One food I love and hoard stockpile stock in my pantry is canned pumpkin puree. The problem is, no matter how much I bake, make pumpkin granola, make pumpkin smoothies, make pumpkin pancakes and everything else pumpkin I do, I tend to hoard, stockpile, stock more pumpkin than I use in a season.
Add on top of that the pureed pumpkin that I make fresh and freeze each year, I can sometimes be swimming in the stuff!
Do you remember the pumpkin drought of 2011 when pumpkin simply wasn’t available? My habit started then. I’m sure of it.
During the spring, I did a massive pantry reorganization and realized that I had, again,
hoarded stockpiled stocked more pumpkin than I knew I could use in a year or two. And while I know that the ‘best by’ dates on canned goods aren’t something that I absolutely have to abide by as far as how long it’s good for, I knew I couldn’t talk the boys into pumpkin smoothies every single day of the week to use up the excess. So I had to do something.
Looking at the giant dehydrator on my counter — yep, you’re about to be put to work!
How to Dehydrate Pumpkin Puree
And bonus that this works on your home pureed pumpkin as well!
It’s as easy as opening a can, smearing it on a dehydrator sheet, throwing it on your dehydrator and letting it go! And bonus that this works on your home pureed pumpkin as well!
Pour your can of pumpkin puree on a dehydrator sheet. I used the Excalibur sheets for my Excalibur, but your dehydrator will have its own sheets to use. Each sheet held 1 can of pumpkin for me for the Excalibur, but you’ll have to judget what your tray can hold. This is approximately 2 C of pumpkin puree.
Tip: If using homemade pumpkin puree, measure by the cup as you put them on trays. It will help you later in knowing how to store and reconstitute.
Make sure to spread the puree out into the thinnest layer possible. It will make it easier to dehydrate and go more quickly.
Tip: In her book, The Ultimate Dehydrator Cookbook, Tammy Ganglott suggests using a pizza cutter to carve a checkerboard pattern into your puree to make it easier to break into pieces later.
Dry at approximately 125F for 10-12 hours . You ‘ll see in this photo that my pumpkin is pretty dark. I didn’t double check the dial before walking away, and had hit it and turned it too high. You can’t really burn it, but I came back when it had been going for quite a long time at a higher than normal temp. It’s really fine. It’s not bad, it’s not non-nutritious, it’s just a little darker than it would be.
You’ll want to check it after about hours to flip your pumpkin sheets. What happens is the puree dries well on the top surface and the edges as they start to turn up, but that area still touching your dehydrator sheets may still be pretty wet, so you can turn over the pumpkin to give it a better drying time.
At this point, you can store your pumpkin sheets in airtight containers to rehydrate as needed. Just make sure you are keeping track of how much you’re putting on each tray so that you know how to store it for use later.
This time, however, I’m going to show you how to take it one step further and make pumpkin powder!
How to Make Pumpkin Powder
If you plan on making pumpkin powder from your dehydrated pumpkin puree, you don’t need to worry about how much each sheet is. In the end, you’ll be measuring on a ratio to rehydrate the powder, so just do it in batches.
Grind your dehydrated pumpkin until you’re down to a powder. You’ll want to sift it through a fine wire mesh strainer
or, like we did, used my grandmother’s old flour sifter to sift through and break down some of the larger bits.
You’ll want to repeat this with the leftover bits as many times as you need to. It took me 3 times of running through the blender to get to the point where I was happy with the amount of powder gotten, and threw the last little bit into my coffee grinder for the last bit because it works better that way than in a large blender.
Now, don’t get discouraged by this. This amount, which is about a quarter of a quart canning jar is 4 cans of pumpkin or 8 cups. I wanted you to see the approximate amount of what the cans work out to be. Because I didn’t start from a real pumpkin, I can’t give you an approximation of what size pumpkin produces how much powder because it really does matter the size of the pumpkin you started with. But 1 can of pumpkin puree is about 2 cups of pumpkin puree — and that will give you the idea of the ratio of puree to powder.
How to Use Pumpkin Puree
The ratio of rehydrating powdered pumpkin is this:
To rehydrate, use a 4:1 ratio of water : pumpkin powder and allow it to sit for 20-30 minute to fully rehydrate.
2 C water to 1/2 C pumpkin powder = 2 C pumpkin puree
Use puree as normal in pies, muffins, etc!
Want to see the process in action?
She shows you how to then rehydrate the pumpkin puree to use in recipes!