Canned Pumpkin Puree Is A Slept On Egg Substitute

You may or may not be aware that the canned pumpkin you buy isn't necessarily pumpkinReader's Digest explains that the FDA has plenty of wiggle room for the type of pumpkin and squash that ends up in a can of pumpkin puree. Most of that is semantics. What matters is that can is a bonafide pantry hero.

The Pioneer Woman suggests a whopping 31 ideas for how to use pumpkin puree. Pumpkin pie and pumpkin cheesecake are pretty obvious, but using the puree to yield fluffy and tender dinner rolls or cinnamon rolls is more out of the box. Putting canned pumpkin into sweets like pumpkin-flavored leche flan, a pumpkin smoothie, pumpkin meringue pie, or spreadable pumpkin butter may sound surprising, but they make sense. Pumpkin is frequently used in desserts, after all.

But to ignore this as a savory ingredient is a mistake. Pumpkin is incredibly nutritious, per Healthline. Moving pumpkin into main courses will keep all those vitamins and antioxidants from being drowned out by sugar. Pumpkin puree brings earthy notes and some thickness to chili, and pumpkin hummus is an exciting break from the norm. Subbing a can of pumpkin puree for fresh butternut squash simplifies these ravioli in thyme brown butter sauce without losing flavor. Its true superpower, however, is that canned pumpkin can be used as an egg substitute in recipes.

Pumpkin puree as an egg substitute

There are a few reasons you'd want to substitute pumpkin puree for an egg. According to the CDC, egg allergies are more common among children than adults, and the reactions are potentially severe. Vegans don't eat animal products and represent at least 4% of Americans in 2022, according to Statista. Maybe you ran out of eggs or are trying to avoid soaring egg costs.

The makers of Food Network's favorite canned pumpkin puree, Libby's, suggest using 1/4 cup of pumpkin puree for every whole egg, and that swap shouldn't significantly impact the final result. The Pioneer Woman prefers to use this replacement when the recipe also contains a leavener, like baking powder or yeast, in the recipe.

As versatile as eggs are to baking, it seems pumpkin puree is almost as adaptable. Libby's notes that its pumpkin puree is also a viable substitute for oil and butter at a one-to-one ratio. So, a recipe with two tablespoons of butter will be fine if you sub two tablespoons of pumpkin puree. It also makes a healthy dog treat, according to PetMD.

Other egg substitutes you might be sleeping on

Aside from powdered or liquid egg options, The Pioneer Woman lists many other egg substitutes. Mashed fruit is the most common, and one-quarter cup of mashed avocado, banana, or unsweetened applesauce will translate to one whole egg. Other one-ingredient substitutes include a quarter cup of buttermilk, yogurt, carbonated water, or pureed silken tofu. Three tablespoons of any nut butter will also work.

Once you discover what aquafaba is and how you should get it, you can try whipping it like egg whites to make some vegan chocolate mousse. Three tablespoons of aquafaba (minus the whipping) will equal one egg.

The remaining egg substitutes require an extra step. For example, ground flax seeds, whole chia seeds, or soy protein powder need to be mixed with water and allowed to sit before proceeding with the recipe. The final options involve baking soda and vinegar or baking powder mixed with oil and water.