How to dry a pumpkin at home
An autumn crop would be incomplete without a bright orange pumpkin. It provides virtually unlimited culinary and decorative options. In order for the pumpkin to be stored for a long time, it can be dried for further use in food. You can easily do it yourself, either using kitchen appliances or in a natural way. The whole fruits of decorative varieties are dried for further use as crafts. Read how to do this in the review.
Important! Pumpkin is 90% water, which makes it very low-calorie and dietary. 1 cup of dry product contains less than 100 calories. This is 3 times less than the same portion of potatoes.
Pumpkin selection and preparation
To begin with, decide on the purpose for which it is necessary to dry the pumpkin. More meaty varieties are used for food. And for decorative vases and crafts for Halloween, you will need a cucurbit or lagenaria variety.
For drying, choose a fruit with a shiny shell without signs of decay or mechanical damage. If any place is in doubt - click on it with your finger. The fruit should be dense, softened tissues are not allowed. A strong and healthy stem is also a sign of a good fetal condition.
Before drying, the fruit must be thoroughly washed. To do this, take a little detergent for dishes, dilute with warm water and add a little detergent with chlorine content. Wash carefully so as not to damage the peel. Then rinse the fruit with running water and dry thoroughly. So you remove bacteria from the surface that can cause premature decay. At this point, your fruits are ready for further drying.
Important! Most parts of the pumpkin are edible, including the meaty shell, seeds, leaves, and even flowers. In addition, this plant is involved in traditional medicine recipes.
How to dry a pumpkin at home
For further use in the preparation of dry raw food, the fruits of the pumpkin are cut into pieces.
To do this, you will need:
- Peel with a sharp knife. You need to cut a little thicker than the peel of the potato.
- Remove the stem.
- Take out the seeds with a spoon.
- Carefully remove the remains of the pulp that was with the seeds.
- Cut into pieces. Their size can be any. But do not make them too small, because they decrease during drying.
In a natural way
Spread the slices evenly on the tray. They can be dried indoors or outdoors under the sun for 5 days until completely dry. Dry slices can be stored in bulk containers and consumed as needed. Finished slices should be wrinkled and brittle.
In some countries, dry slices are ground in a blender to a powdery state. In the future, this powder is used to make pies, pumpkin puree, soups or pumpkin bread. Did you know? The minimum time spent cutting Jack-Lantern from a pumpkin is 16.47 seconds. The record was set on October 31, 2013 by Stephen Clark (New York, USA). According to the rules, the lantern must have eyes, nose, mouth and ears.
In the oven
Slices are placed on a baking sheet so that air freely circulates between them. The oven is heated to +60 ° C. Set the leaf with pieces of pumpkin and dry with an ajar door for 6 hours.
You will be interested to read how pumpkin is useful for men and women.
In the electric dryer
Drying in an electric dryer occurs without human intervention. Load the slices on the wire rack. Can be dried according to the instructions for the device. Drying at +55 ... + 60 ° C is usually recommended. Drying time - 6-12 hours, depending on the thickness of the slices. You might want to flip pumpkin slices during drying, but this is usually not required.
Video: Drying pumpkins in an electric dryer
Features of drying pumpkins for decorative purposes
Whole pumpkins are used for decorative purposes, so the cooking technology will be different.
Drying technique for the use of fruits in crafts :
- The fruits are washed and dried.
- Carefully cut the stem.
- Take out the seeds and pulp in which they were located with a spoon.
- The fetus is treated with alcohol from the inside for disinfection.
- Set on a wooden drying tray. The room should be dry and cool.
Did you know? The maximum recorded distance for burning Jack-o-lantern from a pumpkin is 1690.24 m. For this, Ralph J. Eschborn used his air gun. The record was set on September 9, 2010 in Moab, Utah, USA.
Direct sunlight should not affect workpieces during drying. There should be enough space on the pallet so that air circulates freely around the workpieces. The air warms up to a temperature of +10 ° C, relative humidity - not higher than 70%. The fruits will dry for about 3-6 months.
To dry the fruits for decorative crafts for Halloween and other autumn holidays, you need 1.5 months before they occur. Often the question arises whether it is possible to dry a pumpkin quickly if you need the craft urgently.
Of course, you can use the oven and carry out the drying in several stages. Dry the fruit with paper towels from the inside for several hours. They must be changed as they get wet. As soon as the napkin remains dry - the blanks are sent to dry in the oven. Within 8 hours, it is necessary that the temperature remains stable (+60 ° C). For uniform processing, the fruit is periodically rotated.
How to determine readiness
Pumpkin dried for future culinary use should be dry and brittle. Decorative blanks should become solid, like wood, and acquire a plain brown shade.
Learn also how to make pumpkin jam and pumpkin marmalade.
How to store dried pumpkin properly
Slices will be stored in glass jars, under the “cover” of thick paper. This is necessary in order to ensure normal air exchange and the absence of dampness in the tank.
Decorative blanks can be stored in any dry room with the same microclimate parameters as during drying. Air temperature - +10 ... + 15 ° С, humidity - 60–70%. Drying a pumpkin is very simple. We are sure that you will definitely enjoy the result.