Canned pumpkin puree is a popular baking ingredient, especially around the fall and winter holidays. For people with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity, an important question is: is canned pumpkin puree gluten-free?
The short answer
The short answer is yes, canned pumpkin puree is gluten-free. Pure canned pumpkin contains only one ingredient – pumpkin. Pumpkins are naturally gluten-free vegetables. As long as no other ingredients are added, canned pumpkin puree contains no gluten.
Examining the ingredients
To understand why canned pumpkin puree is gluten-free, it’s helpful to look at the typical ingredient list:
That’s it! Just pure pumpkin. Since fresh pumpkin itself does not contain gluten, a canned product made only from pumpkin is also gluten-free.
Sometimes salt or sugar is also added:
Both salt and sugar are gluten-free ingredients. So canned pumpkin with added salt and/or sugar is still a gluten-free food.
What about other canned pumpkin products?
While plain canned pumpkin puree is gluten-free, other canned pumpkin products may contain gluten:
- Canned pumpkin pie mix – May contain wheat flour or other gluten-containing ingredients
- Canned spiced pumpkin – May contain wheat flour in the spices and seasonings
- Canned pumpkin soup – May contain wheat flour as a thickener
It’s important to read the labels on these products carefully to check if they contain any sources of gluten like wheat, barley or rye. Plain canned pumpkin puree is the only guaranteed gluten-free option.
Risk of cross-contamination
Even if a canned pumpkin product has gluten-free ingredients, there is a small chance it could become cross-contaminated with gluten during manufacturing on shared equipment. Some companies specifically label their pure canned pumpkin as “gluten-free” after testing it to verify no cross-contamination.
For people with celiac disease or who are highly sensitive, choosing these validated gluten-free brands can provide added assurance:
- Farmer’s Market Organic Pumpkin Puree
- One Pie Pumpkin Puree
- Trader Joe’s Organic 100% Pumpkin Puree
The major brands of canned pumpkin puree follow FDA food safety standards. This includes procedures to prevent cross-contamination of allergens like gluten for products labeled “gluten-free”.
Some of the steps they take are:
- Producing the gluten-free puree on dedicated equipment separate from other products
- Extensive cleaning procedures before production
- Testing the finished puree to verify no detectable gluten
Following these safety practices minimizes any chance of gluten cross-contamination in canned pure pumpkin.
Uses of canned pumpkin puree
Canned pumpkin puree has many uses in gluten-free cooking and baking, including:
|Recipe||How to Use Canned Pumpkin Puree|
|Pumpkin bread||Substitute for some or all of the oil or other moist ingredients|
|Pumpkin pancakes||Add to batter in place of oil or milk for moisture and fiber|
|Pumpkin smoothie||Add as a creamy, fiber-rich ingredient|
|Pumpkin soup||Base of the soup along with gluten-free broth and seasonings|
|Pumpkin chili||Mix into the savory chili along with standard gluten-free ingredients|
|Pumpkin oatmeal||Stir into oats for added nutrition|
|Yogurt parfait||Layer with gluten-free granola and yogurt for a breakfast parfait|
Canned pumpkin can be used in both sweet and savory recipes to add moisture, creaminess and fiber. It pairs well with typical gluten-free flours like brown rice flour, almond flour, coconut flour and oat flour.
Enjoying canned pumpkin puree provides many nutrition benefits, including:
- Fiber – One cup provides 7 grams fiber. This aids digestion and gut health.
- Vitamin A – Rich source providing 245% DV per cup. Vitamin A aids vision and boosts immunity.
- Potassium – With 564 milligrams per cup, pumpkin is high in this mineral important for muscles and nerves.
- Vitamin C – One cup provides 19% of the daily value for immune supporting vitamin C.
- Iron – 10% DV per cup. Iron carries oxygen through the blood.
With all these nutrients, pumpkin puree boosts the nutrition of any gluten-free recipe it’s added to. It makes the perfect healthy substitute for oil or butter.
Another benefit of canned pumpkin puree is cost savings. Buying canned pumpkin is cheaper than purchasing fresh pumpkins and cooking them down into puree yourself. The cost difference is outlined below:
|1 can (15oz) pure pumpkin||$1.50 – $3|
|1lb fresh pumpkin, yields about 1 cup puree||$1.50 – $3|
To yield 15oz of puree from fresh pumpkins could cost $4.50 – $9 versus $1.50 – $3 for the canned version. Canned pumpkin puree also saves all the time and effort needed to cook and puree whole pumpkins yourself.
Canned pumpkin puree can be purchased year-round. It’s not dependent on the fall pumpkin harvest like fresh varieties. This makes it a convenient gluten-free ingredient to always keep your pantry stocked with.
Look for canned pure pumpkin in the baking aisle of any supermarket. Popular brands include:
- Farmer’s Market
- Trader Joe’s
- Store brands
Organic options are also increasingly available from brands like Amy’s Kitchen and One Pie Pumpkin.
An unopened can of pumpkin puree will keep for 2 – 3 years in the pantry. Once opened, it should be transferred to an airtight container or resealable plastic bag. It can then be refrigerated for 5 – 7 days.
To freeze leftover pumpkin puree, divide into freezer bags or airtight containers leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Frozen, it will keep for 6 – 9 months.
Properly stored canned or frozen pumpkin will remain fresh and ready to use in your gluten-free recipes.
Most people can enjoy canned pumpkin puree as a gluten-free and hypoallergenic ingredient. However, some may experience reactions to pumpkin including:
- Digestive issues – Too much fiber from pumpkin could cause gas, bloating or diarrhea in sensitive people.
- Allergic reactions – Rarely, those allergic to pumpkin itself could react with skin, breathing or digestive symptoms.
- Oxalates – Those with kidney stones may need to limit foods high in oxalates like pumpkin.
In most cases, pumpkin puree is very well tolerated and can be enjoyed freely in gluten-free diets. But those with sensitivities should take note of any adverse reactions when consuming larger amounts.
Plain canned pumpkin puree is a versatile and healthy ingredient for gluten-free cooking. It can be used to add moisture, nutrition and fiber to many recipes. When looking for gluten-free options:
- Check the label for pure pumpkin with no questionable ingredients
- Look for reputable brands that take steps to avoid cross-contamination
- Add pumpkin puree to both sweet and savory gluten-free dishes
Enjoying canned pumpkin is an easy way to boost nutrition in your gluten-free diet.