Pumpkin powder from dehydrating pumpkins and other winter squash is an amazing ingredient to have in your pantry to create tasty dishes all year long!
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If you don't have an atmosphere that allows for storing pumpkins and other squash, pumpkins and other winter squash, like butternut or acorn squash, can become an 'eat it all this week' kind of crop.
The same can happen if you buy a lot of cans of pureed pumpkin for the holidays and end up not using them.
Or maybe you want to have something pumpkin-y in March but don't have any squash to harvest!?
Dehydrating pumpkin puree in the fall can help you have shelf-stable pumpkin all year long to do a variety of projects!
Types of Pumpkin to use
There are many varieties of pumpkins and squash that can be used in this dehydrating process.
- Butternut Squash
- Acorn squash
- Pumpkins of all varieties
- Buttercup squash
- Kobacha squash
The only thing you shouldn't use are the really small decorative pumpkins. While you can technically eat them, they aren't really edible and not good for this process.
How to Make Pumpkin Powder
- Place pumpkin puree from roasted whole pumpkins or canned pumpkin puree onto dehydrator trays.
- Dry at 125°F/52°C for 8-12 hours until brittle.
- Place small pumpkin leather pieces into a blender or bullet blender.
- Pulse until broken down.
- Blend on high until powdered.
- Store in an airtight container for about a year.
Pro Tip: Use any pumpkin you can get your hands on. Dehydrating whole pumpkins or other winter squash works well. But what if you only have canned pumpkin? Try this easy process to dry canned pumpkin instead.
- You can store pureed pumpkin in leather sheets that equal about 2 cups of puree. Store with a piece of wax paper or parchment paper between the layers and vacuum seal in a food-saver bag for storage.
- Use some bits of leather in some of the recipes below instead of powder. Letting them simmer in a sauce will rehydrate them and make them blend for chili, curries, and the bechamel sauce.
- Mix pumpkin powder and pumpkin pie spice to create a new spice blend for adding to things easier for a fall flavor! It's a great way to sprinkle on just a little flavor any time you'd like! Make the ratio that works best for your preference.
- When mixing to create pumpkin puree, the ratio is 4 parts hot water to 1 part powder, but you may find you need to adjust it to get a puree consistency that you'd like.
- If you're just a fan of pumpkin spice, this can be a great way to get pumpkin flavor into many dishes and still enjoy the autumn flavor!
Pumpkin powder is just one of the many ways to make drying and storing vegetables and fruits more useful during the year. You can try vegetable powders, fruit powders, and even green powders to add extra flavor and nutrition to any meal!
Ways to Use Pumpkin Powder
Remember that you can use dried pumpkin at any point to rehydrate it into pumpkin puree. The beauty of having pumpkin powder on hand is never to have to open a can again in the off-season!
These ideas are almost specifically for using pumpkin powder in things, though a little rehydrating may be necessary to blend (for the cream cheese spread, for example).
- Add a tablespoon or more to boost the nutrition of pancakes or waffles - and they'll taste yummy, too!!
- Make a quick pumpkin butter for your waffles.
- Add a tablespoon or two to your morning oatmeal. Top with a little yogurt, pumpkin spice, and pepita seeds.
- Use it to add to some plain yogurt with a little honey!
- Add to granola as part of the ingredients before baking.
- 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 rehydrate in the sauce to blend properly. Adjust the liquid to get the consistency you prefer.
- Add powder to a favorite gnocchi recipe!
- Sneak a little powder into your family's favorite mac and cheese. It boosts nutrients and color! Mixing with a little vegetable powder can also help make boxed mac and cheese something you'll love serving the kids for lunch!
- Add into any tomato-based sauce for deeper flavor and added nutrients.
- Make pumpkin soup!
- Add as a secret ingredient to chili or curries.
- Baby food - mix with enough water to get the consistency right for your baby's development.
- Pumpkin soup! Yes - you can rehydrate as much pumpkin powder to make a puree to make pumpkin soup whenever you'd like!
- Add a little pumpkin powder to your candied nuts.
- Sprinkle on ice cream
- Pumpkin pie - yes! You can make it with pumpkin powder. Just rehydrate powder with the above ratio, and continue making your pie as you normally would! Now you can have it at any time of the year!
- Add a little to a fudge recipe for a fall treat!
- Add to donut batter for pumpkin donuts in the fall!
- Add to any quick bread or muffin recipe to add pumpkin flavor without the liquid if you want to jazz up a treat. Or add some to intensify the flavor of your favorite pumpkin bread. Use a 1-4 tablespoons as an additive, not necessarily as a full replacement for flour.
- Mix with a little powdered sugar or frosting for a different twist of flavor.
- Add to cinnamon roll dough (or sprinkle on store-bought), and make sure to add some pumpkin spice seasoning for a pumpkin spice cinnamon roll!
- Mix the powder with oils when doing spiced nuts. Typically this would be done with just the pumpkin pie spice, but the addition of pumpkin powder to walnuts or pecans will take it up a notch!
- Add 1-2 tablespoons of pumpkin powder to a snickerdoodle along with pumpkin pie spice to make pumpkin snickerdoodles!
- Create a twist on a typical pumpkin spice late by adding pumpkin powder to your coffee grinds, or create a pumpkin spice coffee mix for adding to any coffee!
- Add a tablespoon to a smoothie mix
Making Pumpkin Powder Video
Making pumpkin powder from whole pumpkins or even large cans of pumpkin puree can be time-consuming but so worth it! I take a weekend every year and try to make a year's worth of powder. I wanted to be sure you had a visual of what it can look like to do a large batch of pumpkin powder to last a whole year!
There are so many ideas to use pumpkin powder with. Even with traditional pumpkin recipes, having pumpkin powder in the pantry can make them easy to whip up, even when it's not autumn!
I'd love to hear what your favorite pumpkin powder ideas are!