I thought I liked pumpkin. I mean, pumpkin pie, right? That was the extent of my experience with this type of squash. To be fair, if someone had told me I was eating squash pie as a 7-year-old, I probably would have gagged.
As an adult, I noticed that pumpkin-flavored foods were everywhere during this time of year. I could never get on board with a pumpkin spice latte (too sweet for me), but I could appreciate a pumpkin coffee creamer or cookie.
But then, I moved to Europe. THIS is where my love affair with pumpkin foods originated.
Pumpkin pasta, filled ravioli, soup, pastries, and even pumpkin pizza! It can be savory or sweet; dressed up or dressed down; a hint of flavor or a punch of it in your mouth. I realized that pumpkin, while still a seasonal treat, was now one of my favorite foods.
After a recent trip to Trader Joe’s in which I purchased all the pumpkin products I could get my hands on, I thought that a roundup of my favorite pumpkin foods for fall was in order. Sit back, try not to drool, and add these to your next shopping list!
A classic seasonal food from this store, pumpkin butter is so good. Full of pumpkin flavor but very sweet. The suggested serving is a teaspoon, and it’s plenty. I like to add it to plain Greek yogurt, but it can be used on ice cream, toast, graham crackers…there are endless possibilities!
If you have never had pumpkin pasta, you are missing out! It is usually savory and just the right amount of pumpkin. The best I have ever eaten was in Germany, but this one is a pretty good substitute. It is very pumpkin forward and a little sweet with the addition of honey. I coat mine in a browned butter and sage sauce with bacon <chef’s kiss>.
I found these one late night as I wandered through a Whole Foods in Honolulu. I was skeptical: pumpkin spice and a biscuit? But I was so wrong! These come frozen and once baked, they are warm, flaky biscuits with just a hint of pumpkin flavor. I have been stalking Whole Foods, waiting for these to make their return!
As I mentioned, I do not like the PSL. I’ve tried it in many ways, and it is just too sweet. But I like pumpkin flavor in my coffee and love finding ways to customize my drink order. Here is my favorite this year: a hot Americano with one (just one!) pump of pumpkin spice syrup and a splash of heavy cream. You’re welcome.
If you live in a warmer climate, get yourself a cold brew with the pumpkin cold foam only. That takes the sweetness and sugar level way down.