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Pumpkin Spice, Without All the Additives

Five real recipes for your pumpkin spice fix.

Before the holiday music pipes through every store, before the kids bring home their construction paper turkeys, even before the plastic ghosts grace the neighborhood windows, there is a micro-season that is celebrated across America. It is abhorred by the few and cherished by the many. Regardless your stance, it is ultimate declaration of fall. That’s right, we’re talking about the pumpkin spice season.

While some argue that pumpkin spice has gone too far, others will gladly gobble up any new products on the market boasting those warm spices. Unfortunately, the pumpkin spice formula may go beyond the simple ingredients of cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, allspice and pumpkin; over 80 different additives can be used to create pumpkin flavor and texture. If you love the flavor but don’t love the additives, here are some recipes you can make at home that will hit the spot without all the chemicals.

Pumpkin Spice Latte

While this beloved drink may be the most iconic for the pumpkin spice profile, it can also be the culprit of increased sugar and additive intake. A 16-ounce Starbucks latte, for example, contains a whopping 50 grams of sugar, sulfating agents and potassium sorbate as preservatives, carageenen as a texture enhancer, and “natural flavors” to enhance the flavors that should be coming from spices and pumpkin. Rather than indulging in unnecessary ingredients, why not just make your own?  If you’re short on time, simply top your coffee with a bit of whipped cream and ground cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove.

Pumpkin Spice Pancakes

Why not double down on that morning latte with these easy pumpkin spiced pancakes? Canned pumpkin is a tasty and versatile ingredient to have stocked in your pantry, and can easily be added to pancakes or waffles for added fiber and micronutrients. Increase the nutritional benefits by subbing coconut sugar or maple syrup for the brown sugar.

Moroccan Chicken With Cous Cous

Who says pumpkin spice has to be reserved for your sweet tooth? This recipe enhances pumpkin spice flavor by combining it with ginger, golden raisins, almonds, vegetables and chicken to make a comforting and quick dinner on a cold night. Don’t like cous cous? Sub rice, quinoa, or orzo to switch it up.

Beefy Butternut Squash Chili

It’s no secret that we’ve got a little bit of a chili obsession here at The Beecher’s Foundation. Here’s a twist on one of our go-to suppers that includes seasonal squash, ground chuck roast, and red wine to perfectly pair with pumpkin spice. After trying this recipe, your future chilies may never go another day without a pinch of pumpkin spice!

Pumpkin Pie

To get the best pumpkin spice fix of the season, why not turn to the source? Making pie from scratch is fun, satisfying, and makes your house smell amazing. Feel free to play around with the amount of spices, use whole-wheat pastry flour for a fiber and B vitamin-rich crust, or swap canned butternut squash for the canned pumpkin for something a little different.

-Nora Dummer

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