Pumpkin Spice Season is Now
Fall is here, bringing with it crisp air and pumpkin spice...everything. Besides the pumpkin spice lattes that kickstarted the craze, we're seeing pumpkin spice doughnuts, cookies, even dog food and deodorant...the flavor now has its own holiday, #nationalpumpkinspiceday, which was this week on October 1st.
The Current Pickle
Now that it's taking over all product categories as well as our calendar, have we finally reached peak pumpkin spice?
It would appear so. Whether due to overexposure or the rise of the anti-PSL movement (supporters include Martha Stewart), pumpkin spice demand is tapering off.
But what exactly is it, anyway? Most recipes include cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, ginger, and vanilla, but not every incarnation of the concoction is the same, and some mixtures contain more than 300 elements (and no, pumpkin isn’t one of them) according to this video by food scientist and spokesperson for The Institute of Food Technologists, Kantha Shelke, Ph.D, C.F.S.:
What's the Dillio with Calling it Pumpkin Spice?
Since there's no actual pumpkin in pumpkin spice, what’s the connection to the season’s most beloved orange fruit? (Yes, pumpkin is a fruit! We'll be carving out more fun facts about those babies next week.)
Flavor companies add in skillfully designed compounds that mimic the taste of pumpkin pie.
"Compounds" totally sounds mysterious and chemically. Is it harmful? Each chemical must be reviewed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and approved at concentrations of about 20 to 50 times the normal consumption level. Still, we're with Michael Pollan when he says "eat food," meaning real unprocessed whole foods, so we love to make our own.
The Hot Pickle
Here's all we need for a homemade spice mix to trick our brains into thinking, “Mmm, just like Thanksgiving!”:
Oh She Glows skips the mace to make hers with just 5 ingredients!
Once you've got your mix made, use it to whip up:
- DIY coffee drinks that actually contain pumpkin (how novel!), plus they're healthier and less expensive
- Pumpkin spice waffles (these ones are oat-based and naturally GF!)
- A healthy breakfast parfait that tastes just like pumpkin pie
- Actual pumpkin pie! It's the flavor we're chasing anyway, right?! If you're feeding a crowd, we love the idea of baking a rectangular "slab pie" to save time without sacrificing flavor