We’ve all been there: a recipe only calls for a portion of a can of something, maybe pumpkin or tomato paste, and the remainder gets put into a container, tossed in the fridge, and promptly forgotten until it’s green and fuzzy and you’re pretty sure you know what food it started out as.
I hate wasting food, and I hate wasting money. I try to avoid both at all times.
Here’s my simple system to make sure I use all my pumpkin when I make a recipe like these delicious muffins that only calls for 1 cup.
- Freeze the leftovers right away, either in one-cup portions in a storage container for future recipes, or like this in ice cube trays:
By the way, I’d freeze tomato paste in ice cube trays too OR just in a plastic baggie for future use.
- If you use ice cube trays, put it right into a plastic ziploc. This way you don’t have to worry about getting pumpkin on your freezer or covering the ice cube tray with plastic wrap. You can also put it into a very full freezer:
- When the pumpkin is frozen, you just crack the cubes out of the tray and into the bag – the simplest to-do-list task you’ll do all day long.
If you freeze your pumpkin in one-cup portions, just thaw before using on your next muffin-baking day. If you forget, you can thaw the container fairly quickly by floating it in hot water.
Pumpkin cubes are even more versatile.
- You can use them for pumpkin recipes (about 8 cubes makes a cup at my house, but you’ll have to measure your own).
- You can sub part of the oil/fat in zucchini bread without changing the flavor very much. Many people do this with applesauce, so try pumpkin next time – a lot more nutrition and fewer carbs!
- Toss a cube or two into your spaghetti sauce for pumped up nutrition.
- Mix a few cubes into a soup.
- You could even try pumpkin oatmeal with one cube (cools it down for the kids and makes orange stripes by stirring).
- Healthy Pumpkin Muffins (and soaked pumpkin muffins)
- Healthy Pumpkin Cookies
- Grain-free Pumpkin Pancakes (or any orange vegetable)
- Cabbage Pumpkin Soup
- Other tips for using little bits of leftover pumpkin
- I’ve even tossed a bit of pumpkin into these paleo pancakes
What else do you do with your pumpkin?
Bloggers, come on back this Thursday to link up your healthy recipes in the October Fest Carnival of Super Foods!