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How to Dehydrate Pumpkin

Are you ready to learn how to dehydrate pumpkin? Of course you are and you've come to the right place!

pile of pumpkins

Folks write in and ask me, "I don't know how to dehydrate pumpkin!" and, "Can I dehydrate pumpkin?"

The answers are, "It's easy - and yes, you can (and should!) dehydrate pumpkins" - and it's very easy to do (in true Easy Food Dehydrating-fashion).

Please note this: I am NOT suggesting you dehydrate your old carved-out pumpkins after they've been "in use." No Siree Bob.

I'm talking about drying pumpkin that is FRESH, so consider picking up an extra one or two smaller pumpkins that are just for dehydrating!

TOP Frequently Asked Questions:

Q. Top combined question: How to dry pumpkin seeds and food dehydrator pumpkin seeds?
A. Here is a reliable method for drying and preserving pumpkin seeds:

  • Rinse seeds under running water and pat dry with a towel. You can dry-roast them now for extra flavor.
  • Spread a single layer of pumpkin seeds onto a parchment-lined tray or fruit roll drying sheet. Avoid overcrowding.
  • Dehydrate at 120-130°F for 12-24 hours. Check and rotate trays every few hours. Actual time depends on your desired final crispness.

To test if seeds are done, check for a super crispy hard texture throughout. They will have noticeably shrunk in size as well.

For extra salted flavor, lightly toss cooled seeds in a bowl with sea salt and return to the dehydrator for 2 more hours.

When fully cured, store pumpkin seeds in an airtight glass Mason jar or vacuum-sealed bag in a cool dark place for up to 3 months shelf life.

Proper low and slow dehydration helps retain the healthy fats and oils in the seeds while evaporating all excess moisture so they can be enjoyed or planted later.

Q. Can you dehydrate pumpkin?
A. Yes, keep reading this page to see how easy it is to dehydrate pumpkin, and how to dry pumpkin seeds is described in the FAQ above.

Q. Do you have to cook pumpkin before you dehydrate it?
A. No, you do not need to cook the pumpkin before dehydrating. All you need to do is slice it thinly - in evenly sized pieces - and dry it in a dehydrator.

Q. How long does pumpkin take in a dehydrator?
A. The dehydration process takes between 9-11 hours, depending on the size and thickness of your pumpkin slices.

Q. Can my dog eat pumpkin?
A. Yes, see the recipe towards the bottom of the page for Fresh Pumpkin Dog Treats!

Q. Dehydrated pumpkin? and Pumpkin dehydrated?
A. Yes, this keyword search is what this page is all about. Keep reading!

Pumpkin Nutrition Info.

VITAMINS: Vitamins A, B1, B6, and C, Copper, Fiber, Folate, and Manganese.

MINERALS: Calcium, Potassium, and Magnesium, which can help keep your heartbeat regular and your blood pressure low.

Child in a pumpkin field with a farmer

Finding the Perfect Pumpkin

Let's start with picking the right pumpkin. If you're bothered about picking the perfect pumpkin process, that's okay. You can always ask the farmer to help you pick just the right one.

Buy a few smaller ones, too, for dehydrating. Tell him you've learned how to dehydrate pumpkin on Easy Food Dehydrating!

The perfect pumpkin is generally one that feels solid and heavy for its size. Look for smooth, consistent coloring and no visible blemishes.

So, let's get stuck in! Ready, set, dehydrate!

Pumpkin pieces drying

How to Dehydrate Pumpkin

The dehydrating process for pumpkin is easy. Just four simple steps to dehydrate pumpkin:

  1. Clean your pumpkin thoroughly.
  2. Cut it into thin slices. The thinner, the faster it will dehydrate.
  3. Arrange the slices on the tray of your dehydrator, making sure the pieces don't overlap.
  4. Set the temperature to 135°F on your dehydrator.
  • Dehydrated pumpkin will be brittle when fully dried.
  • Drying time: between 9-11 hours.
  • Please remember to rotate your trays for even drying.

Once the pumpkin pieces are hard and brittle, they're ready! Store them in an airtight container such as a glass Mason jar and include an oxygen absorber inside the jar.

If you prefer to vacuum-seal your pumpkin pieces and store them in vacuum-sealed bags, add the oxygen absorber to the bag before vacuuming out the air.

Keep all your dehydrated goodies in a cool, dark area of your home.

TIP: I've even used a closet - see how to make space "where there is none" right HERE.

Safe Storage for Your Dehydrated Pumpkin

Mason Jars Regular Mouth Quart Jars

  • Ball brand regular mouth Glass Mason Jars. Quart size (32oz)
  • Package of 12

Mason Jars Wide Mouth Pint Jars

  • Ball brand wide mouth Glass Mason Jars. Pint size (16oz)
  • Package of 12

Mason Jars Wide Mouth Half Pint Jars

  • Ball brand wide mouth Glass Mason Jars. Half-Pint (8oz)
  • Package of 12

*As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases with no price increase to you. Read disclosure here.

What About Adding Spices for Added Flavor?

You can add spices to raw pumpkin before dehydrating it to add flavor. While you can dehydrate raw pumpkin "as is," adding a bit of seasoning before dehydrating enhances the flavor depending on the intended use, i.e. a "sweet" or "savory" outcome.

Sweet!

For a desired sweet outcome, lightly dust the raw pumpkin slices with cinnamon or a homemade pumpkin spice mix (easy recipe shown below) before dehydrating.

or Savory...

For a savory twist, try sprinkling a little salt, and pepper. And/or how about some smoked paprika or chili powder? Wow!

Note: Add seasonings sparingly as the flavors intensify during the dehydration process!

Another IMPORTANT Note:
DO NOT add any spices
to your raw pumpkin if you're going to feed that
dehydrated batch
of pumpkin to your dog(s).

Another IMPORTANT Note:
DO NOT add any spices

to your raw pumpkin
if you're going to feed
that dehydrated batch

of pumpkin to your dog(s).



Homemade
Pumpkin Spice Blend

pumpkin spice in a bowl

Ingredients

  • 2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon of ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon of ground nutmeg

How to Make Pumpkin Spice

  1. In a small bowl, combine all the ingredients.
  2. Stir until well mixed.
  3. Store the blend in an airtight container.
  4. Use this spice blend in your favorite fall dishes and desserts for that extra hint of warmth and coziness!

Did you know this? While dried ground pumpkin adds an interesting twist, traditional pumpkin spice blend does not contain any pumpkin. It's made with the simple ingredients above.



Dried Pumpkin Powder - A Unique Flavor Addition

Just wanted to add here that you can use your dehydrated pumpkin as a seasoning. Grind it up when it's completely dry!

Dried ground pumpkin can be used to add a unique flavor to a variety of dishes. Here are a few ideas:

  • Pumpkin Spice: As mentioned earlier, dried ground pumpkin can be mixed with spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cloves to make the pumpkin spice blend. This can be used in baking recipes, coffees, and fall-themed desserts.
  • Soups and Stews: It can be added to soups and stews to give a hint of sweetness and creaminess.
  • Baked Goods: Muffins, bread, cookies, pancakes, and waffles can all benefit from a pinch of dried ground pumpkin. It can add a unique and interesting depth of flavor.
  • Smoothies: Dried ground pumpkin can add a flavorful twist and extra fiber to your favorite fruit or vegetable smoothies.
  • Spice Rubs: Can also be used in spice rubs for meats to give a slightly sweet, earthy flavor.
  • Protein Shake: For a fall twist, add some to your post-workout protein shake.

Remember, as with any spice or flavor additive, the key is to start with a small amount and adjust the amount to suit your taste buds.

Also, pumpkin powder can be used as a healthier alternative to wheat flour in cooking or baking. 

Also, waste not, want not - save your pumpkin seeds and dehydrate (and roast them) - learn how on my how to dehydrate nuts and seeds here.

Pick Up Extra Pumpkin Just for Dehydrating

Add a neat little twist to the time-honored tradition - namely the fun of carving pumpkins - by making dehydrated pumpkin treats (more on how to dehydrate pumpkin to make treats for humans and pets farther down this page)... Make it a new routine that you can look forward to every year!

Let's be honest, nothing quite matches the satisfaction of using up discarded pumpkin parts and making delectable and nutritious treats - for humans - and our dogs!

Getting the most out of your Halloween pumpkin never tasted so good!

Carved Pumpkins with candles lit

Learning how to dehydrate pumpkin can seem like a big task, but think of the rewards! You’ll not only create a scary lantern or two, but you'll also have delicious snacks for your dog - and have fun doing it! (Reminder, we're not dehydrating the old pumpkin carcasses! Just fresh pumpkin!)

Go grab your pumpkin-cutting tools (or "treat" yourself to some new ones below - no "tricks" allowed), and then I'll show you how to dehydrate pumpkin!

#1: Pumpkin Carving Kit

Pumpkin Carving Kit

For Halloween pumpkin carving, you'll want this kit of carving tools for making intricate designs. Look for sturdy tools that won't bend easily.

#2: Sharp Chef's Knife (by Cutluxe)

Cutluxe Chef Knife

A sharp and sturdy knife is essential for cutting the pumpkin (and anything else!) into smaller, manageable pieces. Here is a chef's knife with a full tang (that means the handle and blade "are one" so they can't come apart when we're slicin' and a dicin').

#3: Non-Slip Cutting Board

Thirteen Chefs Cutting Board Non-Slip Surface

Use a cutting board with a non-slip bottom. Pumpkins can be quite slippery, and a secure cutting board can prevent spills, slips... and accidents.

#4: Vegetable Peeler

Vegetable Peeler by OXO

A good vegetable peeler helps to remove the pumpkin's skin more efficiently than a knife. I'm an "OXO"-brand fan. Just keep your fingers out of the way...

#5: Melon Baller / Scooper

Melon Baller/Scooper

Obviously, this is useful for easily scooping, scraping, and removing the seeds and pulp from the pumpkin.

Check out this page on "Dehydrating Nuts and Seeds" (and how to roast pumpkin seeds).

#6: Mandoline Slicer or Food Processor

Mandoline Slicer

Once you have your pumpkin pieces, a mandoline slicer - or a food processor-type gadget that has a slicing blade - make slices of pumpkin that are the same thickness. (Wear gloves if you're accident-prone).

Slice thickness matters. Why? Because we need to dehydrate pieces that are of a uniform thickness so the slices dehydrate at the same rate.

Try this awesome slicer I just had to get:

SUPMAKIN Slicer + Dicer Mandoline ~ OnceForAll Brand

French fry cutter, vegetable chopper, vegetable slicer cutter, potato slicer, chopper for kitchen meal prep.

A multi-function mandoline that I just couldn't resist getting!

#7: Safety Gloves

NoCry Premium Cut Resistant Gloves - Food-Grade

To protect your hands while cutting or peeling the pumpkin, consider purchasing a pair of these cut-resistant gloves. Safety is always be a priority in the kitchen.

*As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases with no price increase to you. Read disclosure here.

Remember, always handle these pumpkin-cutting tools with care, especially when children are nearby (and are watching you closely and learning from you).

Dog sitting inside a carved pumpkin

Can I Feed Pumpkin to My Dog?

Many dog owners have asked, "Is pumpkin safe for my dog to eat?"

Yes! Pumpkin is edible - and beneficial not only for us humans - but for our four-legged friends too. So, while you and your kids are carving out pumpkin faces, Sheba can watch and drool while she waits for her treats!

And now, for the part you – and Sheba - are probably most excited about! Here’s a tasty healthy recipe for pumpkin dog treats.


Fresh Pumpkin
Dog Treats

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of fresh pumpkin purée*
  • 1 and a half cups of whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup of dry oats
  • 1/4 cup of cornmeal
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon of honey
  • 1/2 cup of water

*To make fresh pumpkin purée: Cut a small pumpkin in half, remove the seeds, and bake in the oven cut-side-down on a baking sheet for 45-50 minutes at 375°F or until the pumpkin is soft and the skin can be easily pricked with a fork.

Scoop out the pumpkin and blend until smooth. Measure out 1 cup for this recipe and save the rest for another use.

How to Make Downright Delicious Pumpkin Dog Treats!

  1. Preheat your oven to 375°F.
  2. In a large glass bowl, mix the pumpkin purée, eggs, and honey. Then give your arm a rest (or use a mixer!)
  3. In another bowl, mix the whole wheat flour, oats, and cornmeal. (Not as hard as the pumpkin mixin'!)
  4. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the pumpkin mixture. Stir until it's all combined. If the dough is too dry, add water gradually until it reaches a workable doughy consistency.
  5. Roll out the dough on a well-floured board or countertop to about a 1/4-inch thickness.
  6. Use a cookie cutter to cut out shapes. Check out the bone-shaped cutters below! Transfer the cut-out dough pieces to a parchment paper-lined baking sheet.
  7. Bake them for 35-40 minutes or until the treats are hard and dry. Allow them to cool before serving to your pup!
    I bet you try one too... and that's OK, just don't let your dogs catch you stealing their treats!

Bone Shaped Cookie Cutters!

Here are some handy bone-shaped doggie treat cutters!

Yep, they're on Amazon.

Everything's on Amazon.

*As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases with no price increase to you. Read disclosure here.

Make Your Own Dog Food book cover

Don't forget - it's like a pet food party to your pooch, so introduce new nibbles gradually, and keep your eagle eyes open for any funky reactions.

Remember, your best bet is to have a quick chat with your vet to make sure that these new treats are a good match for your dog's specific health profile.

Enjoy cooking for your pup! 

Learn how to make your own doggie food here or click the image.


Now you know how to dehydrate pumpkin at home. I do hope you are even more eager to take on this year's - and every Halloween season - in full swing!

Don't forget to get your free "Six Simple Steps" eBook where I share how to dehydrate food safely!