Pumpkins are packed with essential nutrients, including lots of vitamin A and some vitamin C, both of which support the immune system. They also contain beta-carotene, alpha-carotene, and other antioxidants, which help prevent cell damage and may protect against some types of cancer. You can make your own purée with a fresh pie pumpkin (learn how at “How to Roast Pumpkins“), or pick up a can or two of the ready-made stuff.
For the sake of convenience, consider making space in your pantry for canned pumpkin. It offers an easy way to add nutrients, flavor, and texture to both sweet and savory dishes. Available year-round at many supermarkets, canned pumpkin often includes several types of squash within the same genus, so there could be some kabocha or Golden Delicious squash in the mix — even if it’s labeled as pumpkin.
Try a few brands to find one you like. Choose an organic purée to avoid the pesticides used to grow conventional squash — and, if you can, seek out a low-moisture option for a more consistent texture. Most major brands don’t add stabilizers or emulsifiers, so you can feel confident that what you’re getting is simply steamed, puréed squash. Just make sure you’re not picking up pumpkin-pie filling, which contains added spices and sweeteners.
This article originally appeared as “Pumpkin Purée” in the October 2021 issue of Experience Life.