How to store pumpkins – so that they last longer
No matter how much you love pumpkin soup, sometimes you just can’t use a whole pumpkin up in one go.
You put the rest of your pumpkin in the fridge, only to find when you go to pull it out for your next batch of soup that it is covered in mould. Unsure if it is safe to eat, you chuck the whole piece of pumpkin away.
Here’s what you need to know about storing cut pumpkin:
- The best way to store cut pumpkin is to wrap it tightly in cling wrap and place it in the fridge.
- Leaving the seeds in or scooping them out makes no difference to how long the pumpkin will last.
- Cut pumpkin will gradually develop a thin film of white mould, and if left even longer, some black or grey mould. If the pumpkin is still firm, the mould can be cut off (make sure you cut off about a centimetre extra of flesh beyond the mould) and eaten safely.
- If the area around the mould is soft or wet, typically occurring when there is black or grey mould this indicates that the mould may have penetrated into the flesh of the pumpkin. In this instance it is not safe to consume the pumpkin, regardless of whether the mould has been removed or not.
- If you don’t want to use cling wrap, you can use a large beeswax wrap (known as a Honeywrap in New Zealand) – but in this instance make sure you remove the seeds first.
Here’s what you need to know about storing whole pumpkins:
- They should be stored in a cool place, such as your garage.
- Store pumpkins upside down (so the stalk is on the bottom).
- Don’t place them directly onto the floor – use a piece of cardboard as a mat for the pumpkin.
- Stored this way, pumpkins can last up to 3-4 months.
Tip: If chopping your pumpkin feels like hard work, try roasting it whole in the oven. You can then chop the pumpkin easily and any pumpkin you don’t need can be frozen and used for soup.