Thursday, September 22, 2016

Pumpkin Spice and Everything Nice

Happy Autumn, everybody! Fall is finally officially here. Thank goodness; I no longer have to feel guilty about loving autumn so much. 

What is autumn made of? Pumpkin spice and everything nice; that's what autumn is made of. 

My favorite color is orange. My favorite season is fall. And pumpkins are one of the things I love most about this time of year.  My senses have been swooning. Pumpkin patches, jack-o-lanterns, pumpkin bread, and pumpkin pie. Gracious. I just can't get enough of any of it.

Have you been to Target lately? Oh. My. Heck. (That was for you, Chuck.) It's like a pumpkin spice explosion in there. No, I'm not complaining. Nope, not me.

It gets a little repetitive to use the words pumpkin spice with all of the things that I saw offered in that flavor, so suffice it to say, all of this stuff is available in PS, or pumpkin spice. There is coffee. Tea. Kind bars. Fiber One bars. Cereals: Life, Special K, Frosted Mini Wheats. Candy corn. Hot cocoa mix. Glazed pepitas. Granola. Caramel corn. Marshmallows. English muffins. Even BAGELS. Like I said. Oh, my  heck!

While I was tempted to load my big red Target shopping cart with all things pumpkin spice, I decided to be selective, and I chose three things to try: Life cereal, Fiber One bars, and Kind bars. They were all pretty good, but nothing really blew my mind. 

If you like Life cereal, and you like a hint of cinnamon, you'll like the PS Life. The pumpkin flavor is barely noticeable, though. The Fiber One bars taste like a cakey-cookie, and I liked the drizzle of frosting across the top because, let's be honest, we want to make increasing our fiber as as sweet an experience as possible. The Kind bars were Caramel Almond Pumpkin Spice, so what's not to like? If there is any flavor I like more than pumpkin spice, it's caramel. At only 5 grams of sugar, they are a treat that seem like a little healthier indulgence to me. 

When it comes right down to it, my favorite pumpkin-flavored things to eat are things I make at home. My Buff Pumpkin Stuff, pumpkin bread, pumpkin waffles, and pumpkin chocolate chip cookies are all way better than any processed foods from the grocery store.

There are friends who suspect I live off of pumpkin spice everything. I don't really, but this time of year, I am drawn to pumpkin-flavored anything. My go-to "meal replacement" is Buff Pumpkin Stuff, an original recipe of mine that is similar to the Impossible Pies made with Bisquik, but there is NO Bisquik in my recipe...just lots of fiber, protein, and the yummy taste of pumpkin pie. And yes, I eat it just about every single day, and not just in the fall.

Baking pumpkin bread in a can is something I tried this year.

While we are on the topic of pumpkin, and home-baked goods, let me tell you how Chuck grew up eating pumpkin bread. During the holidays, his mom would bake pumpkin bread in cans. So clever! 

Serving the round slices of bread just looks so fancy and festive. Chuck loves his pumpkin bread, but he doesn't particularly like waiting for me to take all of my foodie pics before he can dig in. My poor Beart. 

 But look how pretty!!!

If you are a pumpkin spice fan, you might want to head to your closest Target. Or if you're like me, you might be happier baking up something pumpkin-y at home. Either way, you win. 

Pumpkin spice and everything nice, that's what autumn is made of.  

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