Has your Pinterest account been exploding with pumpkin spice recipes? Heaven knows food manufacturers have jumped on the bandwagon big-time (but we really don’t need p-spice potato chips, mmm’kay?).
Muffins are great, and so are lattes, but there’s more to this gourd, and we set out to find the most interesting products that might actually be somewhat healthful. Here are seven of them.
Pumpkin Goodies You’re Gonna Dig
Peanut Butter & Co. Pumpkin Spice Peanut Butter. There are a few brands that have jumped on the pumpkin bandwagon, but we’ve actually tried one from Peanut Butter & Co. and were surprised to see that there’s real pumpkin puree in the nut butter, not just the spices. It’s not overwhelmingly pumpkin-y — it just has a nice hint of Thanksgiving to it.
Flora Pumpkin Seed Oil. Sure there’s the spices and the puree, but how about the seeds? The oil of the pumpkin has a deep green color and nutty flavor and makes a great salad dressing or a drizzle over roasted root vegetables.
Pumpkin Spice Mancakes. If you want your morning flapjacks to do double duty, you’ll appreciate this protein pancake mix that is free of gluten, soy, and GMOs. Each serving gives you 20 grams of protein and 9 grams of fiber. In addition to pancakes you can use the mix to make waffles, muffins, quick breads and even doughnuts.
Mighty Muffin Maple Pumpkin. If you want your pumpkin on the go, grab one of these “mug muffins,” an oat-based, wheat-free muffin that bakes in its own cup. It’s 200 calories and has a hefty 20 grams of protein. These are great to keep in your office desk drawer for a quick break-room breakfast or afternoon snack.
Lenny and Larry’s Pumpkin Spice Complete Cookie. Do you like cookies? Pumpkin? Convenience? These cookies are a staple in our household, especially with the always on-the-go teenager. Lenny and Larry’s Complete Cookies are huge, taste like pumpkin pie and pack in 16 grams of vegan protein — in fact, the whole cookie is vegan. The cookie is 380 calories, so it and a cup of coffee makes a decent breakfast.
Lifeway Pumpkin Spice Kefir. Yes, even this venerable fermented dairy drink has gone pumpkin crazy with a limited-edition flavor. The lowfat beverage is loaded with probiotics, very low in lactose, and has 11 grams of protein.
Nearly everything at Trader Joe’s. OK, we exaggerate a bit, but this time of year you can get pumpkin-inspired foods ranging from Pumpkin Vinaigrette to Pumpkin Harvest Juice to Pumpkin Spice babka. (Plus a few of these goodies!)
What’s your favorite pumpkin product? — Gail