The season of pumpkin spice everything has officially begun. Where did this phenomenon come from? I think it was at the advent of the Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte in 2003 and it has spread like wildfire ever since. You can get coffee, instant pudding, marshmallows, soaps/lotions, air fresheners, dog treats, and a whole host of other things in a “pumpkin spice” variety. This year there is even a pumpkin spice flavored Oreo cookie! I don’t believe I’ll be trying that one. But what is pumpkin spice? I’ll tell you. It is a blend of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger cloves, and allspice. You can mix your own pumpkin pie spice or buy it already done from the baking and spices section of the grocery store. You can certainly make your own pumpkin spice flavored treats at home now that you know this trick!
To make your own pumpkin spice coffee creamer, simply make a bundle of your pumpkin pie spice using a small square of cheese cloth and some twine. Warm your desired amount of half ‘n half on the stove top or in the microwave, making sure that it does not boil. Place your little pumpkin spice bundle in the hot half ‘n half and let it steep for 5-10 minutes. Discard the bundle and add a little vanilla extract and sugar to taste (or you could leave it unsweetened and add sweetener to each cup of coffee). Store your new, homemade pumpkin spice creamer in the fridge.
**A canning jar would be a great storage container for this. If you’re feeling extra motivated, you could make a cute label for your jar in the shape of a pumpkin.
Try pumpkin pie spice in your favorite pancake recipe.
Try pumpkin pie spice and brown sugar in plain, nonfat Greek yogurt.
You can surprise your family with pumpkin spice french toast! Beat a teaspoon of your pumpkin pie spice, a teaspoon vanilla, and a teaspoon sugar into two eggs with a splash of milk. Dip your bread in egg mixture to coat. Place in a hot, greased skillet and cook for 2-4 minutes on each side until egg is fully cooked and looks golden brown. Top with cinnamon and powdered sugar or cinnamon and pancake syrup. Garnish with canned pumpkin or apple butter. Yum!
If you’d rather have the pumpkin without the spice, try my recipe for Pumpkin Soup. I know it sounds a little weird, but it is creamy and savory and so, so good!
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1/2 cup chopped onion
- 2 medium celery stalks, chopped
- 2 medium garlic cloves, minced
- 1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger, peeled
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 pinch cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon salt, optional
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1 14-1/2 ounce can pumpkin
- 1 medium potato, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 4 cups fat-free, reduced sodium chicken broth
- 1/4 cup nonfat sour cream
- 2 medium green onions, chopped
- In large stock pot or Dutch oven, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onion, celery, garlic, ginger and sugar and cook 4 minutes, until tender.
- Add nutmeg and cinnamon. Season with salt and pepper, stir to coat. Add pumpkin, potato and broth. Bring to boil.
- Reduce heat to medium-low, partially cover and simmer 15 to 20 minutes, until potato is tender. Ladle soup into bowls and top each serving with sour cream (or Greek yogurt) and green onions.
Yields 6 servings.
Let me know: What are some of your favorite ways to use pumpkin pie spice, pumpkin, or any other Fall Favorite Flavor?