Despite the hot weather we are experiencing here in Southern California, the calendar tells me that we are well into autumn . . . which means that Pumpkin Season has arrived! I’m sure that there is somebody out there who is not enamored with all things pumpkin, but given the sheer number of Pinterest boards, magazine issues, and entire cookbooks dedicated to pumpkin, I think it’s safe to assume that a vast majority of Americans have caught pumpkin fever. My own pumpkin obsession knows no bounds. I love carving pumpkins at Halloween, decorating with pumpkins throughout fall, and, most of all, eating anything pumpkin-flavored foods all year long. In honor of my beloved pumpkin, I have compiled a list of my favorite finds of the season.
1) When it comes to canned pumpkin, Libby’s is definitely the way to go. And Libby’s canned pumpkin is not just for pumpkin pie! I like to incorporate pumpkin into my muffins, pancakes, yogurt, homemade ice cream, smoothies, and even chili (if you haven’t tried pumpkin chili, you are definitely missing out!). Since I go through a lot of canned pumpkin, I often buy the industrial-sized cans, which I divide into Tupperware containers and freeze. If you prefer the convenience of small cans, you can buy multi-packs of Libby’s pumpkin on Amazon.
2) Almost any recipe that calls for canned pumpkin will benefit from the addition of pumpkin pie spice. If you cook with pumpkin pie spice as much as I do, I highly recommend Frontier’s pumpkin pie spice, which comes in a 16-ounce bag. This spice mix is a blend of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and coves. The quality and taste of this product is excellent, for a fraction of the price you would pay for the small jars of pumpkin spice at the grocery store.
3) For many coffee lovers, Starbucks’ Pumpkin Spice Latte is the quintessential drink of the season. Unfortunately, I am not a coffee drinker, but I do love tea. I’m still waiting for Starbucks to add a pumpkin tea to their line up, but until then, I have discovered several excellent pumpkin-flavored teas to meet my seasonal sipping needs. I am currently enjoying this Pumpkin Spice tea from The Republic of Tea. I have also tried and loved Bigelow’s Pumpkin Spice Tea, as well this Sweet Harvest Pumpkin Black tea from Celestial Seasonings. I have yet to try the Vanilla Pumpkin Spice Harvest Herb Tea from Zhena’s Gypsy tea, but it sounds amazing!
4) One of my husband’s favorite Halloween traditions is roasting the seeds from our carved pumpkins. While nothing beats freshly roasted pumpkin seeds, the prepackaged ones can make an easy and nutritious snack. Luke is crazy about these Crispy Pumpkin seeds from Energy Club, which he snacks on all day at work.
5) In searching for pumpkin-themed items to feed my addiction, I stumbled upon these Pumpkin Spice M&Ms. I have never seen them in the store, but will definitely be ordering some this season. The customer reviews aren’t great, but I really don’t see what could be wrong with something that is both pumpkin and chocolate, so I am reserving judgment until I have tried them myself.
6) The one thing that might be better than eating pumpkin is smelling it. This Pumpkin Pie-scented candle from Yankee Candle smells amazing: once you light it, your entire house will be filled with the warm aroma of pumpkin pie. Though Yankee Candles are on the pricy side, their superior fragrance and extended burning time make their products well worth the higher price tag.
7) Every October, I look forward to our visit to the local pumpkin patch. Luke and I each pick out a large pumpkin to carve, and I select several smaller pumpkins to decorate our home. While I love this natural decor, it might be fun to add some additional decorative accessories. This Pumpkin Express Train is adorable and would add a touch of whimsy to my more traditional decorations.
Assuming that you, too, are crazy about pumpkins, how will you be paying homage to the almighty pumpkin this season? Does your family make an annual pilgrimage to your local pumpkin patch? And what is your favorite pumpkin-flavored treat?