Using canned pumpkin instead of the fresh variety in recipes provides a more convenient way to enjoy this healthful vegetable. According to the Kansas State University Research and Extension Service, pumpkin is an excellent source of beta-carotene, or vitamin A, and canned pumpkin contains even more of the essential vitamin than fresh pumpkin. In addition, canned pumpkin also has a strong, concentrated flavor, and its thick texture creates a smooth, dependable consistency in most recipes. In most cases, canned pumpkin and fresh pumpkin can be used interchangeably.
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Use the same amount of canned pumpkin as fresh pumpkin required in recipes. If your recipe calls for 2 cups of fresh pureed pumpkin, for example, use 2 cups of canned pumpkin instead, or the contents of a 16-oz. can.
Measure the canned pumpkin carefully to prevent inconsistencies in the recipe. Scoop the pumpkin out of the can, place into a measuring cup, and pack down firmly with the back of a spoon. Level off with a knife, if necessary.
Add the measured canned pumpkin to the recipe, following the instructions just as you would for fresh pureed pumpkin. Continue with the recipe as directed.