Canned Pumpkin vs. Boxed PumpkinPumpkin 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: typically, 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!
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 for the same serving. 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.Related: The 5 worst foods for weight loss
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 don't 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.
Related: 7 food additives you should think twice about before eating
* For pies you can really use either variety. However the boxed variety will make for a more watery filling and thus it may take a longer time for your 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 discussed the amount of BPA that can lurk in canned goods, including 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! -By Kathy Patalsky
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