In autumn, when harvesting is over, gardeners gladly boast of their achievements. And no one talks without mentioning a pumpkin. Among the variety of vegetables, the beautiful pumpkin is distinguished by its size and variety of colors. Yellow, orange, green, monophonic and striped pumpkins adorn the bakery of vegetable lovers.
And if it was possible to grow a weighty beauty, then immediately the question arises: "How to store the pumpkin correctly, so that it does not deteriorate and saves all its useful properties?".
It's hard to find a person who would not have a pumpkin taste. To begin with, this is the most valuable product introduced into the food "infants".With pleasure it includes in your diet those who aspire to be slender and permanently preserve youth and health. Pumpkin is a storehouse of vitamins and minerals that our body needs so much in winter and early spring. But up to this time you need to keep the pumpkin.
How to preserve the useful properties of pumpkin for the whole winter
The most important thing to do for the longest storage of pumpkin at home:
1. Choose varieties that can be stored for a long time
The most suitable for long-term storage are the table varieties of this vegetable. The forage gourd is not cured( storage time).
It is better to choose varieties that are mature late, and the ripeness level should be medium. More suitable for storage are large fruits with a thick crust. Heavy bark protects against microorganisms and saves more useful components.
"Prikubanskaya" and "Arabatskaya" varieties have proved themselves excellent, and late-ripening varieties like "Vitamin", "Pearl" and "Winter sweet" generally have no equal in terms of storage time. Pumpkin nutmeg varieties under proper conditions can retain their useful properties for up to six months.
2. Create the conditions under which the pumpkin will be stored
Naturally, such characteristics as humidity and temperature, must correspond to certain values. The optimum temperature regime is 3-15 degrees at a humidity of about 80 percent.
Pumpkin should be stored only in a room where there is a lot of space - in crowded areas it will quickly deteriorate. Places for storing vegetables, including pumpkins, must first be processed so that there are no sources of infection.
How to harvest correctly, so that the pumpkin will last longer
Pumpkin harvest in the middle zone of Russia can be harvested in the second half of September. If the weather favors, then you can withstand the pumpkin in the beds and longer. The main thing is to have time, so that the fruits do not take the first frost.
It is necessary to pay attention to the stem: for storage leave those fruits, in which it is stiff and dry. The fruit should be cut with a knife, the tail is left to ten centimeters. Orange beauty with a dry, stiff tail is kept better.
- When cleaning pumpkins, handle them with care, do not allow impacts and damage. At the site of damage, microbes and bacteria can accumulate, which will provoke decay.
- Do not carry the pumpkin by the tail - it can break, and the pumpkin will be damaged.
- For harvesting choose dry sunny days.
- The fruit should be dried on air for five days, if possible, where there is access to the sun's rays.
- When transporting, take care that the container in which the pumpkin is transported is covered with a soft cloth to avoid damage.
Secrets of long-lasting pumpkin storage
- You can save fruits even in the room. Pumpkins are stored on balconies, on verandas, in storerooms, in garages and even in living quarters. The most suitable option for storage is a cellar or a cellar.
- In the cellar( basement) the pumpkins are laid out on specially equipped shelves. Keep them can be wrapped in parchment( not tightly) and suspended in a grid.
- Before determining the storage location, estimate the area where pumpkins are planned to be placed. Remember that fruits like space.
- The storage area can be covered with dry straw or parchment. Definitely, materials that do not absorb moisture are not suitable. And it's not recommended to pack fruits in the cellophane shell at all - the accumulation of moisture will provoke the reproduction of fungi and bacteria.
- The old damp litter should be changed periodically.
- Pumpkin should not touch the sides - between them you must withstand a distance of at least a couple of centimeters.
- In the rooms of the pumpkin for storage can be folded in a dark place, for example, under the bed. There the temperature is lower.
- In the pantry it is better to make wooden shelving, on which the fruit is laid out.
- When storing, the stalk should be on top.
- Fruits should be inspected periodically. If dark spots are noticed, the pumpkin should be immediately removed from the store and used.
Other ways of storing the pumpkin
If you do not have a basement or a cellar, and the apartment does not have a loggia and a roomy storage room, then it is problematic to save the fruit entirely. Of course, you can, as mentioned above, put them in a dark place. But after the heating is turned on in the apartment, the fruits can not be stored for a long time.
Yes, and on the balconies, even glazed, to store pumpkins is not the best option: they take a lot of space, and with the onset of cold weather, it will be necessary to ensure that the fruits are sheltered, since pumpkin is not friendly with subzero temperatures.
Of course, fresh fruits are the most valuable, but if you can not keep the pumpkin fresh, you can do it differently.
- Dried fruits. The dried pumpkin becomes smaller in volume. It is convenient for such purposes to use special electric driers. For drying, the pumpkin is cut into slices. Store in a sealed container, and layers it is desirable to shift the parchment. Shelf life - up to a year. In this form, the pumpkin is suitable for the preparation of soups, candied fruits and mashed potatoes.
- Frozen pumpkin flesh. For freezing, the fruit is cleaned of seeds and crusts, cut into pieces or grinded on graters. For freezing it is convenient to use bags or containers. Store in such conditions for up to a year. Defrost should be slowly, shifting from the freezer to the lower shelf of the refrigerator.
- Storage of cut pumpkin. The fruits are large, therefore, usually not all of the pumpkin is used for cooking. The rest can be stored in the refrigerator for up to two weeks if it is packaged in food film. In foil under similar conditions it is stored for a month.
So, if you appreciate health, want to keep activity and be energetic, then the pumpkin should become a frequent guest on your table. And in order for it to retain its useful qualities, store it correctly.