Fall is here.
It’s my favorite time of year, but in the Inland Northwest it is also the shortest of the seasons. The leaves are just beginning to change colors, nights are getting chilly, and my pumpkin vines look like this.
The changing weather makes me look forward to things like traipsing through a local farm, picking apples, and drinking fresh hot cider. It also makes me crave fall foods. Mostly pumpkin.
Tell me I’m not alone in this?
I recently read a post about what’s really in Starbucks’ Pumpkin Spice Lattes, and I’ll be honest: It definitely gave me pause. I’m not a huge green-granola-I-only-eat-organic type girl, but I AM working on bringing my body (and my family) to a point where eating healthy is just the norm, rather than something we are still “trying to do”. I’m getting better at it all the time.
So I learned all about the crap that the legendary PSL contains—and DOESN’T contain—(PUMPKIN) but it really left me unfazed. Why?
I’ve been making my OWN pumpkin lattes for a couple of years now and let me tell you, they’re way better. And dare I say HEALTHIER too? All because of this overwhelming craving I get each year for the orange stuff.
Here’s the thing. I’ve discovered the most flexible pumpkin-style condiment that allows me to fill all those cravings whenever I want to.
I simply make pumpkin butter in my crock pot.<~Click for my recipe
It only takes a few ingredients and minimal intervention from you while it’s cooking for hours, creating the most amazing aroma in your kitchen and home. And then?
Then you can do so many things with it!
1. Pumpkin Pie Lattes
Take a big ol’ dollop of pumpkin butter and stir it into your coffee with cream or any sort of creamy additions you’d like. If you’ve got an espresso machine and/or a milk frother, that’s all you need to make amazingly inexpensive PSL’s. I just saved your fall budget, and Christmas too for that matter. You’re welcome.
2. Pumpkin Spice Oatmeal
Nothing says fall goodness like a comforting bowl of old-fashioned oatmeal with pumpkiny-spicy yumminess.
3. Pumpkin Marinade
Use Pumpkin Butter to marinade a pork loin all day prior to roasting in the oven. Be sure to pierce the meat all over so that the flavor goes deep into the meat. This is SO GOOD and your house will smell like heaven.
4. Pumpkin Milkshakes
Blend Pumpkin Butter with vanilla ice cream and drink. This one could be dangerous!
5. Pumpkin Pancake Syrup
Add it to heated pure maple syrup, and taste away until you get the perfect blend of pumpkiny-maple. You could simply heat it and pour it over pancakes, but it might be a bit drier than you’d like your pancakes to be. Personally, this is the way I do it.
6. Pumpkin Meatloaf with Pumpkin BBQ Sauce <~Recipe
This isn’t my recipe but I have made it! I use my Pumpkin Butter in the BBQ sauce recipe in place of the canned pumpkin. Oh man.
7. Pumpkin Sundaes
What!? Yes!! Heat it up, stir in some caramel topping (or don’t!), and pour it over ice cream. Oh yeah!
8. Pumpkin Dip
Mix with Cream cheese and use as a dip for fruit. It’s WONDERFUL with sliced apples.
9. Pumpkin Cocoa
Add it to your cocoa and top with whipped cream.
10. Pumpkin Butter Bread <~Recipe
You had to know that Pumpkin Bread would be on this list, right? This one is heavenly.
Now you’re ready.
You did get my Pumpkin Butter Recipe, right? (Be sure to keep it in the FREEZER unless you’re going to use it up right away.) Take that deliciousness and try some of these ideas, and come back and let me know if you come up with something else! I’m on the hunt for more great things to use Pumpkin Butter in.
Oh, and be sure you make your Pumpkin Butter before your pumpkin gets Bitter Beer Face, like this.