Pumpkin Powder: How-to


Make Your Favorite Recipes from Pumpkin Powder
(For Any Winter Squash, Carrot, & Sweet Potatoes too!)


November 13, 2016 Update: Two recipes are added below (both oven and dehydrator methods) for Roasted Pumpkin Seeds.

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Pumpkin is one of the most popular flavors and rightly so. Pumpkin is a very healthy food-low in calories and high in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fiber.  Pumpkins are easy to grow and inexpensive to buy in the fall. Easy to use and store, pumpkin powder is all natural, with none of the sulfites you may find in commercial pumpkin flours, preservative-free, and a gluten-free replacement. Simple, chemical free dehydrated pumpkin, ground to create a fresh, sweet and authentic pumpkin taste and aroma. It is a great way to store healthy pumpkin in your pantry or in your emergency stash of food.

Pumpkin dip2A convenient substitute for fresh pumpkin; you can use powdered pumpkin in all the ways you use puréed pumpkin now. Just 1/2 cup rehydrates into 2 cups of purée for many cooking needs like pies, soups, and sauces. In addition you can use it in the same ways you would use pumpkin flour to add to breads, cakes, cookies, yogurt, pastas, and even coffee lattes! Many folks use pumpkin powder to replace some of the flour in breads and baked goods to produce some interesting foods. It is even used in homemade skin care products.

As indicated by its rich orange color, Pumpkin has plenty of antioxidants like beta carotene and Vitamin A. Studies show that beta carotene may promote cardiovascular health and Vitamin A also promotes collagen production, promoting healthy skin. Evidence suggests Vitamin A is beneficial to ovary health as well. Research also shows that the intake of carotenoids is helpful in glucose metabolism in some people. Pumpkin is also a good source of Vitamin E, Thiamin, Niacin, Vitamin B6, Folate, Iron, Magnesium and Phosphorus, and a very good source of Vitamin C, Riboflavin, Potassium, Copper, Manganese and Dietary Fiber. In addition, pumpkin has several essential fatty acids.

And while you can buy pumpkins and store them for a number of months, they will develop soft spots and they take up a good amount of room. Since pumpkin purée cannot be safely canned, you only other options are freezing the purée or dehydrating. My money for long-term storage and year-round use is dehydrating pumpkin into one of my favorite powders.

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Uses for Pumpkin Powder

  • Pumpkin CheesecakeIt is so easy to create all your pumpkin pies with this powder that are fresh tasting and free of preservatives. Ready in 15 minutes, pumpkin powder will be your favorite purée to use. Or try your own pumpkin cheesecake!
  • Add a tablespoon or more to your favorite fresh pasta recipe, substituting some of the flour called for. Start with 1 tablespoon of pumpkin powder and adjust according to the intensity of flavor you prefer.
  • Dried pumpkin powder is used as a natural colorant to foods. This is especially helpful if you are trying to color yogurt coating for dog biscuits. Need “orange” Halloween witches’ hats cupcakes? Or maybe Autumn-colored candy-leaves? Or how about nice, frothy Thanksgiving lattes? Use the natural orange color in pumpkin powder to color your holidays!
  • Pumpkin SoupAdd to soups, stews, or frozen entrées. Pumpkin powder thickens well and freezes well.
  • Fresh, sweet, pumpkin powder puts autumn flavors into bread, soup, cake, cookies, and pie recipes.
  • Mix it with butter or cream cheese to make bagel spreads or dips.
  • Pinch it with ground nutmeg over the top of eggnogs, smoothies, milk shakes, and mixed drinks.
  • Stir pumpkin powder into vegetable preparations or baby food purée.
  • The pumpkin offers a wonderful taste to different food and beverages, and is enjoyed at any time during the year.
  • Pumpkin powder is ready for application in nutraceuticals, cosmetics, and supplements as well as baking, functional foods, and smoothie mixes.
  • Pumpkin powder is also used in skin care products. Pumpkin Powder is a rich source of gently exfoliating enzymes, antioxidants, beta carotene, and many other vitamins and minerals beneficial to skin care. It is popular choice for naturally exfoliating facial masks, body polishes, and silky soaps.

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Approximate Measuring Equivalents

  • Reconstitute with water to desired consistency, used in the same traditional uses as cooked pumpkin.
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin powder + 2 cups boiling water = 1 (16-oz) can pumpkin purée
  • Replace 1/4 cup of flour for pumpkin powder in your favorite recipes. Pumpkin powder bakes up beautifully in pies and breads.
  • Pumpkin Powder thickens a dish by absorbing liquid. 1 tablespoon thickens about one cup of liquid.

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What Pumpkins Can You Use?

~~pumpkinsIt is best to use a pumpkin that is in ideal harvesting condition to have flavorful powder. I like using the pie pumpkins. Pie pumpkins have more meat and more seeds than the bigger ones that are grown for decoration and taste more like pumpkin. I do not use the Jack-O-lantern pumpkins or decorative pumpkins even though you can if you wish. I use Sugar Pie pumpkins; red Kuri, Pink Banana and Cinderella pumpkins.

I have tried this method with canned pumpkin purée and it works well. Just spread on the trays and dehydrate as usual.

~~pumpkin skinWhile you can leave your puréed pumpkin in leathers, the pumpkin powder takes up less storage space than the leather and it reconstitutes faster.

Pumpkin skins. After you’ve peeled the skin from your roasted pumpkin, don’t toss it. It can be dehydrated into crispy, nutritious chips. OR you can grind these up as well and add to your pumpkin powder.

~~pumpkin seedsPumpkin Seeds are an edible treat, so don’t throw them away. Roasted and salted, the seeds are a special treat. The Internet is full of interesting recipes to spice up this fall favorite. Scoop the seeds out of the cavity, rinse some of the pulp off, and spread them on a towel to dry. Two recipes are included below (both oven and dehydrator methods) for Roasted Pumpkin Seeds.

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Preparing Pumpkin

There are three methods of preparation listed. I prefer the Roasted Pumpkin Method or the Steamed Pumpkin Method because the pumpkin is already cooked, then ground into powder.

The Raw Pumpkin Method is great for adding to items that are cooked for an extended time, like soups. Rehydrating for purée, I have found, works better for me when the pumpkin has been pre-cooked. To me, uncooked pumpkin powder tastes raw and grainy, even when rehydrated in boiling water. The Raw Pumpkin Method, however, is best for nutraceuticals, cosmetics, and supplements if you are making them.

~Preparing

Roasted Pumpkin Method

  1. Once you have chosen your pumpkin, wash and dry the outside of a pumpkin. You can use a large pumpkin or several smaller pumpkins when you want a large batch of pumpkin powder.
    Wash fruit well, soaking in a vinegar solution or produce solution for 15 minutes. It helps to scrub the skins after soaking with some baking soda to remove as much debris as possible from the skins themselves since you will probably be using this part as well. Rinse thoroughly and allow to dry.
  2. Cut off the top near the stem to give yourself a flat base to work with. Cut in half. Then cut those pieces in half again.
  3. With a spoon or a scoop, scrape out the seeds and pulp from the center. Repeat until all the pumpkin pieces are largely free of seeds and pulp.
  4. Place pumpkin pieces on a baking sheet face up and roast in a 350°F/175°C oven for 45 minutes, or until pumpkin is fork-tender.
  5. The skin will be soft, making it easy to remove the skin from the pumpkin pieces. Using a knife, scrape the pulp from the skin as you peel it back from all the pieces.
  6. In a food processor, blender, potato masher, or food mill, throw in a few chunks at a time. Pulse or mash the pumpkin until it’s totally smooth. If the pumpkin is too dry, add a small amount of water during the pulsing.
  7. Proceed to dehydrating the purée.

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Steamed Pumpkin Method

  1. Once you have chosen your pumpkin, wash and dry the outside of a pumpkin. You can use a large pumpkin or several smaller pumpkins when you want a large batch of pumpkin powder.
    Wash fruit well, soaking in a vinegar solution or produce solution for 15 minutes. It helps to scrub the skins after soaking with some baking soda to remove as much debris as possible from the skins themselves since you will probably be using this part as well. Rinse thoroughly and allow to dry.
  2. Peel your pumpkins with a potato peeler or a paring knife.
  3. After your pumpkins are skinned, cut off the top near the stem to give yourself a flat base to work with. Cut in half. Then cut those pieces in half again.
  4. With a spoon or a scoop, scrape out the seeds and pulp from the center. Repeat until all the pumpkin pieces are largely free of seeds and pulp.
  5. Slice into chunks.
  6. Steam the pumpkin chunks by setting them on a steaming tray over simmering water. Cook them with a lid on until they start to soften.
  7. Stop the cooking and let them cool enough so you can easily handle them.
  8. In a food processor, blender, potato masher, or food mill, throw in a few chunks at a time. Pulse or mash the pumpkin until it’s totally smooth. If the pumpkin is too dry, add a small amount of water during the pulsing.
  9. Proceed to dehydrating the purée.

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Raw Pumpkin Method

  1. Once you have chosen your pumpkin, wash and dry the outside of a pumpkin. You can use a large pumpkin or several smaller pumpkins when you want a large batch of pumpkin powder.
    Wash fruit well, soaking in a vinegar solution or produce solution for 15 minutes. It helps to scrub the skins after soaking with some baking soda to remove as much debris as possible from the skins themselves since you will probably be using this part as well. Rinse thoroughly and allow to dry.
  2. Peel your pumpkins with a potato peeler or a paring knife.
  3. After your pumpkins are skinned, cut off the top near the stem to give yourself a flat base to work with. Cut in half. Then cut those pieces in half again.
  4. With a spoon or a scoop, scrape out the seeds and pulp from the center. Repeat until all the pumpkin pieces are largely free of seeds and pulp.
  5. Slice into chunks.
  6. In a food processor or grater, shred a few chunks at a time until all pieces are shredded.
  7. Proceed to dehydrating the raw shredded pumpkin.

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Dehydrating Pumpkin

~Dehydrating

  1. For puréed pumpkin, place on solid sheets on dehydrator drying racks.
    For shredded pumpkin, use a mesh insert on dehydrator drying racks.
  2. Set dehydrator at 125°F/50°C for about 18-24 hours (purée) or 8-16 hours (grated pumpkin) or until crispy dry.
  3. Check the level of dryness during the dehydrating process and move the trays around so everything dries as evenly as possible if needed.
  4. When the pumpkin is dry it should crumble easily (grated pumpkin) or be crispy dry . Make sure all fruit is completely dry. If there’s any moisture left in them, the powder will be clumpy and it will quickly become moldy.

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Grinding Pumpkin Powder

~Grinding

  1. Tear or cut the leathers into small pieces with kitchen shears. Grind into a powder with a mortar and pestle, coffee grinder, or high-powered blender like a Vitamix, Blendtec, or NutriBullet.
  1. Be sure to seal the lid well if using grinder or blender. Make sure the dust has settled inside the grinder before removing the lid when finished powdering.
  2. Because pumpkin is fibrous, break it up first and pulse your machine for several minutes until you no longer hear pieces clicking around inside the canister.
  3. If you still have pieces within the powder, sift these out and re-grind.
  4. If it does not grind to a powder and you experience clumping, the pieces are not dry enough. Put the powder back into the dehydrator and dry at the same temperature for another hour or so. Re-grind if necessary.
  5. Store it in a glass jar with a tight-fitting lid. As long as the
    powder is stored properly, it will last 6 months to 1 year.

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Recipes

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Pumpkin Pie

Makes 1 (8-inch) deep dish pie

Recipe-PieIngredients
1/2 cup pumpkin powder
2 cups boiling water
1-2/3 cup condensed whole milk or heavy cream
3 large eggs
1 cup sugar or molasses
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 (8-inch) deep dish pie shell

Directions

  1. Place pumpkin powder into a large bowl and pour 2 cups of boiling water over the pumpkin powder. Stir well and let the pumpkin powder set, covered, for 20 minutes until cooled
  2. Once the pumpkin has cooled and rehydrated, mix in the milk, eggs, sugar and spices into the purée.
  3. Blend for 1-2 minutes. Pour the pumpkin mixture into a pie shell and bake.
  4. Bake at 425°F/220°C in oven for 15 minutes.
  5. Then reduce temperature to 350°F/175°C and bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until knife inserted near center comes out clean.
  6. Cool on wire rack for 2 hours. Serve immediately or refrigerate.
  7. Top with whipped cream or ice cream before serving.

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Pumpkin Pancakes

Serves: 4-6, with 12 3-4″ pancakes

Recipe-PancakesIngredients:
1/2 cup Pumpkin Powder
3 tablespoons honey, to taste (optional)
5 Eggs
1/2 tsp Ground Ginger
1/2 tsp Ground Nutmeg
1/2 tsp Ground Allspice
1/8 tsp Ground Cinnamon
1/8 tsp Ground Cloves
1/2 tsp Baking Soda
1 tsp Cream of Tartar
Extra virgin coconut oil or butter for frying

Directions

  1. Mix all ingredients together in a blender for about 30 seconds.
  2. Heat a non-stick or very well-seasoned cast iron skillet or griddle on medium-high heat (or slightly cooler than medium-high).
  3. Add about 2 tablespoons of coconut oil or butter into the pan. Pour batter into the pan, about 3 tablespoons per pancake, spacing far enough apart that the pancakes won’t touch as they spread.
  4. Cook for 6-8 minutes on the first side, until the batter is starting to look a little dry around the edges and more solid on top. If you use your spatula to look at the underneath side of the pancake, it should be nicely browned but not too dark.  Carefully, flip the pancake.
  5. Cook for 2-4 minutes on the other side, until done (should be browned, and feel solid when you press gently on the pancake with your spatula or finger).
  6. Enjoy warm or cooled.

Variations:  Sweet Potato Powder and Banana Powder (1/3 cup) works well also.

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Pumpkin-Spiced Almond Butter

Makes 2 cups

Pumpkin purée, maple syrup, and spices turn any jar of almond butter into a seasonal dip that pairs great with any fruit, cracker, or bread.

Recipe-Nut ButterIngredients
1/2 cup boiling water
2 tablespoons pumpkin powder
2 cups unsalted, roasted almonds
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt or sea salt
2 tablespoons maple syrup
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Directions

  1. In a bowl, stir boiling water into pumpkin powder and allow to stand 5 minutes.
  2. Place almonds in a large food processor and process until they turn into almond butter, turning off the processor and scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. This will take between 12-15 minutes.
  3. Add remaining ingredients and process until smooth, another 5 minutes or so. If you want the butter even smoother, you can add a little oil.
  4. Place pumpkin almond butter into a storage container and store in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

Note: Any nuts will work with this. I especially like cashews.

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Pumpkin Spice Lattes

Makes 2 drinks

Recipe-LatteIngredients
1/2 tablespoon pumpkin powder
2 tablespoons boiling water
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
2 cups whole milk
1/2 cup double-strength brewed coffee or 1 to 2 shots espresso, about 1/4 cup
1/4 cup heavy cream, whipped until firm peaks form

Directions

  1. In a bowl, stir boiling water into pumpkin powder and allow to stand 5 minutes.
  2. In a small saucepan over medium heat, cook the pumpkin with the pumpkin pie spice and black pepper for 2 minutes or until it’s hot and smells cooked. Stir constantly.
  3. Add the sugar and stir until the mixture looks like bubbly thick syrup.
  4. Whisk in the milk and vanilla extract. Warm gently over medium heat, watching carefully to make sure it doesn’t boil over.
  5. Carefully process the milk mixture with a hand blender or in a traditional blender (hold the lid down tightly with a thick wad of towels!) until frothy and blended.
  6. Make the espresso or coffee and divide between two mugs. Add the frothed milk. Top with whipped cream and a sprinkle of pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, or nutmeg if desired.

Notes:

Vanilla: To imitate the intense taste of the syrups used in coffee shops, this recipe uses a large amount of vanilla extract, but you may start with less and bump it up as needed.

Milk Fat: This recipe is most satisfying when made with whole milk, but 2% and skim can be substituted as can coconut milk, almond milk, and soy milk for non-dairy diets.

Sugar Substitutes: You can use a sugar substitute in place of the sugar if desired. Add to taste.

Make Ahead Latte Mix

Makes 8 servings

Ingredients
2 tablespoons pumpkin powder
1/2 cup boiling water
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup vanilla extract

Directions

  1. In a bowl, stir boiling water into pumpkin powder and allow to stand 5 minutes.
  2. In a small saucepan over medium heat, cook the pumpkin with the pumpkin pie spice and black pepper for 2 minutes or until it’s hot and smells cooked. Stir constantly.
  3. Add the sugar and stir until the mixture looks like bubbly thick syrup.
  4. Refrigerate for up to 1 week and use as desired.

To serve:
Blend 1/3 cup pumpkin spice mix-in with milk until frothy, and add 1 or 2 shots of espresso. Top with whipped cream and serve.

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds (Oven Method)

roasted-pumpkin-seedsIngredients
2 cups pumpkin seeds
2 teaspoons light olive oil
Salt to taste
Optional seasonings to taste (i.e., Curry spices | Cinnamon, ginger, and sugar | Garlic powder and cayenne pepper | Parmesan cheese | Brown sugar, chili powder, and nutmeg)

  1. Rinse seeds thoroughly then soak overnight in a bowl of water. Drain and dry well with paper towel.
  2. Make sure the seeds are completely dry before roasting.
  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  4. In a large bowl, toss pumpkin seeds with light olive oil and salt. (At this stage, also add any additional seasonings to the mix.)
  5. Spread pumpkin seeds evenly onto a baking sheet in one layer.
  6. Bake for about 20 minutes, until the seeds are crisp, stirring every few minutes.
  7. Remove from the oven and, if desired, re-season to taste.

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Pumpkin Seeds (Dehydrator Method)

Ingredients
2 cups pumpkin seeds
2 teaspoons light olive oil
Salt to taste
Optional seasonings to taste (i.e., Curry spices | Cinnamon, ginger, and sugar | Garlic powder and cayenne pepper | Parmesan cheese | Brown sugar, chili powder, and nutmeg)

  1. Rinse seeds thoroughly then soak overnight in a bowl of water. Drain and dry well with paper towel.
  2. Make sure the seeds are completely dry before roasting.
  3. In a large bowl, toss pumpkin seeds with light olive oil and salt. (At this stage, also add any additional seasonings to the mix.)
  4. Spread pumpkin seeds evenly onto dehydrator trays lined with solid sheets or parchment paper in one layer.
  5. Dry for 18-24 hours at 150°F/65°C, until crisp.

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10 thoughts on “Pumpkin Powder: How-to

  1. simplelifedreamer says:

    I would have never thought of making pumpkin powder! I have a dehydrator on my Christmas list, so excited to try this! Thanks!

    1. Admin says:

      Enjoy 🙂 You will find once you start dehydrating, it will become your new addiction…hehehehe Join our Facebook group if you are interested.

  2. Laura says:

    Great post! Had not thought about pumpkin powder, but what a great idea. Thank you!

    1. Admin says:

      Enjoy !!!

  3. Kim Smith says:

    This looks like it takes a lot of dedication to make the powders.

    1. Admin says:

      Not really. Most powders are very easy to make.

  4. Pam says:

    Love this!! Bring on fall please! I have a small amount of powder that I made last year but need more to make my pies.

    1. Admin says:

      I made all my pies and pumpkin rolls with pumpkin powder last year 🙂

  5. Hello,
    my partner has just offered me a 10 tray dehydrator, I didn’t quite know what to do appart from dehydrated apple slices but finding your blog has been amazing. I can get lost for hours in it and have learnt so much. That article on pumpkin powder was so comprehensive. I love the way everything is explained, from how to choose the fresh produce to the best preservation method for storage and the recipes using the preserved product. I can’t wait for my pumpkins to ripen so I can try making some powder and taste some of those lattes. I’ve added the dry mix to my christmas gift list, this sounds too good not to share!

    1. Admin says:

      I am so happy you are finding our site usual Marie 🙂

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