The Nutritional Advantage To Buying Canned Pumpkin Over Fresh

Cup of cooked pumpkin
Cup of cooked pumpkin - Candice Bell/Getty Images

It's often thought that you need to sacrifice quality and some nutritional value when opting for canned foods over fresh. And while this might be true for a lot of canned products, it's not for one: Pumpkin. It might be hard to believe, but there are a few advantages to buying canned pumpkin versus the fresh alternative. Namely, canned pumpkin has a higher nutritional value.  This is because all the pumpkin flesh is scooped out and separated from the excess water before being canned. This means there's generally a higher concentration of fiber and protein in canned pumpkin compared to fresh.

While fresh pumpkin has extra water, strings, seeds, and other ingredients that make it less than ideal to whip into a purée, canned pumpkin is simply 100% cooked and mashed pumpkin, offering concentrated nutrients, flavor, and a deeper color. Canned goods might get a bad rap, with many choices packed with added sodium and sugars. However, canned pumpkin is a whole different thing entirely, offering the benefits of both convenience and nutritional value.

Read more: 13 Canned Foods You Should Avoid At The Grocery Store

How Canned Pumpkin Squashes The Competition

Pumpkin whole and puréed
Pumpkin whole and puréed - Andrey Rykov/Getty Images

While it might be hard to believe that a canned product could ever beat something freshly grown, from a nutritional standpoint, it's the truth for canned pumpkin. For reference, canned pumpkin usually yields about 7 grams of fiber, while fresh has only about 3 grams. Removing the excess water from the squash makes all the difference, as those hidden nutrients become much more concentrated. This is what makes canned pumpkin an easy alternative to any sort of fresh or roasted variety.

So the next time you want to make a pumpkin-based dish, don't spend the extra time cutting, scooping, and cooking fresh pumpkin. It's a lot of added work with little benefit, so grab a can off the shelf instead. While this fact applies to canned pumpkin, it also extends to some other canned products. For example, there's a nutritional advantage to buying canned tomatoes over fresh, too. So don't always look down on canned produce right away.

How To Use Canned Pumpkin In Your Recipies

Pumpkin soup with cream
Pumpkin soup with cream - Anna_Pustynnikova/Shutterstock

There are plenty of great recipes you can make with canned pumpkin beyond pumpkin pie, so it might be a good idea to keep some stocked in the pantry. Canned pumpkin has a naturally velvety texture on its own, so it can effortlessly elevate the texture of your desserts. From a sweet pumpkin mousse to soft, silky cheesecake, canned pumpkin can deliver a reliably smooth texture much more than homemade pumpkin purée will. Canned pumpkin's versatility also makes it a great candidate to use in savory dishes, from a robust pumpkin soup to vibrant creamy sauces perfect for fall-inspired pasta.

Canned pumpkin is super bright and flavorful, so it's a lovely choice in more ways than one. As long as you make sure to avoid the mistakes everyone makes when cooking with canned pumpkin, you should have better success using it than fresh. So grab a few cans and enjoy your pumpkin-based creations in half the time with double the health benefits.

Read the original article on Daily Meal