Pumpkin Spice and Everything Nice

Pumpkin Spice and Everything Nice

Forget the date on the calendar. Fall is officially here when pumpkin spice lattes are offered at coffee houses and fast food chains. Whether it is pumpkin spice, cinnamon and apple, cranberries or any of the other flavors that tell our palette fall is here, adding these to your fall camping trips or RVing adventures satisfies your cravings and conjures up memories of the holidays, family get-togethers and fun spent with friends around a campfire on a cool autumn evening.

Beginning in mid-August, pumpkin spice everything begins to bombard consumers. This small window of opportunity – September through December, may be part of the reason that much of the world goes crazy for pumpkin spice. While pumpkin spice has its fans, it also has its haters.

Spice maker McCormick originated pumpkin spice as a shortcut for bakers creating the traditional Thanksgiving Day dessert – pumpkin pie - in 1934. It is a blend of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and allspice. It has become a traditional flavor and scent of the season, thanks to generations of families who can remember Grandma’s home baked pumpkin pies – an indulgence reserved for the holidays, just like eggnog and Easter ham.

Before you give in to the craving and spend dollars at the coffee house, there are less expensive ways to enjoy this flavorful blend.

  • Opt for making your fall-flavored coffee at home. Simply add a teaspoon to your daily brew to give you the flavor. This can be adjusted to taste. You can also purchase coffee creamer already spiced with this pumpkin spice blend, which can make that cup of coffee a little bit creamier and flavorful.
  • Add it to a favorite recipe for seasonal flavor. Pumpkin spice works well in pasta dishes, in roasted vegetables, and even pancake batter. Add it to cake mixes, when making brownies and to notch up your favorite cookie recipe.
  • Snack away those autumn hunger pangs. Add a sprinkle to popcorn to enjoy around the campfire, while stargazing, when navigating a corn maze or venturing into an orchard for apple picking. You can even use pumpkin spice in seasoned nuts.
  • Give any dessert that iconic taste of fall flavor by adding the pumpkin spice mixture to whipped cream. It doesn’t only have to be limited to pies of the pumpkin variety. A dollop of pumpkin spiced whipped cream will add to the taste of apple or pecan pies too.

Health experts say there is a lot of nutritional value in the spices that make up pumpkin spice. These spices individually are known to have anti-inflammatory properties and anti-oxidants, both of which are highly sought for healthy living. Cinnamon, for example, has also been shown to help with sugar balance, according to some limited studies. Ginger is also used to quell nausea and boost immune system health and allspice can help soothe a testy stomach.

But if pumpkin spice just is not your thing, there are plenty of alternative fall flavors and fragrances to boost your autumnal mood.

Apples and cinnamon are another classic combination and for good reason. The crispness of a just-picked apple with the tanginess of cinnamon are a taste treat which memories are made of. You can also add apples and cinnamon to recipes, such as pancakes and waffles, teas and other beverages, and especially pies and hot cereals.

Cranberries are another staple of the fall holiday season. These can be enjoyed tossed into salads, mixed into cookie batter, and even used to add a seasonal slightly-tart taste to other recipes.

Even sweet treats like caramel apples or pomegranates can put you into the mood. Take advantage of seasonal produce and special treats that are popular this time of the year.

Fall is typically the time to celebrate the fruits (and vegetables) of the season. Flavor these however you want but think about those fragrances wafting from your family’s kitchen during the holidays. Those fragrances and flavors hold memories. That’s why we indulge in these special flavorings in this season.

Sep 28th 2020 Lois Tomaszewski

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