What’s in your canned pumpkin? Plus, how to make your own

Pumpkin chocolate custard, pumpkin breakfast quinoa—we’ve even seen pumpkin chili that looks pretty delicious. We’ve got our own tasty Fast Metabolism pumpkin soup, pumpkin muffins, and savory pumpkin souffle recipes coming up in our next newsletter. Oh, and an FMD-perfect Pumpkin Pie and Pumpkin Cashew Smoothie coming later for the holidays! Hey, it’s an unlimited veggie on Phase 1 and Phase 3 (falls under winter squash) … and canned pumpkin makes it easy to get your fall fix.

Luckily, canned pumpkin is usually just that—pureed pumpkin in a can. But check the ingredients to make sure: some brands sneak in cornstarch. And double-check to make sure you’re not picking up a can of that sugary, pre-fab “pumpkin pie mix” by accident.

Here are some pumpkin brands that are good to go:

Farmer’s Market Organic Pumpkin

Packed in BPA-free cans or Tetrapaks (like boxes of chicken broth), Farmer’s Market is a great choice.



Trader Joe’s Organic Pumpkin

Trader Joe’s is another great BPA-free brand.



Libby’s 100% Pure Pumpkin

Not organic or BPA-free, but still—nothing but pumpkin. No worries there. Libby’s actually uses its own special variety of pumpkin (called Dickinson pumpkin), which might explain why some cooks are diehard Libby’s fans.



365 Pumpkin (Whole Foods)

The can we checked didn’t say organic or BPA-free, but Whole Foods’ 365 brand is pure pumpkin.



Store brands

As long as it has one ingredient—pumpkin—you’re good to go. Kroger, Meijer, and Aldi all sell pure canned pumpkin under their own labels (and probably lots of other stores—those are just the labels we happened to check).

 Make your own

Or, you can buy yourself a pumpkin and make your own. Honestly, it’s just as easy as roasting any veggie (that’s really all you’re doing)—it just takes some time. Try those cool-looking heirloom pumpkins at the farmer’s market. Each variety will give you a slightly different flavor. Go for little pie pumpkins, not the humongous Jack o’ Lantern kind. (The little ones are bred for sweetness and flavor, while the big ones can turn out stringy and watery when you cook them.)

Homemade Pumpkin Puree

See, it’s as easy as 1-2-3-4. If you want to see it in pictures, check out this step-by-step how-to at The Pioneer Woman Cooks.


“Sugar” or “pie” pumpkins (as many as you like—you can do a bunch and freeze the extra puree)


1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

2. Cut the pumpkins in half lengthwise. Scoop out the fibrous pulp and seeds.

3. Place the halves on a pan (cut-side up or down). Bake until tender, about 45 minutes.

4. Scrape the pumpkin out of the skin into a food processor and puree it. Done!

Links included in this article will sometimes direct you to the ShopHayliePomroy.com website, where you can learn more about and purchase many of the products mentioned. Please know that Haylie Pomroy has a financial interest in anything that is sold from ShopHayliePomroy.com.

10 thoughts on “What’s in your canned pumpkin? Plus, how to make your own

    • Hi. That was a recipe that was featured in our holiday mini-cookbook, which was a bonus for purchasing the cookbook. So the recipe isn’t online at this time.

  1. Hi! I’m just starting out (super nervously) and found the pumpkin cookie recipe in the cookbook. My question is how can I eat them? It looks like they contain a protein serving and a veggie, so not a “snack” for phase 1. If I eat them as my lunch, would I omit the protein from my lunch and just eat a grain, veggie and fruit… With the cookies?

    Thanks, I’m really nervous about eating so much starch and carbs. I’ve been a high protein/ no grain or starch dieter and gain 3 lbs every time I THINK about grain. I am going to get the blood panel and thyroid tests next Friday and currently have about 30-35lbs to lose.

    • Hi. the pumpkin cookies contain protein and veggie. They would work on Phase 1 if you include them with your lunch or dinner as part of your protein portion. The entire recipe uses 3 eggs, which would be a full protein portion for a meal. So you could reduce your meal’s main protein by 1/4 — for example, have 3 oz chicken breast — then have 1/4 of the cookie recipe as well.
      You could also use these as a protein for P3.

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