Thanksgiving Groceries Decoded | The Daily Dish

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Thanksgiving Groceries Decoded

No Comments | Written on November 13, 2014 at 5:00 am , by

We’ve all been there.  You’ve made your list, you’ve checked it twice.  Then you come home from the grocery store, start unpacking and realize…

You bought the wrong ingredients.

That label of Pumpkin Puree looks so similar to the label of the Pumpkin Pie Mix!

What?  I bought Sweetened Condensed Milk instead of Evaporated Milk?!

Believe me, you don’t want to battle the holiday grocery store crowds again.  Today I am going to provide you with a Holiday PSA.  This is “Thanksgiving Groceries Decoded.”  

Keep reading…


First let’s talk about that can of pumpkin.  There are two options and when you are in a rush, it can be so easy to grab the wrong one.

On the left is 100% Pure Pumpkin.  Also known in recipes as “Pumpkin Puree” or “Solid Pack Pumpkin.”  This is exactly what the label says, pumpkin that has been cooked and pureed for recipes.  There’s nothing else in there.

On the right is “Pumpkin Pie Mix.”  This is a shortcut convenience item for the holidays.  If you don’t feel like investing in a bunch of holiday spices that will just take up space in your cabinet, this is the item for you.  Pumpkin Pie Mix comes with the spices, sugar and salt already combined with the pumpkin puree.  This can also be used in a variety of recipes and makes preparing a pumpkin pie a breeze.

1)  Pumpkin Pie with 100% Pure Pumpkin

This classic recipe has been on Libby’s cans since 1950!

2)  Pumpkin Pie with Easy Pumpkin Pie Mix

This recipe is perfect when you don’t have spices on hand.

Now, let’s talk about Sweetened Condensed Milk vs. Evaporated Milk.  In both pumpkin pie recipes above, the recipe calls for a can of Evaporated Milk.

Two things to remember:

1)  Don’t buy Sweetened Condensed Milk by mistake!  Your pie will be nasty.  Although, once again, the labels look similar, these are not interchangeable in recipes.  Sweetened Condensed milk is a mixture of milk and about 40-45 percent sugar.  Whereas Evaporated Milk is unsweetened and is simply milk with 60% of its water removed.

2)  Look at the size of your can carefully.  The recipe for “Pumpkin Pie with 100% Pure Pumpkin” calls for one 12 ounce can of Evaporated Milk.  The recipe for “Pumpkin Pie with Easy Pumpkin Pie Mix” calls for one 5 ounce can of Evaporated Milk (or 2/3 cup).

I hope this helps you navigate the grocery store this holiday season!

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