Why You Should Always Have Canned Pumpkin In Your Pantry

Fall cooking may leave you with an excess of canned pumpkin in your kitchen, but that's good news. The truth is that pumpkin is one of the best canned foods to have stocked in your pantry. Canned pumpkin is a versatile ingredient that adds nutrition and a delicious twist to recipes.

From a health perspective, canned pumpkin is a healthy boost for dishes. It's rich in beta-carotene, which helps with vision and immunity (per Clean Eating). Pumpkin packs quite a bit of vitamin K that keeps the cardiovascular system healthy. According to CNET, all the nutritional goodness and antioxidants found in canned pumpkin can help prevent chronic disease. 

To get these health benefits, aim to buy organic products and check to make sure the ingredient list is simply "pumpkin." If can't seem to find canned pumpkin in the grocery store, it may not be in the canned vegetable aisle but rather with the baking goods. Just make sure you don't accidentally pick up pumpkin pie filling (it has added flavors and sugars).

Canned pumpkin gives an autumnal boost

Canned pumpkin is a multipurpose ingredient that adds fall tones to a wide variety of foods. Starting with breakfast, you can add pumpkin to classic morning foods like yogurt, oatmeal, smoothies, or pancakes (per Nutritious Life). Along with the pumpkin, adding maple syrup with fall spices like nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger, and allspice can result in a richer and sweeter taste that brings feelings of fall. For those in need of a quick breakfast, spread pureed pumpkin on toast with honey, and add goat or ricotta cheese for a creamier topping. 

For a fall garnish on tacos or soups, mix canned pumpkin with sour cream. Blending pumpkin with hummus can give dips an earthy twist, and for seasonal soups, stews, and curries, pumpkin can make dishes heartier and more flavorful. According to Clean Eating, canned pumpkin can transform creamy pasta dishes into fall delicacies.

Pumpkin puree also works well as a baking substitute. For dairy-free bakes, pumpkin puree is an excellent substitute for butter and eggs, simply use ¼ cup of canned pumpkin per egg (via Livestrong). Pumpkin can also act as a substitute for oil in baked goods.

Pumpkin outside of the kitchen

If you're tired of eating pumpkin, there are plenty of other ways to use it. Many sing the praises of canned pumpkin's skincare benefits, says Nutritious Life. An easy facemask recipe is canned pumpkin and greek yogurt at a 1:1 ratio. Whip that up, coat evenly on your face, and relax from holiday stress and fatigue.

According to Fetch by WebMD, dogs also benefit from canned pumpkin's vitamins and nutrients. Canned pumpkin is helpful to dogs' digestion and can make for an excellent food topper. Just make sure you're not giving your dog too much. An ideal portion is 1 to 4 tablespoons per meal. As always, consult your vet before making any changes to your dog's diet.

Freezing works well if you have pureed pumpkin left over from a recipe or beauty project (per Nutritious Life). Add the puree to an ice tray for smaller, more accessible portions. Truly, the possibilities for pumpkin puree hacks are endless.