Wouldn’t you say that pumpkins are the poster child for autumn? The cheerful pumpkin is just so agreeable. Oh, those warm autumn spices: cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, allspice, ginger, chili peppers. Pumpkins love ’em all.
The grande finalé comes near the end of November when a pumpkin pie punctuates the end of nearly every Thanksgiving dinner. Which brings me to pumpkin pie spice blend. Despite its name pumpkin pie spice blends are for much, much more than pumpkin pie.
Here are 10 ways to use your pumpkin pie spice blend:
- Pureéd squash soup.Pumpkin, butternut, or even a blend that also includes acorn. Just about any squash that you roast then blend into a smooth puree will make a delicious, smooth soup. Add a couple teaspoons (or more) of your pumpkin pie spice blend when you are sautéing the onions, garlic and other base flavors of your soup. You’ll want to stir the spices until they coat the onions evenly then add your broth and pumpkin. After the whole thing has cooked I return it to the blender to puree it all together and top it off with plain yogurt or sour cream mixed with ginger and lime juice.
- Hot buttered rum. Add a teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice blend, a shot of rum, a tablespoon of brown sugar and a pat of butter. Pour in some hot water and stir until melted and blended. Fill up the rest of your mug with hot water. Stir again. Sip. Smile. Oh yeah…!
- Pumpkin seeds. Hey, if it works for the pie why not for roasting the seeds? When the seeds are cleaned and spread out on the roasting pan sprinkled generously with pumpkin pie spice blend. Add some chili pepper if you prefer a kick.
- Vanilla pudding. Sounds odd but I’m talking about the homemade variety here. Add the spices when you’re slowly warming the milk so the flavor steeps in the warmth.
- Spiced Latte. Mr and Mrs. P are newlyweds and started a food blog along with their new life. They seem like a lot of fun and so does the spiced latte coffee drink they invented. They actually mix pumpkin puree and the pumpkin pie spice blend into the milk so follow their instructions for this drinkable dessert. They used Spice Islands spice blend. I recommend that you make your own.
- Quick breads or muffins. You know the type: banana, zucchini, pumpkin. Use pumpkin pie spice blend to flavor ’em up.
- Pancakes. What? You don’t add spices to your pancakes? Fix that this weekend. Although I don’t find spices in waffles to be nearly as satisfying.
- Oatmeal. I’ve run across all sorts of recommendations for pumpkin oatmeal. I’ve been generous with cinnamon but this morning opted for the spice blend. The 2 or so tablespoons of pumpkin puree are optional but it is an exceptionally healthy addition. Don’t forget the brown sugar or maple syrup (my favorite).
- Oatmeal cookies. Oatmeal cookie dough is the perfect host for pumpkin pie spice. In fact, my Grandmother used to make an oatmeal cookie heavily influenced by the spice islands where she used to live. Back in the day these islands were known as the spiceries.
- Applejack. This is cider for adults. Laird’s Applejack is old stuff. Their highly alcoholic cider was a favorite drink of George Washington and Thomas Jefferson. Add a scant teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice and 1 or 2 shots of Applejack in a mug. Fill the rest up with warmed, unfiltered apple cider–the non-alcoholic kind. We want you feeling good and warm…not on the floor. It’s like drinking the equivalent of an autumn day in a mug.
I always advocate making your own. But just like anyone else I totally understand how even 5 or 10 minutes just starts to sound like hassle. Life’s busy.
My Spice Sage is a great spice source for pumpkin pie spice blend. Plus they will give you a free spice sample with every order. How cool is that? Go here.
I was surprised when I read that Frontier makes a salt-free pumpkin pie spice blend. Didn’t realize pumpkin pie spice blends had salt but evidently some do. If it’s a huge concern of yours this may be a good option.