Frozen Pumpkin Chunks

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Hello!  :)  Sorry I fell off the face of the blogging world last night.  I just needed time away from my computer.  The Husband and I had a lovely Valentine’s Day – he surprised me with tickets to see The Phantom of the Opera (which I love) and we went out to a nice dinner.


I was craving waffles this morning for some reason!


To make the whole wheat waffles, I used a Hodgson’s Mills mix.  I really don’t enjoy eating waffles with syrup (although pancakes with syrup is good!).  I prefer some sort of Greek yogurt topping – like Pumpkin Yogurt!


Since I stocked up on pumpkin last week (rumor has it there is a pumpkin shortage, and I NEED my pumpkin!), I have all these HUGE cans in my pantry.


I eat a lot of pumpkin, but there’s no way I can get through this in less than a week!


I’m experimenting with methods of freezing drops of pumpkin.  I greased a plate and scooped out 1.5 tablespoon globs.  Hopefully, I’ll be able to pop the frozen globs off the plate and into a freezer bag to store.


I’ll let you know if it works!


Eating/Vegetarian Questions?


I’ve had a slew of e-mails recently about my grocery list, eating vegetarian at restaurants, how many calories I eat, etc.  I’ll be going a big post later with answers to all your questions.  If you have anything you’d like to ask about being a vegetarian or just the way I eat in general, ask in the comments section (don’t be shy, ask away!) and I’ll answer this afternoon!


And…. I’m off!  So much to do today!



  • Jessica @ How Sweet February 15, 2010, 8:43 am

    I like how you are trying to freeze it in drops. I have froze some before and it has been fine. I do the same with tomato paste because I only need it in small amounts.

  • megan February 15, 2010, 8:45 am

    sounds like a great valentine’s day! much more exciting than ours. 🙂

    I don’t really have any questions about eating vegetarian, but I’ll still be interested to read all the answers

  • Gabriela @ Une Vie Saine February 15, 2010, 8:45 am

    I had Hodgson Mills waffles last night! So yummy. I “healthified” them by subbing banana for egg, applesauce for oil, and almond milk for regular, and my junk food loving BF enjoyed them more than the ones he made the “normal” way!

  • Lizzy February 15, 2010, 8:48 am

    I’ve always thought about going vegetarian because i already don’t eat alot of meat to begin with, but because i still live at home i eat whatever is made which most of the time is chicken and turkey, i dont eat much red meat at all. Anyways, when you became a vegetarian what were some of the things that you found difficult to cut out because they didn’t fit with the lifestyle, and what are some of your go to meals to eat out at restaurants! Thanks Caitlin! 🙂

  • Erin (Travel, Eat, Repeat) February 15, 2010, 8:48 am

    Hmm, I’ll be curious to see how freezing pumpkin turns out. I have that problem too with opening a can of it and then not being able to finish it all off.

  • Greta February 15, 2010, 8:50 am

    Have you ever made pumpkin-flavored waffles? My boyfriend loves – and I mean LOVES – them.

    I’m not sure if you’ve posted about this before, but I’m wondering if you take any supplements – I’m specifically thinking about b12 and iron, since those are harder to get when eating vegetarian. What’s your opinion about recommended doses of vitamins and minerals?

    • Catherine February 15, 2010, 1:15 pm

      You could always add nutritional yeast to your diet – on popcorn, mixed into tofu scrambles or scrambled eggs, etc. It provides the B vitamins that a lot of vegetarians miss out on.

  • Jenn @ Livewellfit February 15, 2010, 8:51 am

    Totally curious about pumpkin drops! When I finally started freezing my bananas for smoothies/oatmeal/etc…I was beyond ecstatic! Such simple things, right! 🙂

  • Anna @ Newlywed, Newly Veg February 15, 2010, 8:51 am

    Awww, what a sweet husband! I’ve only seen Phantom once, when I was like, eight years old. I think it kind of went over my head 🙂

  • Lee February 15, 2010, 8:52 am

    I love Phantom of the Opera. I pretty much love any musical but that has such good music in particular.

  • Kristine February 15, 2010, 8:53 am

    I have a question (or 2)!
    Do you miss meat? Do you think you will stay vegetarian forever? What about your husband?!

  • Karla February 15, 2010, 8:54 am

    Freezing pumpkin is a good idea! I’ve definitely thrown out many a can 🙁

  • Matt February 15, 2010, 8:56 am

    I love the Hodgson Mill mix! Have you tried the buckwheat mix? It is by far my favorite!

  • Estela @ Weekly Bite February 15, 2010, 8:57 am

    What a great idea about freezing pumpkin! I’m interested to hear how it turns out.

  • Heather @ Side of Sneakers February 15, 2010, 8:57 am

    What a fun Valentine’s day surprise! I’m curious to see how the frozen pumpkin chunks work out- if I ever find pumpkin in NC again I’m going to buy them out of stock 🙂

  • Jamie February 15, 2010, 8:58 am

    Wow, you’ve FINALLY answered the question that I’ve been having for such a long time.. how to keep pumpkin fresh: freeze it! Thank you thank you!

  • Heather February 15, 2010, 9:00 am

    yum the waffles look great!

  • Cynthia (It All Changes) February 15, 2010, 9:07 am

    I used to freeze half of those cans in a tupperware container and thaw in the fridge when I finished the first half. Seemed to work fine for me.

  • Maggie February 15, 2010, 9:11 am

    The pumpkin shortage rumor is true. It’s nearly impossible to find Libby’s pumpkin in stores in NC…and let’s fact it, that’s the only kind worth eating.
    Anyhoo, here’s a question:
    I’ve been listening to lots of Podcasts and reading lots of articles about the potentially negative outcomes of too much soy consumption. You may have addressed this issue earlier, but I couldn’t remember so I thought I’d ask again. I love tofu and I love those Morningstar breakfast patties and Odwalla bars, which are made with soy. Are you concerned about eating too much soy? I try to be conscious of how much I eat. I’m just frustrated because first they tell us too much meat causes cancer, now too much soy causes cancer. SHEESH!

    • Melissa (Getting Fit If It Kills Me) February 15, 2010, 9:54 am

      I had one store in Maryville, TN tell me there was a shortage and they had no pumpkin, then I found it everywhere else – Libby’s brand too! I got several cans. Is there anything else besides pumpkin that you like to put in your oatmeal? I made your Pumpkin Spice Latte Baked Oatmeal for my husband and son and they didn’t like it. Talk about hurt feelings! lol! I’ve done the Vegetarian thing before, so it’s not new to me. In fact, I think this time around it’ll be even easier because there are SO many options out there. And restaurants are really trying to VEG things up for consumers. There’s a fantastic restaurant here in town called the Tomato Head that caters to Vegetarians, although they do offer meat items. I know you’ve only been doing this for about a year (strictly speaking) but your ideas are great. My question would be this: do you have a particular “chain restaurant” that offers more Vegetarian options than others? It’s so hard to know what places will be better, especially when traveling! Thanks!

      • Melissa (Getting Fit If It Kills Me) February 15, 2010, 9:56 am

        Don’t know HOW my comment ended up being a reply to Maggie’s comment, but oh well! LOL! 🙂

      • Caitlin February 15, 2010, 1:09 pm

        well, i just like to make regular banana oatmeal and coffee oatmeal, but i’m not sure the coffee would work for your husband and son! LOL

        • Melissa (Getting Fit If It Kills Me) February 15, 2010, 1:45 pm

          LOL! Actually, I left the coffee out of my son’s portion. He’s only six. 🙂 Can’t wait to see what answers you have to all these questions. There are some great ones!

  • Tonyne @ Unlikely Success Story February 15, 2010, 9:14 am

    I can’t wait to find out if you pumpkin experiment works!! That is such a great idea!

    Glad you had a good V-Day with the hubby! 🙂

  • EmpwerHealth February 15, 2010, 9:17 am

    I’m going to be doing a triathlon in august, where did you get your training plan?! As for vegetarian question…is there a secret to cooking dry beans?! I always get an upset stomach after eating them and they come out so bland. I’ve been getting canned beans lately but I’d really like to get the hang of cooking dry beans as they are cheaper.

    Sounds like you had a great Valentines day!

  • Kt F @ ThroughTheFinish February 15, 2010, 9:17 am

    I’m curious to find out whether freezing pumpkin works… my last can went bad bc I didn’t eat it in time =( nothing bothers me more than paying for food and wasting it! And I seriously miss pumpkin, so let us know!

  • Stacey February 15, 2010, 9:20 am

    Have a good day! Oh, and what a nice surprise from the husband 😀 So thoughtful!

  • Kristen February 15, 2010, 9:20 am

    If the chunks on the plate don’t come off very well, try putting the pumpkin into ice cube trays. then you can just pop the chunks out, put them in a bag or a container and go back to using the trays for ice.

  • Sarah February 15, 2010, 9:22 am

    Mmm, I’ll have to try this pumpkin yogurt!

    I recently made the switch to vegetarianism and I was wondering what kinds of meals you order out at restaurants that aren’t vegetarian/vegan restaurants? Also, what are some of your favorite vegetarian meals?

  • Gracie @ Girl Meets Health February 15, 2010, 9:22 am

    I always seem to get stuck with those ginormous cans of pumpkin too. I usually use about half of it to make a batch of muffins or cookies. I made a great batch of mini pumpkin muffins over the fall but I can’t find the recipe. There are a ton online, though, and I’m pretty sure you can even use pumpkin with a regular box cake/brownie mix. It subs for the butter/oil/eggs.

  • Freya @ February 15, 2010, 9:25 am

    Haha I thought the pumpkin yogurt was a big blob of peanut butter at first! I thought ‘CRIKEY that’s a lot of PB..!!’
    I’m sure someone has alreayd asked this, but I didn’t see it when I glanced through the comments just now, soo:
    How do you get enough protein?/Do you think you do? I heard we’re meant to have like 1-2g a day per kg of bodyweight, and more if we’re training (for marathons etc), so yeah! I would like to go proper veggie, but that concerns me :s
    Plus eating out is SO hard! The options round me are terrible, you’re lucky if there is TWO things on the menu!!

    Glad you had fun last night, I’d love to see Phantom of the Opera 🙂

  • Nicole, RD February 15, 2010, 9:29 am

    I’ll be interested to see if your pumpkin drops work! Phantom sounds like a great V-Day surprise! 🙂

  • emily February 15, 2010, 9:37 am

    Ooh, I’m looking forward to it. I just started a 2 week vegan challenge (mostly for fun) and I could always use some advice.

  • Megan February 15, 2010, 9:37 am

    PLEASE let me know if the pumpkin in the freezer works!! I was wondering if you ever counted your calories and approx how many you aim for in a day?

  • skinnyrunner February 15, 2010, 9:38 am

    i just want to know how the frozen pumpkin blobs came out!

  • Tiffany @ A Dantat's Life February 15, 2010, 9:44 am

    hmm… never thought to freeze pumpkin. would be interested to know if it works! my question would be whether you have a trigger food that just throws you off of your healthy eating or not. i struggle with cereal and granola, and can’t keep my hand out of the box!

  • Danielle (Coffee Run) February 15, 2010, 9:46 am

    That’s really clever! I’ve never thought about freezing canned pumpkin (although I never have a problem finishing it)

    Looking forward to the vegetarian post 😀

  • Hilary February 15, 2010, 9:46 am

    I HAVE to to tell you that freezing pumpkin works great if you put the pumpkin in an ice cube tray, freeze, pop out and store in a freezer ziplock and thaw when you want to use. I live abroad and I can only get pumpkin when people visit, so I HAVE to freeze. Good luck!

  • Becky February 15, 2010, 9:54 am

    After changing the way I eat over the past year, I often thinking about going vegetarian. I actually feel a little bad about eating meat because I feel like I really don’t need it in my life and I don’t think I would miss it at all. I live with the ‘rents and cook for my family most nights and they are all meat-eaters, so….I don’t quite know how to go about making the switch…hmm…thanks for getting me to think a little more about this!

  • Ellen February 15, 2010, 9:56 am

    I second the ice cube tray… that’s how I do it. Ice cube trays are great for freezing individually sized leftovers like pesto, sauces, etc.

    I’m also curious about the tri training plan. I’m just starting to train for this season, and am looking to switch up the plan…

  • Alyssa February 15, 2010, 9:57 am

    I’m sorry if this is a repeat question, but how do you keep your energy levels and iron levels up? I kind of know the answer, I just thought I would ask because I know the question/concern of getting enough protein and iron is something non-vegetarians wonder about. Thanks for being so open! 🙂

  • Andrea ( February 15, 2010, 9:58 am

    Ohhh, great idea on freezing the pumpkin! I hope it works out. And I’m really excited to see what kind of info you have at lunch about vegetarianism/your eating style!

  • Samantha Angela @ Bikini Birthday February 15, 2010, 10:00 am

    maybe a silicon ice cube tray would work? it does take up less space in the freezer than a baking sheet too.

  • Christy February 15, 2010, 10:00 am

    I have a question about your waffles. Are they crispy on the outside at all? They look a little soggy. I love waffles and have thought about trying that mix but wondering how they actually turn out. Can’t wait to hear if the pumpkin freezes! 🙂

    • Caitlin February 15, 2010, 1:22 pm

      they are kind of soft, but not soggy! you could always cook them longer 😉

  • Meredith February 15, 2010, 10:03 am

    I’m making the transition to vegetarian and have no problem coming up with great dinner recipes but find it challenging to come up with creative lunches to bring to work. Any suggestions?

  • February 15, 2010, 10:08 am

    Love Phantom of the Opera! What a great surprise…..

  • ellie February 15, 2010, 10:15 am

    I freeze pumpkin all the time- it seperates a little when it is thawed so looks kinda funky, but just stir it and it should be fine 🙂

    • Sarah February 15, 2010, 11:35 am

      I was going to say that too. I feed my dog a little dollop of canned pumpkin if she gets… um, loose is a nice way to put it haha. But she can never eat a whole can, so I freeze it in batches. The texture is NOT the same when it’s unfrozen tho 🙁 It releases the water and it never stirs up the same. It’s ok if you bake with it or if you’re just not picky, but don’t get your hopes up that it’ll return to it’s original state when thawed.

      • ellie February 15, 2010, 11:40 am

        it helps a bit if you warm it up, though agree that the consistency isn’t great- I throw it into oatmeal and it’s fine

  • Paige (Running Around Normal) February 15, 2010, 10:22 am

    I’m jealous that you have so much extra pumpkin! I can’t find it, and I live 20 minutes away from Libby’s farm 🙁

  • Megan @ Healthy Hoggin February 15, 2010, 10:28 am

    I love Phantom of the Opera! What a sweet surprise. 🙂

    Good luck with the frozen pumpkin!

  • Amanda February 15, 2010, 10:35 am

    Perfect timing for the vegetarian questions blog. It seems like your friends and family and pretty onboard with the vegetarian thing but mine is not and I have a family birthday celebration today where I know this question is going to come up, “why did you decide to become a vegetarian?”

    There are so many reasons why I did, but I don’t particularly like getting in debates with people about it, so my general answer is “I love animals, and I don’t want to eat them”. Thats a very very basic answer and doesn’t encompass 10% of why I actually did decide to go veg. But … I have a feeling my family is going to respond to that with “if we didn’t eat animals they would take over, they would be everywhere in the streets, etc”.

    I guess my question is basically. How do you handle situations where people don’t support or understand your views/decision? Do you debate with them? Just leave it alone and let them think they “win”?

  • Amanda February 15, 2010, 10:36 am

    Oh and I wanted to share a question my grandmother actually asked me yesterday …

    “I know you don’t eat meat, but if I cook vegetables with meat in it as seasoning, will you eat it?”

    Meat as seasoning. Hmmm …


  • Juli D. February 15, 2010, 10:48 am

    Pumpkin is great for dogs too! If you’ve got some extra, you could always give them a special treat. We’ll stuff a Kong with some, freeze it, and our pup will enjoy the treat and tire himself out a bit in the process.

  • Jolene ( February 15, 2010, 11:24 am

    I think freezing the pumpkin will work great! My grandma freezes everything like that 🙂

  • Christina February 15, 2010, 11:32 am

    I’m interested in reading the Q&A later. If you ever need some pumpkin, I’d be happy to ship you a few cans! I’m in CT and we almost always have canned pumpkin available. I love mixing pumpkin, greek yogurt, pumpkin pie spice, vanilla extract, and kashi go lean crunch cereal. I have it almost every day! Soooooooooooooo yum.

    • Caitlin February 15, 2010, 11:44 am

      aww thank you! i have so many cans that i dont think i’ll run out for a while.

  • Tracy February 15, 2010, 11:44 am

    I’d like to know what you do if there are absolutely no options on a restaurant menu? Also – a lot of vegan blogs talk about how much better they “feel” – the glow and what not. Do you feel better since you’ve gone veggie? Thanks!

    • Alison @ finnyfinds February 15, 2010, 12:40 pm

      Hey Tracy! I know your questions are for Caitlin but if you don’t mind I’ll weigh in on the second one since this has been on my mind recently. I’ve been a veg for 7+ years but never felt “glowingly” healthy until the last few months. That’s because I really cracked down on the quality of my food: at least 5 servings of fruit & veggies daily and WAY less junk food. I haven’t been sick at all and my workouts have been AMAZING! I feel like I could run forever.

      So, IMO, it’s not necessarily the absence of meat that matters as much as the intake of high quality nutritious foods. But looking at your blog which has some beautiful veggies on the top, you probably already know that 🙂

  • Jessica @ The Process of Healing February 15, 2010, 11:44 am

    That’s cool about the pumpkin. I had to buy a HUGE can like that last time too because that was all they had and it’s almost impossible to use it all.
    Very interested about the Q&A!!!

    My only question: What is the worst faux meat product that you have tried?

  • Laura @ Strong and Steady February 15, 2010, 11:45 am

    Pumpkin freezing is brilliant! I never use up an entire can and, before I’m in a pumpkiny mood again, the leftovers always go bad. Genius.

    So, like Freya and others, I was wondering about your protein intake – do you feel you get enough? Do you think your weight/muscle tone loss while marathon training could at all be explained by reduced protein intake? Also, do you take any supplements specifically for being veg?

    Thanks for opening up the field to questions from us meat eaters!

  • Lucy February 15, 2010, 11:49 am

    This doesn’t really fit under the topic but I was wondering if you use a Garmin, and if you do what kind is it? I am looking into getting more serious about running, and hopefully biking (if the snow ever melts in Wisconsin!) Thanks Caitlin – I really love your blog!

    • Caitlin February 15, 2010, 11:53 am

      i never run without a garmin! i wear the 305 – its great.

  • JenRD February 15, 2010, 12:00 pm

    Have you tried freezing the pumpkin into ice cube trays? They also make large trays with openings for freezing homemade baby food (probably at a place like Bed, Bath and Beyond, or Babies R Us). That might work for the pumpkin.

    • Caitlin February 15, 2010, 12:07 pm

      i need to buy some ice cube trays! we dont have any because we have an ice cube maker.

  • Ashley (whole-ier) February 15, 2010, 12:02 pm

    I really want to become a vegetarian for the sake of animals – but I find it very hard to do! I love chicken and steak so much. Any tips on how to get started? Did you just stop eating meat all at one time or was it a process? I feel so weak that I can’t just go cold turkey!

  • Heather (Heather's Dish) February 15, 2010, 12:19 pm

    i’m thinking about giving up meat for Lent…do you have any tips for fighting off meat cravings? or recipes for something that has a substantial texture like meat (but not tofu?)

  • Evan Thomas February 15, 2010, 12:26 pm

    Do you think you’ll ever go back to eating meat?

  • Kiersten February 15, 2010, 12:31 pm

    Where do you get your protein?

    Just kidding. I’m a vegan and I get that question all the time (I’m sure you do too). It gets kind of annoying after a while.

  • Jessica February 15, 2010, 12:33 pm

    I freeze pumpkin all the time, because there is only one of me…I just measure it out and put it in a ziplock put it in the freezer and take it out the night before i need it and put it in the fridge…

  • Kristina February 15, 2010, 12:34 pm

    I’m excited to see the Q&A on vegetarianism later. I know for me the hardest part of becoming a vegetarian was explaining it to my family.

  • Lauren February 15, 2010, 12:52 pm

    Hello! I was wondering if you know of a place to buy Greek yogurt in bulk. I just recently saw some in the grocery store but it was the little one serving kind. I live in Indiana so we have Marsh, Kroger, Meijer, Trader Joe’s, and Whole Foods. You may not have any idea but I thought I’d ask. 🙂
    Your blog is very inspiring. Keep up the good work!

    • Caitlin February 15, 2010, 1:40 pm

      I buy Greek yogurt in bulk from Costco! I don’t know if you have one of those – it’s worth it!

      • Lauren February 16, 2010, 12:03 pm

        Yes, we do! Thank you so much! 🙂

  • Sagan February 15, 2010, 1:07 pm

    Waffles are so tasty. I always have frozen chunks of banana on hand, but not the pumpkin- what foods do you regularly use the pumpkin for?

    • Caitlin February 15, 2010, 1:40 pm

      mostly just oatmeal and yogurt!

  • Catherine February 15, 2010, 1:12 pm

    I always freeze my pumpkin puree in an ice cube tray and then pop out the frozen pumpkin cubes and stick em in a ziplock – works like a charm!!

  • Kayla@Wholesome February 15, 2010, 1:34 pm

    My question:

    How do you deal with social situations and your vegetarianism. For example, going to dinner at someone’s house, and you’re the only veg. Or, dealing with people that give you crap for your lifestyle choice.

  • RhodeyGirl February 15, 2010, 1:36 pm

    HI! It works finally!

  • Stacy February 15, 2010, 2:08 pm

    Make your beans in the crock pot! If you google it, there are tons of websites that show the technique. I make it on the weekends and freeze what I don’t use.

    • Stacy February 15, 2010, 2:08 pm

      LOL… commented on the wrong post 🙂

  • Angela (The Lady Loves to Eat) February 15, 2010, 5:56 pm

    Great idea to freeze the pumpkin, I can never use a whole can and I hate wasting it!

  • meg c. February 15, 2010, 10:44 pm

    i gotta admit when i first saw the pics in this post i thought “what is that poo-looking stuff on those waffles? it looks tasty” HAHA. glad it’s pumpkin and yogurt. delish but hilarious looking.

  • Betsy February 15, 2010, 11:33 pm

    The Pioneer Woman totally had a how-to on making your own puree and FREEZING IT!

  • EmilyGG February 21, 2010, 7:03 pm

    Did the frozen pumpkin work?

    • Caitlin February 21, 2010, 7:19 pm

      i am going to try tomorrow for breakfast 🙂 cross your fingers!

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