Pumpkin Spice Cubes

For the last several weeks, I’ve been spending some time every few days preserving our garden harvest.  I’ve canned a few batches of tomato sauce, and this afternoon I’ll be roasting tomatoes to store in the freezer so that I can make this amazing soup during the winter when fresh tomatoes are scarce.  I’ve also frozen lots and lots of chard and turnip greens – I’m hoping that between the frozen greens and our cold frame, we won’t have to buy greens this winter at all.  We’ll see.

One of my favorite preserving projects so far this fall has been pumpkins.  We grew a pie pumpkin plant this year, and our son helped me harvest these four beautiful little pumpkins a few weeks ago:

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I put them in the oven (I think I set it to 350 and cooked them for about 40 minutes?) until they were soft enough to stick a fork into them.  Then I peeled them, removed the seeds (which ended up in that day’s green smoothie), and blended up the pumpkin flesh.  Then I added a few apples and a pear, along with lots of ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg.  I didn’t measure any of the ingredients, but I used quite a bit – I love fall spices!  I blended it all up into a wonderful pumpkin spice mixture, and added just a touch of maple syrup (maybe 1/4 cup, and I had a 64 ounce blender full of pumpkin puree). 

From there, I spooned the puree into ice cube trays and made little frozen cubes of pumpkin spice deliciousness.

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I saved quite a bit of it and used it fresh that week in smoothies and in my oats.  But ever since, I’ve been loving the frozen pumpkin cubes that I have stashed away in the freezer.  Something tells me they aren’t going to last long.  I may have to buy a wagon load of pie pumpkins at the pumpkin patch when we take our boys over there next month for the hayrides.

Most mornings, I melt one of these into my oatmeal, and I’ve also been on a banana/pumpkin smoothie kick lately.  A banana, some almond milk, two cubes of spiced pumpkin and a few seconds of blender time = instant fall goodness.

For all of you with gardens, what have you preserved this year?  I’m wishing I had frozen our spinach before it went to seed.  We had a ton of spinach in the early summer, and we were using it every day.  But then it all went to seed and we replaced it with other greens.  If I had frozen it instead of letting it go to seed, I could make lots of amazing spinach artichoke dip this winter without having to buy spinach.  Definitely on my list of things to do next year!

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Comments

  1. says

    Yummy! Those look so good! I may have to go get a few pie pumpkins! We only planted tomatoes this year since I am a huge wuss when pregnant and it is above 65 degrees out. I didn’t want too much to do in terms of the garden. Unfortunately I have two super lazy, yet total ninja dogs. I have harvested exactly one ripe cherry tomato. My dogs somehow manage to get into the garden no matter what we have tried in terms of fencing (short of chaining them up in the yard, which kinda defeats the purpose of us having a fenced in yard for them to run in…) and eat every single ripe-ish tomato my plants produce. I think I am going to have to go grab a bunch of the green ones and just let them ripen on the counter…sigh….

  2. FrugalBabe says

    Liz, I’m sure canned pumpkin would work just fine. I just needed a way to preserve the pumpkins in our garden, and this worked great.
    Freezing greens is a snap. Harvest, wash, and then stick them in a pot of boiling water (with a lid) for two minutes. Take them out of the water and put them straight into ice water to stop the cooking. Then stick them in freezer bags, label, and put them in the freezer. I try to do four quarts bags full every three or four days – my goal is to have at least 100 bags in the freezer by the time the garden dies.

  3. Kaytee says

    I make smoky pumpkin soup every late autumn/early winter – it’s one of my husband’s favorites. Pumpkins and squash never seem to do well in our garden, so I’ve stopped planting them and just buy a few at the farmers’ market. Or I get organic pumpkin puree from the dented can store.

  4. says

    I am so jealous. Our garen was a complete bust this year. We didnt get many tomatoes at all, but we did get sme snow peas, green beans and green peppers. We are most likely going to plant our “cold weather” items in that garden next year and start a new garden with much better soil in another area for our maters, zukes, squash and beans in 2012.

    I have been able to harvest some of our red raspberries and went to two different pick-your-own places to get strawberries and blueberries. I pureed everything and froze them so I can make triple berry jam one of these weekends.

    The pumpkin cubes sound delicious! Yum!

  5. says

    I am so jealous. Our garen was a complete bust this year. We didnt get many tomatoes at all, but we did get sme snow peas, green beans and green peppers. We are most likely going to plant our “cold weather” items in that garden next year and start a new garden with much better soil in another area for our maters, zukes, squash and beans in 2012.

    I have been able to harvest some of our red raspberries and went to two different pick-your-own places to get strawberries and blueberries. I pureed everything and froze them so I can make triple berry jam one of these weekends.

    We are also going to a fruit stand next weekend to pick up “deer apples” that are $5 for a 50+ lb box! I will be making apple sauce, apple pie, apple dumplings, apple bread, apple butter, etc. They will be for us to eat through the winter as well as for gifts.

    The pumpkin cubes sound delicious! Yum!

  6. Patricia Polk says

    Dear FrugalBabe

    I must cut to the chase…When are you going to start an exclusive gardening blog?
    The pumpkins look excellent!!!

    Patricia

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