Pumpkin is a necessary ingredient for several fall and holiday desserts. It comes canned and can be made fresh. But there are a few things to know before making gluten free dishes.
Canned pumpkin is gluten free as long as pumpkin is the only ingredient on the ingredients list. Pumpkin Pie Filling also comes canned and is not gluten free so it is important to ensure you have the correct one. Pumpkin is also canned at home in chunks using a pressure cooker.
While pumpkin itself is gluten free, there are a few more things to know before grabbing a can or making your favorite pumpkin dessert.
Is Pumpkin Gluten Free?
Gluten is a sticky protein found in some grains and the products they are used to make. Rye, Barley, Wheat, and all variety of wheat, whether hybrid, GMO, or ancient variety, are the sources of gluten.
Pumpkins and any other vegetable, fruit, grain, or plant that is not related to those above are not at risk of containing gluten.
Gluten seems to be everywhere and in everything because wheat, rye, and barley are used to make so many things in our food sources. If you want to dive a little deeper into the history and attitudes behind this, I really enjoyed writing this article on the subject.
But pumpkin, whether it is canned, raw, or another form, is gluten free. When things get added to it, or it is manufactured on equipment with products containing gluten, things get tricky.
Is Canned Pumpkin Gluten Free?
Canned pumpkin is the rind of the pumpkin fruit without the seeds or the outside skin. Since it is not a grain, it is gluten free.
What is important to know when determining if the canned pumpkin you have is gluten free is the label.
Check the ingredients to make sure that what you have is, in fact, canned pumpkin and not pumpkin pie filling or other mixture. The only ingredients on the label should be pumpkin.
Look for a signal on the label that the manufacturers are saying that it is gluten free. There may be a certification stamp on the front, but it may also be in small letters near the nutritional facts.
If it does not contain the certification on the label, it means that it has not been tested for gluten content but may still be gluten free.
Look below the ingredient list for extra statements such as “manufactured on the same equipment as…” some of these statements are optional; others are not. It is up to you what you are comfortable with.
Keep in mind that if it says made in a facility where gluten products are made, that facility can be huge and does not mean that the product contains gluten.
Is Pumpkin Pie Gluten Free?
While pumpkin is gluten free, a pumpkin pie without a gluten free label is not.
The pumpkin itself is gluten free, ingredients in the pumpkin pie filling ingredients are usually gluten free, but the pumpkin pie crust is traditionally made with wheat flour or all-purpose flour. If you want to look into the gluten free status of those, check out this post all about if wheat is gluten free (and the one thing on the list that actually is gluten free!)
An easy way to make pumpkin pie gluten free is to use all-purpose gluten free flour in a pie recipe. I usually use my mom’s recipe and my own gluten free flour blend instead of the all-purpose flour it calls for. To get my gum-free and gluten free flour recipe, click here.
Another option that I absolutely love doing and requires no extra ingredients: skip the crust! Make up the pie filling as you normally would and put it in a pie dish without any crust at all—Bake as you would normally and serve just like that. I guess you could probably call it more of a baked pumpkin pudding in this way.
Is Pumpkin Pie Filling Gluten Free?
You can purchase pumpkin pie filling as a can already mixed up. Whether each individual is gluten free will depend on the manufacturer.
Look over the can carefully for a gluten free label, especially a gluten free certification label. If it is certified, it will need to test under 10 or 20 ppm (parts per million), depending on its certification.
Look at the nutritional label and read the ingredients. To do this, you will need to know what ingredients are gluten free and not (and it may not always be obvious).
You can also use a barcode scanner to help you. I scanned items with 6 different scanner apps to find the most accurate one with the largest library. All the ones I tested were the free versions. If you are interested in using one, you can go to this article to see the differences.
Is Libby’s Canned Pumpkin Gluten Free?
Libby’s brand is part of the Nestle food family.
Libby’s does not have gluten free certification, but the manufacturer states that it is “naturally gluten free.”
Naturally gluten free is perfectly fine as long as it wasn’t manufactured so that it would have been exposed to gluten ingredients.
If you would like to order Libby’s canned pumpkin on Amazon, you can find it here.
There should not be any gluten in this product, but as the manufacturer has only said it is naturally gluten free, it does come with some risk. There is risk in any product, and the key is to minimize that risk as much as possible. I personally use this brand for my very sensitive gluten free family.
Is Canned Pumpkin Keto?
Keto and low carb can be a difficult one to give a definite yes or no to. Some people have different definitions of this and will have different targets for how many carbohydrates they target per day.
According to Libby’s canned pumpkin, there are a total of 10g of carbs in half a cup. While it is not a carb-free food, it is a lower-carb option.
If sugar and other ingredients are added to this, it will increase the carb count of the serving.
There are some amazing ways to use pumpkin in a way that would not add too many extra carbohydrates to a dish, especially ones that are intended to be savory and not sweet.
Can You Make Your Own Canned Pumpkin?
One of the best ways to make ingredients as gluten free as possible is to make them myself. And pumpkin is one item I have done this with.
When canning at home, it is imperative to follow all the safety instructions and a recipe for a safe end product. When canning pumpkins and other low acidity foods, you need to use a pressure canner.
The result is so smooth and silky!
You can also make your own pumpkin puree easily by roasting a pumpkin and then scooping out the contents and blending till smooth. You will end up with a lighter-colored product than canned pumpkin, but it is the same flavor.
Make sure you are using sugar pumpkins and not the Jack-O-Lantern style ones. The larger ones are not grown for their flavor, and if you use them, you will end up with a lackluster product.
Is Pumpkin Spice Gluten Free?
Pumpkins spices are ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and allspice. These individual ingredients are gluten free.
What you need to look for are any additional added ingredients that may contain gluten. It can hide under names such as “natural spices or flavoring”. It may also be used as an anti-caking device in spices.
When looking at products sold as pumpkin spice, they may or may not be gluten free. You need to look at all the ingredients in the product to determine if they contain gluten.
For example, Starbucks’ Pumpkin Spice Latte has used different ingredients that are sometimes gluten free and sometimes are not gluten free. It is one product I recommend using great caution with.
But making a pumpkin spice latte at home is fairly easy, and you can control all your ingredients!