Autumn has now officially arrived and October is right around the corner, which means it is the time for cosy jumpers, colourful leaves falling to the ground and pumpkin spice lattes.
Pumpkins are probably one of the most iconic autumn foods which will now be arriving in most supermarkets.
They are perfect at this time of the year for recipes and are used to make soups, desserts or even breads. Pumpkin seeds are also a great source of antioxidants, magnesium and unsaturated fats to add to yoghurts, cereal or smoothies for a health-boosting breakfast.
However, these large orange fruits are also closely associated with Halloween, and many people have fun decorating them and putting them in their gardens or outside their doors for Trick-or-Treaters.
If you are someone who wishes to get into the spooky spirit early or wish to add some autumn fruits to your diet, here is how to store pumpkins to keep them fresher for much longer so they do not mould or go rotten before their time.
If you are not planning to eat your pumpkin and simply wish for it to be an outdoor decoration then coating pumpkins in vinegar is the perfect solution.
Not only will this kill any bacteria and prevent mould, but it will stop pests and other wildlife from going near your pumpkins and destroying them before Halloween. It should be noted that this method should only be used for outdoor pumpkins and not any you plan to eat.
Steph Gigliotti, a cook and mum, has shared her easy method for keeping outside pumpkins so that they “last longer” in time for Halloween.
In a video online, Steph explained: “Fill your sink up with warm water and one cup of white vinegar. Then soak your pumpkin in there for ten minutes on each side. Make sure to get all the sides and then let them air dry.”
As an additional step, you can also coat the pumpkin in Vaseline before decorating it and setting it outside. Steph added: “This should keep your pumpkins fresh for around one or two months.”
How to store pumpkins for eating.
If your pumpkin has not been cut yet, then pumpkins will last much longer in a cool and dark place with plenty of air circulation such as a cupboard. The ideal temperature for storing pumpkins is under 15°C (60°F).
The trick to storing pumpkins is to place them upside down so that the stalk is facing the bottom.
This is done to prevent pumpkins from being squashed down and developing a flat spot but also makes sure the pumpkin ripens evenly. It also stops moisture from collecting on the lid of the pumpkin, which will prevent it from rotting or going mouldy.
Storing pumpkins upside down can also help them taste sweeter. If the stem is exposed to too much air, it can cause it to become tougher and more bitter. Keeping your pumpkins the wrong way up will result in much more delicious autumn recipes and meals.