It's pumpkin spice season, Charlie Brown
Last updated 9/30/2020 at 2:09pm | View PDF
The headline caught my eye immediately.
"Is pumpkin spice good for you?"
Who cares? It's delicious.
My level of caring also was low because I received this digital newsletter on Sept. 8, a full 22 days before the Official Start of Pumpkin Spice Season on Oct. 1 (at least as far as I'm concerned).
I know many believe PS season starts much earlier. Perhaps they are the same people who endorse the start of "meteorological fall" on Sept. 1 rather than waiting for the actual autumnal equinox on Sept. 22. Starbucks, for example, released its pumpkin spice latte Aug. 25 - it's earliest release ever, according to delish.com. I am more philosophically aligned with the Facebook poster who wrote, "It's 97 degrees outside. Keep your pumpkin spice away from my margarita."
(By the way, while searching for that post, I discovered multiple recipes for pumpkin spice margaritas. Not a fan.)
Not only do I avoid pumpkin spice like the plague in August, I find its flavors lack appeal in September as well. September is an apple-cinnamon month, in my mind. Pumpkin is reserved for October and November, with an occasional foray into December, if you happen to encounter a pie at a holiday party.
Anyway, back to the nutritional virtues of the season's most popular flavor. According to the article, pumpkin is an excellent source of vitamin A and fiber and contains some potassium.The author suggests consuming healthy pumpkin spice foods that provide nutrients, such as a whole-grain cereal or yogurt. Other suggestions include adding pumpkin to homemade nut butter (sorry, don't make homemade nut butter), making chia seed pumpkin pudding or adding canned pumpkin to hummus. None of those sound even remotely appealing.
What does sound good is a Starbucks pumpkin spice latte - if you're willing to give up lunch. A grande with 2-percent milk has 380 calories, 14 grams of fat and 50 grams of sugar. You could probably cut calories and fat grams by choosing skim milk, but the whipped cream is non-negotiable in my opinion.
I do enjoy some healthier pumpkin spice application, such as adding it to oatmeal. I also love pumpkin ice cream.
My two favorite pumpkin applications are diametrically opposed when it comes to nutritional value. I can't wait to make the whole wheat pumpkin pecan pancakes from skinnytaste.com and the frozen pumpkin mousse with walnut-toffee crunch from Bon Appetit. One offers protein and fiber, the other heavy cream and toffee bits. (I was chastised for not posting the recipe for Ultimate Ribs after my Sept. 10 column, so both of these recipes will be on our Facebook page today.)
I have no interest in the new pumpkin spice mac and cheese Kraft is releasing in Canada or pumpkin spice hard seltzer. And while I love a nice pumpkin spice candle or pumpkin spice air freshener, I draw the line at pumpkin spice latte deodorant.
There are a host of pumpkin spice items to try this year: pumpkin spice Twinkies, "pumking" whiskey, pumpkin spice baking truffles (in lieu of chocolate chips), pumpkin spice cotton candy, pumpkin spice kettle corn, pumpkin spice hot cocoa mix and pumpkin spice swirl bread.
Whichever you choose, just make sure to eat it all up before you put up the Christmas tree. OK?
- Pamela Lannom is editor of The Hinsdalean. Readers can email her at [email protected]