This Is The Best Way To Store Leftover Pumpkin Purée

Ah, fall. What's not to love about this season? The cooler temps, the changing foliage, and of course, all the tasty seasonal foods and drinks are just some of the things we love about autumn. We don't know about you, but fall makes us think of hot cocoa, chicken noodle soup, apple pie, and — of course! — all things pumpkin.

Pumpkin spice — generally a mix of warming spices such as cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves (via Pioneer Woman) — is a phenomenon all its own, showing up in foods as diverse as Twinkies, Pringles, and hummus (via Wide Open Eats). But even without the spice, pumpkin, the original fall flavor, is a defining feature of the season, with desserts such as pumpkin pie, pumpkin muffins, and pumpkin cheesecake gracing our tables as the weather turns nippy.

When you're busting out all that pumpkin purée to flavor your seasonal desserts, you might find you have some tasty squash left over, and you might wonder what the best way to store it is.

Chuck it in the freezer

Whether you're making it from scratch or opening some canned pumpkin, most baked goods call for pumpkin purée, and what often happens is you're left with extra after using the odd half-cup or so. So the question arises: How do I store the rest of this stuff?

Many of us have been guilty of tossing some aluminum foil over the top of an open can of pumpkin purée, throwing it in the fridge, and most likely forgetting about it. But as noted by Food Network, the USDA suggests that canned food be transferred to a covered glass or plastic storage container before stashing in the fridge. You'll want to make sure the container has a good airtight seal, and use up the pumpkin within four days.

If you want to keep your leftover pumpkin on hand for longer, transfer it to the freezer. According to Food Network, pumpkin purée freezes very well and doesn't suffer any changes in taste or texture once thawed. To prep your pumpkin for the freezer, simply plop it into an airtight container; alternatively, you can fill ice cube trays with purée, pop them out once frozen, and transfer them to a zip-top freezer bag — or do the same with ice cream scoops of purée. Once frozen, leftover pumpkin will last up to three months (via Kitchn). So now that you know how to store your pumpkin leftovers, it's time to get a-baking!