Pumpkin Season 2017: Taste the Variety

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It’s that time of year again … time for all things flavored pumpkin! Now, this is a flavor after my own heart since I am currently working on an expanded version of my pumpkin cookbook, A Passion for Pumpkins. Inspired by a random video my husband and I found on YouTube, I’ve decided to do a tasting of many of new (and traditional) pumpkin and pumpkin spice flavored foods that are currently on the market.

So, I’ve gone on a pumpkin binge, purchasing a sampling of a wide variety of pumpkin and pumpkin spice flavored products available at your local grocery store, Trader Joe’s and restaurants. Over the next several weeks, I’ll be sharing with you my experiences and my opinions of these various offerings. (And no, I will not be tasting the dog biscuits!)

Pumpkin Season Taste the Variety

Before I even came up with this idea, I had already sampled several pumpkin inspired offerings. Here are my thoughts on each of them. In this post, you’ll find my thoughts on the following pumpkin flavor products:

  • Pumpkin Cups Candy
  • Chobani Greek Yogurt Flip, Pumpkin Harvest Crisp
  • Limited Edition Pumpkin Spice Life Cereal
  • Pilgrim Joe’s Pumpkin Ice Cream Super Premium
  • Limited Edition Pumpkin Spice Cheerios
  • Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins

Pumpkin Cups Candy

I saw these while in line at the 99 Cents Store, so I grabbed a bag. They kind of look like peanut butter cups, but have pumpkin flavored candy where the peanut butter would be.

The flavor was more sugar than pumpkin and way too sweet for my tastes. I did not purchase any more, which is why I don’t have a photo for you.

I think they are clever idea poorly executed. If I were to create pumpkin cups candy, the candy would be much more pumpkin-y and I think I’d dip them in dark chocolate, rather than milk chocolate.

Rating

thumbs up pumpkin
thumbs down pumpkin
thumbs down pumpkin
thumbs down pumpkin
thumbs down pumpkin

Chobani Greek Yogurt Flip, Pumpkin Harvest Crisp

Chobani Greek Yogurt Flip, Pumpkin Harvest CrispChobani Greek Yogurt makes a line of “Flip” packages that are yogurt in one cup and crunchy items in another that flip over into the yogurt when ready to eat. Their Pumpkin Harvest Crisp features pumpkin low-fat yogurt with pie crust pieces, pecans, and glazed pumpkin seeds.

The pumpkin yogurt is, in my opinion, da bomb! The crunchy bits had texture, which is fine, but I would totally purchase this yogurt without them. The yogurt achieves a nice balance of smooth pumpkin flavor with a touch of pumpkin spice blend. I love eating this with my lunch.

Rating

thumbs up pumpkin
thumbs up pumpkin
thumbs up pumpkin
thumbs up pumpkin
thumbs up pumpkin

Limited Edition Pumpkin Spice Life Cereal

Limited Edition Pumpkin Spice Life CerealMany of the fall flavors available are “pumpkin spice,” which means they use the flavor blend that is commonly used in pumpkin pie. This blend usually consists of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and either cloves, allspice or mace (which are very similar in flavor). Cinnamon is usually the dominant flavor, but not always.

In the case of Life Cereal’s Pumpkin Spice version, the cloves’ bite is quite prominent. I tried it sans milk, so the bite was strong. I believe that if you ate this cereal in milk (or the milk alternative of your choice — I’ve been favoring Oat Milk lately), this spiciness would be very nice.

That said, if the strong flavor of cloves is not your thing, I’d leave this item on the shelf.

Rating

thumbs up pumpkin
thumbs up pumpkin
thumbs up pumpkin
thumbs down pumpkin
thumbs down pumpkin

Pilgrim Joe’s Pumpkin Ice Cream Super Premium

Pilgrim Joe’s Pumpkin Ice Cream Super PremiumOne of the traditional fall stand-bys at Trader Joe’s is their pumpkin ice cream. This year is the first time I’ve had the opportunity to try it. It was well worth the wait.

The texture of the ice cream is as promised — super premium. It is smooth and creamy. The dominant flavor is pumpkin, but with strong notes of cinnamon and cloves. I’m looking forward to trying this ice cream out with some of the other pumpkin products I’ve purchased. Some of my ideas include:

  • Ice Cream Sandwiches: Take two pumpkin toaster waffles and fill with pumpkin ice cream.
  • Pumpkin Pancakes Supreme: Dollop some pumpkin ice cream on pumpkin pancakes instead of using maple syrup or whipped cream.
  • Cookie Dip: Dunk the pumpkin cookies in the pumpkin ice cream — a decadent treat!
  • Pumpkin Bread a la Mode: A scoop of pumpkin ice cream will go well with a nice warm slice of pumpkin bread.
  • Breakfast Dessert: Toss in some pumpkin Os cereal with the ice cream to add a bit of extra texture.

Even my husband, who is not as into pumpkin as I am, thought the ice cream was good.

Rating

thumbs up pumpkin
thumbs up pumpkin
thumbs up pumpkin
thumbs up pumpkin
thumbs up pumpkin

Limited Edition Pumpkin Spice Cheerios

Limited Edition Pumpkin Spice CheeriosI’ve had other flavored versions of Cheerios before, so I was confident that this cereal would at least be edible. But I think they did a really good job with this one. Although it is spicy, it has stronger notes of cinnamon than the Life cereal had. I think these would not only taste great with milk, but also mixed in with vanilla yogurt.

Will you like them? It all depends on whether you like Cheerios to begin with — their signature taste is quite present — and if you like cinnamon with a touch of cloves. If yes to both, this is a nice change of pace to your breakfast routine.

It will be interesting to compare and contrast these with Trader Joe’s Pumpkin O’s, which I will do in a future post.

Rating

thumbs up pumpkin
thumbs up pumpkin
thumbs up pumpkin
thumbs down pumpkin
thumbs down pumpkin

Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins

Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Cream Cheese MuffinsI love a good pumpkin muffin and these did not disapoint. These muffins have a “cream cheese filling and a sprinkle of pumpkin seeds” for flavor and garnish.

The frosting has a perfect balance of cream cheese and sweetness. It is not too sweet like so many commercial cream cheese frostings are. The muffin is mildly spiced with an almost molasses-ginger flavor mixing in with the pumpkin.

As I took my first taste, I was reminded of a molasses coffee cake I tasted once when I was a child. I love molasses (and often would lick the cup clean after measuring into the molasses cookies I made), so that flavor note was unexpected but delightful.

Rating

thumbs up pumpkin
thumbs up pumpkin
thumbs up pumpkin
thumbs up pumpkin
thumbs down pumpkin

Previous Pumpkin Tastings

Upcoming Pumpkin Tastings

As you can see from the topmost pictures, I have purchased quite a few pumpkin flavored products to taste and tell you about. Some of those include:

  • Pumpkin Pancake Mixes by Krusteaz and Trader Joe’s
  • Pumpkin Bar Mixes by Betty Crocker and Krusteaz
  • And a variety of items from Trader Joe’s including cookies, snack bars, mluffins, toaster pastries and more.

I’ll also be posting my reviews of pumpkin offerings at local and chain restaurants, as I experience them.

Let’s enjoy pumpkin season together!

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About the author

Carma Spence, The Own Your Awesome Mentor, loves to be the wind beneath her clients’ wings. With Carma’s Cookery, she is taking her passion for empowering people and blending it with her passion for cooking, gift-giving and entertaining. She has been experimenting in the kitchen since she was four years old and loves trying out new recipe ideas.

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