How Long Does Pumpkin Last?: Ever looked at those funny, and yellowish-orange pumpkins and wondered how long an average pumpkin lasts? Well, these healthy and yummy “fruits” need to be stored properly to preserve their flavor and nutrient profiles. After all, they can be used for side salads, dressings, smoothies, and pies. Read the article to discover complete information about storage, shelf life, and the benefits of eating pumpkins.
- How Long Does a Pumpkin Last?
- How do you when Pumpkin Goes Bad?
- How to Store the Pumpkins?
- How to Defrost a Frozen Pumpkin?
- How long do the uncarved pumpkins last?
- How to keep pumpkins from rotting?
- What is a long-lasting pumpkin?
The pumpkins are all over the place, be it in kitchens or backyards. They are carved on by aspiring artists, receive makeovers for quirky Halloween photoshoots, and luckily get roped in the new diet and food trends. Therefore, it is pretty natural to be curious about the shelf life and storage options for these giant fruits.
|Type of Pumpkin||Shelf Life|
|Freshly Bought Pumpkin||8-12 weeks (without a fridge)|
|Fresh Pumpkin||12-20 weeks (with a fridge)|
|Jack-o-Lanterns Pumpkins||5-10 days|
|Canned/ Chopped Pumpkin||8-10 weeks|
Experienced horticulturists believe that a pumpkin’s shelf life can be as follows. It is worth apprising that the exact shelf life and internal condition of a given pumpkin can vary depending on many external factors like the pesticides used for its growth, the farming methods adopted, storage facilities, and transportation.
But roughly speaking, if you manage to store the chopped pieces in airtight containers inside a freezer, you can safely consume healthy pumpkin smoothies for at least 3-4 months.
Though the shelf life of pumpkin is unusually long as compared to other fruits, it is bound to inevitably go bad given that it is a perishable food item. Therefore, those who wish to savor the delicious taste of the pumpkins shall look out for subtle signs of a deteriorating pumpkin.
Many of these symptoms may take time to appear whereas some of them will show up fast. It heavily depends on the storage and production conditions. Some of these tangible symptoms of a pumpkin going bad can be
- Foul Smell: If you feel that your stored pumpkin smells funny or gives off a weird odor, it is most probably unfit for consumption now. Excessive heat and moisture can be the most plausible reasons behind this damage.
- Moldy Appearance: These giant fruits are quite firm when fresh but tend to get softer over time. This can be attributed to the natural decomposition of its layers but if you suspect extra tenderness, then it may indicate that the pumpkin has gone bad.
- Color Change: The most trustworthy sign of a deteriorating pumpkin is its color or appearance. If a pumpkin has red/ dark green/ black/ blue patches or spots, then it is advisable that you get rid of it immediately. Chopping off the ‘infected’ portion in order to utilize the ‘cleaner’ part of the pumpkin might not be a good idea because the pathogens tend to seep through the soft layers and infect the core as well.
- Sour Taste: One cannot ignore the judgment of our taste buds, can we? If the uncooked pumpkin tastes sour or bitter, then it clearly shows that it is time to get rid of the fruit and make room for more fresh ones.
It is strongly suggested by nutritionists and doctors alike that we should only eat fresh and organically grown fruits and vegetables. Therefore, you should always go for fresh farm produce rather than canned versions of pumpkin.
The canned version of chopped pumpkin is loaded with preservatives that simply destroy the nutritional benefits of the pumpkin while enriching it with carbohydrates, processed fats, and salts. The canned version might be easier to store but its nutrition profile is dubious. So, unhesitantly pick fresh and large pumpkins and chop them into small pieces for storage purposes.
Not all pumpkins are meant to be displayed as Jack-o-Lanterns. Mostly, they are needed to prepare healthy, colorful, and delicious smoothies, salads, curries, and desserts. Therefore, the parent pumpkins meant for Halloween can be used up in a day but the baby pumpkins for daily use need to be stored properly. Thankfully, storing and freezing these pumpkins is not a tedious task but rather quite a fun one.
All you need, to undertake the pumpkin’s storage ‘journey’, is an airtight container and a freezer. Some of the smart tips for storing your leftover pumpkin like a pro are
- Chop the large pumpkin into small pieces.
- Place the chopped pieces into clean and airtight containers using sanitized utensils.
- Tightly secure the lids of these airtight containers or packets.
- Place these packets back into the freezer.
- Take them out and use them accordingly before placing them back in the freezer.
It is suggested that the pumpkins shall be stored in glass or steel containers rather than plastic ones because the natural lactic acid, which is secreted by the external layers of a pumpkin, can dangerously react with the plastic. Also, maintaining the right temperatures inside the freezer without excessively stuffing it is the key to the perfect storage process.
However, if you wish to store the pumpkin without chopping, then try to wrap it in wax paper and keep it in a cool and humid place.
On a summer day, nothing can beat the feel of an ice-cold pumpkin smoothie. So, why not take that pumpkin out from the freezer and defrost it? As the name suggests, defrosting a food item simply means retrieving its tenderness and flavor profile back. Thankfully, defrosting a hopped pumpkin is far easier than a complete one. Some of the cool tips that can come in handy for defrosting are
- Take out the chopped pumpkin from the freezer.
- Evenly spread out the pumpkin pieces with clean hands on a drying cloth.
- Wrap up all the required pieces in fresh parchment paper or wax paper.
- Keep the wrapped pumpkin in the fridge for at least 10-12 hours i.e. overnight, if possible.
- Once the pieces become tender, you can take them out and use them accordingly.
- Keep the rest of the pumpkin back in the freezer.
Whereas if you wish to defrost a giant pumpkin, you better pull up your socks for this task. U need to keep it at room temperature for at least 3-4 hours instead of wrapping rolls of wax paper around it. The temperatures might soften it up, though chopping will be inevitably necessary to reach the hardened core.
For a better experience, you can directly incorporate frozen pumpkin pieces into your dishes, since they will taste the same. What matters is that the pumpkin has been peeled nicely for this task.
FAQs on How Long Does Pumpkin Last
The uncarved pumpkins can stay fresh for a fairly long time than carved ones. You can consume an uncarved pumpkin for at least 10-12 weeks after you buy it. That means these giant fruits won’t be limited to your Halloween decoration and can transcend the boundaries of your playroom decor as well.
If you wish to preserve your pumpkins for a longer time, it is important to prevent them from shriveling up. The pumpkins shrivel when they lose a major portion of their moisture to the surrounding atmosphere. Therefore, you can spray your pumpkins with water occasionally during the day along with DIY pumpkin refresher spray.
Different varieties of pumpkins have different shelf lives. The pumpkins belonging to the species of Jarrahdale, Traimble, Seminole, etc. can be consumed till 12 months after they have been picked. This makes them the kings of pumpkins with the longest shelf lives.
Therefore, it can be concluded that pumpkins are an important part of our menus as well as our cultures. It occupies our front laws during Halloween and treats our taste buds in our kitchens. So, it makes sense to understand the basic preservation techniques for the pumpkin.
Its extendable shelf life, storage capacity, and variety are truly what makes this fruit special. Hopefully, this article answered all your questions about the pumpkin and its shelf life. Stay tuned for more updates about vegetables and your favorite food items and their shelf lives.