Homemade Low FODMAP pumpkin puree is the easiest way to ensure you can enjoy all the fall pumpkin treats without nasty IBS symptoms. It's easy to make, incredibly tasty and works perfectly in all your favourite fall recipes that call for pumpkin puree.
The moment fall sneaks around the corner, people start going crazy about everything pumpkin. I'm straight there at the starting line with all of them. Before I was diagnosed with IBS and fructose malabsorption, my favourite pumpkin to cook with was butternut squash. However, I always struggled with IBS symptoms after enjoying larger amounts of this pumpkin. Alas, today I know that FODMAPs such as galactans, fructans and mannitol were to blame for it. This brings us to the all-important question IBS sufferers find themselves confronted with as soon as fall rolls around:
Is pumpkin low FODMAP?
The answer to this is YES...BUT it depends on the type of pumpkin/squash! So here is the short rundown of what Monash University found out when testing various types of pumpkins and squashes (see Monash app for full information):
Butternut squash: I love this squash for its delicate buttery taste. However, only a serving size of 45grams of raw squash is considered low FODMAP. Honestly, this doesn't go very far in a cooked stage.
Spaghetti squash: This squash can be used in such a versatile way and I love it best when roasted in the over. Give it a try if you never have, you won't be disappointed. According to Monash a serving size of 75 grams of cooked spaghetti squash is low in FODMAPS. However, larger servings of around 450 grams contain moderate amounts of fructans and galactans. Thus we can conclude that this squash is great to use in the low FODMAP kitchen but be aware of the serving size.
Pattypan squash: Here comes the first hurray! Testing by Monash university revealed that this squash has no detected FODMAPs and can be eaten freely and according to appetite!
Japanese pumpkin aka kabocha squash: Now here comes the second hurray! Testing by Monash university revealed that this is another squash with no detectable FODMAPs and it can be eaten freely and according to appetite! In fact, this is my absolute favourite pumpkin and I use it in nearly every pumpkin dish and in all of my baking! I love the sweet, nutty taste and the velvet texture. It's simply perfect!
Well, there you have it! Yes, there are pumpkins/squashes that are low FODMAP and can be enjoyed on the low FODMAP diet. As other types of pumpkins /squash have not been tested so far, I stick to the ones mentioned above in my recipes as they are geared towards people who find themselves in the elimination phase of the low FODMAP diet. Once you are off the elimination phase and start reintroducing FODMAP-rich food into your diet go ahead and try out other kinds of pumpkins/squashes!
Is canned pumpkin puree low FODMAP?
When we come across seasonal recipes that call for pumpkin it's often in form of canned pumpkin puree and not fresh pumpkin. For all FODMAPpers this quickly raises the question as to whether the canned pumpkin puree one finds at the grocery store can be used on the low FODMAP diet.
As always, your first step should be checking out the Monash app. There it states that canned pumpkin is low FODMAP in a 75-gram serving size. However, higher serving sizes quite quickly become high in galactans and fructans. So, theoretically, canned pumpkin should be fine if you stick to the indicated serving size. In order to come up with this information, Monash has tested various brands of canned pumpkin from Australia but also from the US. So we're in the clear! Let's go for the canned pumpkin.
However, there is one important thing to check before getting your canned pumpkin and that is the ingredient list. Just because it says canned pumpkin on the front, doesn't mean that's the only thing that's in the can. Sometimes additives such as sugar, spices or artificial colourings are added for taste and colour. So make sure that the only ingredient in your can is pumpkin!
For those of you in the English-speaking parts of this world, I know that Libby’s pure canned pumpkin is what most recipe developers use in low FODMAP cooking. But what if you, like me, live in a part of this world where it's not easy to get hold of canned pumpkin puree, or it's very pricey or you don't know if the canned pumpkin puree you find actually meets with the by Monash recommended safe serving size. The solution is very simple: MAKE YOUR OWN! IT'S SUPER EASY!
How to make low FODMAP pumpkin puree
Every year at the beginning of October I make my own pumpkin puree in batch and store it in the freezer. This way I have a supply of low FODMAP pumpkin puree to last for all the baking of the coming few months. It's such an easy process and it makes me so happy to know that I can just go to my freezer and have all the low FODMAP pumpkin puree I need.
Here is the only ingredient you need: the FODMAP-free Japanese Pumpkin (Australia) also known as Kabocha squash (U.S.). For those of you in the German-speaking zones of Europe, it's known as "Kabocha Kürbis", "Kuri Kabocha" or "grüner Hokkaido".
When I batch-make low FODMAP pumpkin puree I usually use 3 bigger kabocha squashes. For the sake of a comprehensive recipe let's stick to a medium-sized kabocha squash.
Rinse, dry and carefully half the squash. Scrape out all the seeds and stringy bits and put them cut-side down on a baking sheet with parchment paper or a lightly oiled baking dish.
Bake the squash for about 45-60 minutes at 200°C / 400°F until you can easily pierce the skin with a pointed knife. Then remove it from the oven and let it cool.
Once you can handle the squash safely, scoop out the soft flesh and place it in a food processor or mixer. Process until it is very smooth. Alternatively, scoop the flesh into a bowl and blend with an immersion blender until smooth. If the squash is on the larger side, process the flesh in 2-3 batches.
And that's it! Easy, quick homemade low FODMAP pumpkin puree to satisfy all your fall and holiday pumpkin baking and cooking needs.
How to store the pumpkin puree
Fridge: To store the pumpkin puree simply fill it into airtight containers and store it in the fridge for up to 1 week.
Freeze: Low FODMAP pumpkin puree is great for freezing. You can easily keep it in the freezer for 3 months and longer. Just keep in mind that the nutritional value and taste of the frozen puree might deteriorate after the 3-month mark.
If you ask yourself what containers are best for freezing, here are some of my favourite ones:
- Weck jars: Be aware to only fill them 3/4 full so that there is room for expansion when freezing. Find them here: U.S. / Europe
- Stasher bags: When I'm out of glass containers I like to use Stasher bags. They are a great reusable alternative to freezer zip lock bags. Find them here: U.S. / Europe
- Freezer trays: I generally love to freeze things in portion size so that I can defrost just the amount I need. This is particularly handy when making soups or needing just 1-2 tbsp for a pumpkin spice latte. I personally use this baby food freezer tray but I have heard really good things about this 250ml freezer tray. For smaller portions of 1 tbsp, I like to use this simple ice cube freezer tray U.S. / Europe.
Low FODMAP Homemade Pumpkin Puree
- 1 medium kabocha squash - aka Japanese pumpkin
- Preheat the oven to 200°C / 400°F fan and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or lightly oil the bottom of a baking dish
- Rinse and dry the kabocha squash. Carefully cut the squash in two and scoop out the seeds and the stringy bits.
- Place the two squash halves cut-side-down on the baking sheet or the baking dish. Place in the oven and bake for about 45-60 minutes. The squash is done if it can be easily pierced with a knife and the flesh peels away from the skin.
- Let the squash halves cool until you can safely handle them. Then scoop out the soft flesh and place it in a food processor. Process until it is very smooth. Alternatively, scoop the flesh into a bowl and blend with an immersion blender until smooth. If the squash is on the larger side, process the flesh in 2-3 batches.
- Store the homemade pumpkin puree in airtight containers in the fridge for up to 1 week or freeze for up to 3 months.