No Actual Pumpkins Were Sacrificed

It’s that time of year when all flavors of Thanksgiving get their starring roles in menus around the country. It seems to me that the “flavor of the year” award should go to Pumpkin Pie Spice. Everywhere I turn I see another ad for some kind of Pumpkin Pie flavored drink, coffee creamer or donut.

Now pumpkin pie is reported to be an aphrodisiac, or maybe its the smell of pumpkin pie so it is no wonder that the commercial food world has jumped on that bandwagon. I heard a grown woman cry once at Starbucks when they told her they were out of pumpkin pie spice latte. Really lady, it’s just a coffee.

Actually, it’s not even a coffee, nor does it even have any pumpkin in it. It is just five spices blended together that make that oh-so-addictive and familiar pumpkin pie flavor; they are in order of amount, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice and cloves.

So if you are ordering a pumpkin pie spice drink and counting it as a vegetable you are one big idiot. If you are a big time pumpkin pie lover here is the real secret, pumpkin on it’s own does not have that much taste. What you really like are the spices that go in it. That being said you can put pumpkin pie spice on lots of other things and get that same yummy flavor and save yourself a ton of calories.

One favorite of mine is to roast carrots in the oven and when they are brown and caramelized I put a tiny amount of butter and a boatload of pumpkin pie spice. Ha,no sugar, no crust, no condensed milk, no pumpkin, but trust me your mouth will think it tastes pretty damn good, maybe even whoopee inducing.

If you have ever had a sweet potato pie and thought it was pumpkin it was because it had the same spice mix — all you are really tasting are the spices and the sugar.

So no crying when the pumpkin pie spice food season ends, just make your own. That combination of flavors is good on many things so don’t be shy about sprinkling it on and acorn or butternut squash or in a cookie recipe, just be forewarned and don’t depend on the rhythm method, if you know what I mean.