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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!

Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Butter

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!

Pepperidge Farm Pumpkin Spice Bread

If you like just a hint of pumpkin spice and sweetness, this bread is for you. It is just like their regular cinnamon swirl bread but with pumpkin! I like that it is not very sweet but still gives me that nostalgic feeling when I eat it.

Philadelphia Pumpkin Spice Cream Cheese

If they made this year round, I would buy it by the case. This is creamy and very pumpkin heavy in flavor. Spread it on a bagel or anything you would pair cream cheese with. I might be guilty of simply eating it by the spoon…

Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Ravioli

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>.

Mason Dixie Biscuit Co. Pumpkin Spice Biscuits

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!

Pumpkin Coffee

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.

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Rachel has been an Air Force spouse for 17 years. Her husband's career had taken them to many assignments around the world, and she currently lives in Hawaii. She is a mother of four children; their ages range from fifteen to four years old, so her life is often exciting and challenging. She holds a BA in English and a MA in Management. When not busy with work or her family, she enjoys volunteering within the military community and has even been a Key Spouse at two stations. Rachel has always enjoyed writing and literature, and she is happy to find this community to combine these interests. She has been featured on We Are The Mighty, Her View From Home, AMSE, The Beautifull Project, Hand-in-Hand QC, and other publications - but The Military Mom Collective is her home. :)

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