Remember when Autumn used to be about crunchy leaves, chunky sweaters, warm scarves and lighting the first fire of the season in the fireplace? Back to school and looking forward to the holidays used to be enough to fill saccharine daydreamers with the “warm fuzzies.” Now, autumn officially starts when #PSL starts trending on Twitter. Forget warm socks, wool scarves and leaves crunching under your boots. Fall’s newly minted official trademark is labeling everything “pumpkin spiced.”
Don’t misunderstand. Pumpkin is wonderful – absolutely wonderful! From the classic pumpkin pie to the whimsical pumpkin cake roll, the favorite gourd makes a marvelous sweet treat, but pumpkin spice chips, pumpkin spice chewing gum, pumpkin spice beef jerky and pumpkin spice sandwich bread might be a stretch too far for the non-adventurous types.
Any way you slice it, fall is a pumpkin spice world, and we’re just living in it. So while you’re being bombarded with this beloved squash, here are some unexpected ways to incorporate pumpkin this season.
Put pumpkin in your smoothie.
Pumpkin is a rich source of vitamin A, potassium and antioxidants. Blend chilled pumpkin puree with frozen bananas, yogurt and some orange juice, and you’ve got an excellent smoothie to start your day.
Add pumpkin to dog food.
Pumpkin is a great source of fiber for your pooch. Add some pumpkin puree to Fido’s dog food to help with constipation and to ease an upset stomach.
Don’t forget the seeds!
On top of being tasty, pumpkin seeds have amazing health benefits. They are full of magnesium, zinc and fiber. Best of all, they are completely portable and no need for refrigeration. There are also so many ways to add extra flavor to various spices and seasonings.
Pumpkin hummus is all you need for a delectable, filling snack. Replace the tahini with pumpkin puree, add a few more spices and you are well on your way to taste bud heaven.
Turn yourself into a jack-o-lantern.
Er, well, just kidding. Make yourself a pumpkin face mask. All of those vitamins are good for your skin too. Combine 2 Tablespoons of canned pumpkin puree with ½ teaspoon honey and ½ tsp milk. Apply to skin and allow to set for 20 minutes. Then gently wash off and follow with a moisturizer.
Is Pumpkin Spice Season your favorite season? Let us know how you like to use pumpkin in the comments!