Pumpkin season is just about here and that means you will most likely be in the kitchen whipping up pumpkin pies, pumpkin shakes, pumpkin spice lattes, pumpkin muffins and more. Well when you arrive at the pumpkin section in your grocery store you may notice a few options. Both boxed and canned pumpkin varieties on sale. So what are the differences between the two pumpkin options? And when is it best to use one over the other? Here are a few things to help you make your decision and help your pumpkin recipes turn out their best!..
The Basics: When it comes to pumpkin puree (nothing added, 100% pumpkin) there are two options. Boxed or canned. Both contain pure pumpkin puree, but there are also a few differences.
* Most canned pumpkin contains 50 calories per 1/2 cup serving, while the boxed varieties usually contain around 40 calories. This is because there is more moisture in most boxed varieties.
* The canned varieties are usually a bit on the firm side with a dry consistency. While the boxed varieties are usually much more moist and liquid you can actually pour them right out of the box almost like an applesauce consistency.
When to Use:
* For drinks like pumpkin lattes where you will be dissolving the pumpkin into liquid, you may want to reach for the boxed varieties since they dissolve very well without any clumping. The canned varieties tend to clump up a bit more due to their dryness.
* For dips where you want a thick consistency and dont want to do a lot of thickening up with added ingredients go with the canned since it is naturally much more dip-like and thick.
* For pies you can really use either variety however the boxed variety will make for a more watery filling and thus may take a longer time for yoru pie to bake and set. But this also depends on your recipe. You just want to be aware that most pumpkin pie recipes will probably assume that you are using canned pumpkin. So if you do use the boxed variety and your filling seems a bit on the wet side you will know why.
Boxed vs. Canned: Why Boxed? The short answer: BPA concerns. Many studies including a review by the New York Times have chatted about the amount of BPA that is lurking in canned goods. That includes canned pumpkin. This is one reason why you may want to seek out BPA-free cans of just go with the boxed purees. Or if all else fails (and you have time) make your own pumpkin puree at home from a whole pumpkin!
More links on BPA in cans:
* BPA Lurking in 90% of Cans Tested
* Many Pantry Staples Contain BPA
* BPA Lurks in Canned Soups NYTimes
* BPA-laced Pumpkin Pie Anyone? BabyCenter.com
Try these fun fall pumpkin-y recipes:
* Halloween Plump Pumpkin Cupcakes
* 5-Ingredient Pumpkin Cheesecake
* Jack-o-Pumpkin Breakfast Sandwich at Healthy. Happy. Life.
* Pumpkin Pecan Cinnamon Rolls at Healthy Happy Life
Read more from Kathy on her blog, Healthy. Happy. Life.
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