in the fridge.
Darcy Baldwin says
From the post: Can store in an airtight container in the pantry for up to a year.
Jeannie Taylor says
this is super easy and makes great pies.
I found that it takes way longer than 12 hours to dehydrate...more like 3 days
All times are relative - it depends on humidity, the power of your machine, how you prepped your produce, etc. Always take time windows as a guide. I'm surprised that it takes 3 days for you to dry any leather, though. Are you flipping it? What kind of machine are you using?
I dehydrate my pumpkin raw, You have to make sure your pieces aren't to large!. I use a nutribullet to grind to powder. I always put my powders back in the dehydrator so I'm sure they are completely dry.
It's definitely a preference - and thanks for sharing yours.
Penny Pritchard says
This sounds interesting.
I use 500g of cooked pumpkin in a delicious recipe. How would I work out how much powder to rehydrate please?
Looking it up on google to convert- you'd need about a cup and a quarter of powder.
Penny Pritchard says
Thanks so much ?
Great info and love the u tube video. Thanks so much!
Thank you! Glad it was helpful!