It’s that time of year again! The time when pumpkin spice rules and us homesteaders are all about harvesting, cooking, baking and puttin’ up winter squash (aka. pumpkin).
There is something so comforting and nostalgic about pumpkin and pumpkin spice, which I think is why we’ve become so obsessed with it. The warm smell of hearty pumpkin mingling with cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and ginger is enough to make anyone feel cozy this time of year. But in recent years the pumpkin spice craze has paved the way for a plethora of processed junk food (and I really hesitate on the “food” part).
There is pumpkin and pumpkin spice everything nowadays: Pumpkin spice lattes, pumpkin spice oreos, pumpkin spice marshmallows, pumpkin spice cheerios, pumpkin spice air freshener, pumpkin spice jello… There is even a pumpkin flavoured cake mix… For your dog!
The sad part about this trend is that there is hardly any actual pumpkin in any of these products (if there is any at all!) Mostly they are full of sugar, preservatives, modified corn products and extremely processed flavourings and ingredients acting as pumpkin imposters. Maybe you might get a dash of real pumpkin spice in there, but mostly you’re eating mostly crap.
The good news is, there is a better way. You can have your pumpkin spice cake and eat it too (well, not the dog cake. Don’t eat that). Because let’s face it: pumpkin isn’t so bad. In fact, it’s really good for you! Pumpkins are packed with healthy vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that can do our bodies a world of good. And there’s nothing unhealthy about authentic pumpkin spice, which is simply a mixture of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves and allspice. When we take our food choices into our own hands we can control what we put n them and keep dangerous additives off of our dinner (and dessert) plates.
So do not fear the pumpkin spice madness that has taken hold of society! Instead, embrace it by trying out some of the following delicious and all-natural homemade pumpkin and pumpkin spice recipes. Oh, and surprise! They all contain actual pumpkin!
Savoury pumpkin dishes are lesser known, and even lesser times experimented with. But they truly do rival their sweet counterparts in both taste and ease of cooking. Get started with these simple and delicious savoury pumpkin recipes that can take you from the pumpkin patch to your dinner table tonight! (Remember, anything that calls for canned pumpkin purée can also be made with fresh pumpkin purée and visa versa).
“Way Better Than Canned” Pumpkin Purée by Back To Our Roots
Pumpkin Pasta by Buy This Cook That
Rich & Savory Pumpkin-Thyme Soup by Back To Our Roots
Pumpkin Stuffed with Everything Good by Martha Stewart*
*I had to include this last one from Martha Stewart as it is one of my personal favourite pumpkin recipes for fall. I have changed the recipe a bit and will add my version at a later date. For now, this Martha Stewart version is truly a to-die-for savoury pumpkin indulgence!
Sweet dishes are where pumpkins rule supreme. There is no end to the number of delectable desserts, breakfasts, breads and sweet snacks you can make with pumpkin. Here are just a few of the very best homemade sweet treats to get you started.
No-Bake Whipped Pumpkin Pie by yours truly at The House & Homestead
Never-Fail Pumpkin Cheesecake by Feathers In The Woods
Old-Fashioned Pumpkin Sugar Cookies by Melissa K. Norris
Pumpkin Spice Scones by Common Sense Homesteading
Spiced Pumpkin Muffins by Buy This Cook That
Pumpkin Whoopie Pies with Cream Cheese Filling by Shut The Front Dorr
Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies with Cranberries and Walnuts by Common Sense Homesteading
Pumpkin Cranberry Banana Bread by Country Living In A Cariboo Valley
Pumpkin Spice Waffles with Maple Cinnamon Whipped Cream by Common Sense Homesteading
Homemade Pumpkin Caramels by Feathers In The Woods
Chocolate Pumpkin Truffles by Purposefully Simple
Sometimes it’s just not possible to use up all of that pumpkin goodness at once. Luckily, pumpkins store very well in cold storage for a long time as is thanks to their hard outer skin. If you’re looking for other ways to preserve your pumpkin to last a little longer, here are some great ideas by some trusted homesteaders!
*Remember: NEVER can pumpkin purée at home! You may pressure can cubed pumpkin, but pumpkin purée is too thick to can at home as home canners do not reach high enough temperatures to kill dangerous bacteria. Freeze purée or pressure can cubed pumpkin and purée when ready to use.
8 Ways to Preserve Pumpkin at Home by Melissa K. Norris
How to Process Pumpkins for Storing by Flip Flop Barnyard
Pumpkin Fruit Leather by Common Sense Homesteading
There’s nothing quite like the drink that started the pumpkin spice craze to begin with: The infamous Pumpkin Spice Latte (or “PSL”). But you don’t need to shell out $5 a drink at Starbucks to get your hands on a PSL this fall. Make your own for a fraction of the cost (and be sure that there’s some actual pumpkin in there!). Lattes not your thing? How about some pumpkin spice kombucha or wine? The choice is yours. Pick your potion!
Homemade Pumpkin Spice Syrup & Pumpkin Spice Latte by The Baking Chocolatess
Pumpkin Wine by Common Sense Homesteading
Pumpkin Spice Kombucha by Common Sense Homesteading
Pumpkin seeds, pumpkin spice (sans pumpkin) and pumpkin pot-pourri are just a few to the “other” things you can do with pumpkins aside from cooking and eating the flesh. If all else fails or you are just at a loss with what to do with your carved Jack-O-Lantern after Halloween, remember you can always add it to your compost pile and build up your soil for next spring. No pumpkin should ever go to waste. Here are a few more ideas on how to use them up (and other uses for pumpkin spice!)
Roasted Pumpkin Seeds by Our Stoney Acres
Roasting Pumpkin Seeds with Garlic & Cumin by Lady Lee’s Home
Pumpkin Spiced Peach Sauce by The Old Walsh Farm*
Pumpkin Pie Potpourri Recipe by My Homestead Life*
*There is no actual pumpkin in these last two recipes, but they are made with real pumpkin spices and natural ingredients. A great alternative for those who love pumpkin spice but can’t have pumpkin! Plus, real pumpkin probably wouldn’t work well in a potpourri blend. But the spices smell fantastic!
So there you have it! 25 pumpkin and pumpkin spice recipes you can make at home. Save your money, eat better and stay cozy with all the comforts of pumpkin this fall.
Do you have any pumpkin recipes you’d like to share? Leave a comment below or email me at email@example.com if you have any recipes (pumpkin or otherwise) you’d like to share on our blog.
Until next time,