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How to make sugar free pumpkin butter for serious pumpkin lovers only! I’m sharing my personal low carb pumpkin butter recipe. You won’t believe how quick and easy this flavorful recipe is.
There are two types of people: die-hard pumpkin butter lovers and those who are asking “what is pumpkin butter?” right now.
If you’re in the first camp, this one’s for you. And if you’re in the second, you have to promise me that you’ll try it at least once, because it’s truly Fall in a jar. Deal?
If you’re in a hurry, feel free to hit that Jump To Recipe button at the top of this post. But as always, I’m sharing loads of advice to help you improve your low carb baking that you won’t want to miss. I’m also answering some of the most commonly asked reader questions. There’s a good chance you might be wondering the same things!
What Is Pumpkin Butter Made Of?
Traditional pumpkin butter from scratch is a mixture of pumpkin, sugar, and spices that get cooked down to a thick and sweet spread, like apple butter.
Of course, we’ll change it up a little to create a sugar free pumpkin butter that’s keto friendly. Plus there’s no butter needed, so this is a completely dairy free pumpkin butter!
Is Pumpkin Butter Keto?
Since regular pumpkin butter is made using a ton of sugar, it’s definitely not keto friendly! But don’t worry, this keto pumpkin butter recipe uses allulose and truly low carb, sugar-free maple syrup as sweeteners.
- Trader Joe’s pumpkin butter ingredients are pumpkin, sugar, honey, lemon juice concentrate, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, and nutmeg, and it clocks in at a whopping 10g of carbs and 9g of sugar per tablespoon.
- The ingredients for our sugar free pumpkin butter include pumpkin, water, truly keto friendly sugar free maple syrup, allulose (this awesome sweetener has zero effect on blood sugar – even for me as a Type 1 Diabetic!), apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, pumpkin pie spice, salt, and vanilla. It has just 1.2g carbs and .47g of sugar per tablespoon.
Why Pumpkin Butter Can’t Be Canned
If you grew up canning pumpkin butter with your grandmother, you might wonder why the USDA doesn’t recommend home canning pumpkin butter anymore. After all, we’d all love to extend our delicious pumpkin butter shelf life.
The National Center For Home Food Preservation tells us that “While there were directions in older, now historical USDA publications, they were withdrawn after expert review with publication of the Complete Guide to Home Canning in 1989.”
So why have recommendations changed? Mostly because while our scientific understanding of food safety and foodborne illnesses has gotten better, not enough research has been done to create broad and safe guidelines for canning pumpkin butter at home.
Pumpkin butter is a low acid food. Even with the addition of lemon juice and vinegar, the pH of pumpkin butter isn’t low enough to suppress botulism growth.
Now I know what you’re thinking – can’t you just heat process the jars so there aren’t any bacteria left? Believe it or not, hot water bath processing doesn’t actually get hot enough to kill botulism spores. That’s why low acid canned foods are processed in a pressure canner, which can reach the higher temperatures needed (typically 248° F or 120° C).
So why can’t we just pressure can pumpkin butter? Pumpkin butter has such a high viscosity (meaning it’s super thick) that the pressure canner has a much harder time reaching the necessary temperature all the way through to the center of the jar. And since pumpkin puree viscosity and acidity vary dramatically, it’s just not possible for the USDA to give canning recommendations that would be safe for every recipe, every time, and with every type of pumpkin.
But what about commercially produced canned pumpkin butter? One factor is commercial canning equipment, which can reach much higher temperatures than any home pressure canner. But equipment isn’t the only factor. Anyone selling low-acid canned goods must file paperwork with the FDA that lays out their exact process in extreme detail. Then, even after receiving approval, commercial producers have to follow the FDA Code of Federal Regulations and report any future recipe or process changes.
So if we shouldn’t be canning pumpkin butter at home, that leads us to the next obvious question…
How Long Does Pumpkin Butter Last After Opening?
Pumpkin butter will keep well in the refrigerator for two weeks. But what if we want to keep it longer than that?
The best way to store homemade pumpkin butter long term is in the freezer. I like to use the plastic 8 oz Ball Freezer Jelly Jars any time I need to freeze extra pumpkin butter. Click here to find them on Amazon.
And don’t worry, pumpkin butter holds up perfectly in the freezer!
Making Slow Cooker Pumpkin Butter
Slow cookers can often help us save time, but this recipe is so easy and quick that I don’t bother with the slow cooker. After all, my sugar free pumpkin butter only needs to simmer for 20 minutes. It would take longer than that just for my crockpot to heat up!
Pumpkin Butter Uses
Wondering what to do with sugar free pumpkin butter to keep it keto? Here are my favorite ways to use pumpkin butter:
- Mix into plain, unsweetened, full-fat yogurt.
- Spread some on my fluffy and delicious keto friendly pancakes. Click here for my tried and true pancake recipe.
- Spoon some over keto friendly vanilla ice cream like Rebel Vanilla Ice Cream or So Delicious No Sugar Added Dairy Free Vanilla Ice Cream (look for the turquoise lid).
Keto Pumpkin Butter (Sugar Free And Low Carb)
- In a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine the pumpkin, water, sugar-free maple syrup, allulose, apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, pumpkin pie spice, and salt.
- Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat and then reduce the heat to low (you want the pumpkin mixture to maintain a low simmer). Continue cooking for 20 minutes, stirring regularly so it doesn't burn, until the mixture has reduced to approximately 2 cups.
- Remove the pumpkin butter from the stove and stir in the vanilla. Allow the pumpkin butter to cool and then store in the refrigerator. I like to split the pumpkin butter into two containers so I can freeze half for later. I use 8 oz Ball Freezer Jelly Jars (see notes below for link).
Nutrition facts have been calculated using Cronometer, with the carbs from all erythritol and allulose sweeteners subtracted because I do not personally have to bolus insulin for Swerve, erythritol, or allulose as a Type 1 (autoimmune) Diabetic. All Bake It Keto recipes have been tried and used successfully, but results may vary from person to person. All information provided regarding nutrition on the Website is intended to be used for informational purposes only. I am not a nutritionist. Consult your medical professional before using any recipe if you have concerns about how you may individually react to the use of any particular recipe or ingredient. By voluntarily creating and using any recipe provided here, you assume the risk of any potential injury that may result. Please see my full disclosures at https://www.bakeitketo.com/disclosures-privacy-policy/.