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Difference Between Pumpkin Pie Filling and Pumpkin Puree
Pumpkins are used in many different varieties of dishes such as breads, cakes and pies. In most circumstances you can find canned pumpkin pie filling and canned pumpkin in your local grocers or supermarket, which is fantastic to have on the shelf as it is such a versatile ingredient.
To make a pumpkin pie filling, you need to blend cooked, baked or roasted pumpkin so it turns into a puree. You then add spices such as cinnamon, allspice and nutmeg as well as sugar to the mixture. The difference between pumpkin pie filling and pumpkin puree is that the pie filling has more calories and is generally regarded as being the less healthy option.
Main differences between pumpkin pie filling and pumpkin puree
The main difference between pumpkin pie filling and pumpkin puree is that the puree is cooked pumpkin which is blended and contains only pumpkin and a lot less salt that the pie filling. Pumpkin pie filling has many ingredients added to it and this is where the filling starts to become less healthy.
You can use the canned version of pumpkin puree for many more dishes because it has less ingredients added. Pumpkin pie filling has a unique flavor from all of the spices, sugar and salt and therefore is less versatile or flexible than canned pumpkin. Along with its great flavor, canned pumpkin can be used for many other recipes such as thickening and sweetening soups or for baby food.
Health benefits of pumpkin pie filling and pumpkin puree
Both have great health benefits such as containing potassium, iron and vitamin A. Pumpkin pie filling has added salt, sugar and spices which although is very tasty, they add a less healthy option to eating pumpkin.
Pumpkin puree is the rawest form of pumpkin and therefore only has the nutritional benefits of what the vegetable offers. It is said that a cup of pumpkin puree contains around 7 grams of fiber, 2 grams of protein and many trace nutrients as well as being a great source of beta carotene and potassium.
How to Make Your Own Pumpkin Puree
The term "pumpkin" is actually considered a blanket name for any winter squash that is usually round, orange and has a tough skin. So when you mash or blend a cooked winter squash that resembles that description, essentially you have made pumpkin puree. However, what many consider the best pumpkin to make pumpkin puree with is the Connecticut Field variety, though for pumpkin pies the Small Sugar variety is generally favored.
Once you have blended it and know how to make pumpkin puree, you can go ahead and create many dishes. You can make pumpkin cake, pumpkin pie, pumpkin cheesecake, pumpkin muffins, pumpkin cookies or pumpkin bread. As pumpkin is fairly sweet, it can be added to stock or to thicken soup. A great use for pumpkin puree is for baby food, if you strain the mixture and freeze it in small containers. Sweet potatoes are regarded as being similar and you can easily substitute pumpkin puree instead of sweet potato puree.
If you want to know how to make pumpkin puree a bit more flavorful, simply add some aromatic spices such as allspice, cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon and ginger to richen the flavor. When you are making sweet food, you can add pure maple syrup, sugar, molasses, brown sugar, barley malt syrup or other sweeteners to it and add it to casseroles.
To prepare a pumpkin in order to make pumpkin puree, you first need to clean the insides of the pumpkin, removing the pulp, fibers and seeds. Then cut the pumpkin into small pieces and bake it at around 400 degree Fahrenheit in a little water. However, if the pumpkin is small, bake it whole and pierce it with a knife. Once the flesh is tender, scoop out the flesh and discard the skin. Use a potato masher to mash the flesh. Blend the flesh until it is smooth and then store it in small containers to be used when you need it. You will usually get two cups of puree per pound of pumpkin.