Remember back in the day when the only pumpkin flavored things that came around in the Autumn were pumpkin chocolate chip cookies, pumpkin pie, that one Yankee candle, and…actual pumpkins?
Then Starbucks came around and BLEW OUR MINDS with pumpkin spice lattes and we lost our ever-loving minds over all things pumpkin.
Don’t get me wrong, both my feet are firmly planted in the pro-pumpkin camp, but I’ve been burned.
Pumpkin Spice Gum? AVOID.
Pumpkin Spice Hershey Kisses. TASTES LIKE A CANDLE.
I had a particularly bad run in with a brand of fancy pants yogurt that made me question my life choices and my continued devotion to pumpkin spice.
But a few years ago, Trader Joe’s finally came to our town, and I went BUCK WILD. If it had pumpkin in the name, I bought it. I tried it all and I have a few seasonal favorites that you need in your life.
Want to feel fancy? These will do the trick nicely. They are light and delicious and I highly recommend hoarding these for your holiday festivities, because believe me, no one is going to pass these up even after pumpkin season has shifted to peppermint. Since you can find them in the freezer case, they’ll keep until you ring in the new year. And you can’t beat the price! $4.99 for 12 mini macarons.
DARK CHOCOLATE PUMPKIN SPICE SALTED CARAMELS
Speaking of things to hoard—these should be on your “to give” list this holiday season. Stock up and give these to your neighbors, coworkers, as hostess gifts…to yourself for whenever you want a treat that will knock your socks off. The creamy caramel has just a hint of spice and the dark chocolate is really delicious and the whole thing is sprinkled with red hawaiian sea salt, so popping one of these in your mouth basically makes your eyes roll back in your head.
PUMPKIN ROLLS WITH PUMPKIN SPICE ICING
I wish I would’ve snapped a picture of my kid’s faces when I fed them these because it would tell you all you need to know about how tasty these suckers are. Trader Joe’s didn’t skimp with the icing packet so every roll can be drenched in icing…much to the delight of everyone at my breakfast table.
PUMPKIN SPICE CAKE
I would eat this for breakfast with a cup of coffee every morning if my pants would allow it. But you should be a grown-up and eat this for dessert, as it was intended, because it would be wonderful with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream or a dollop of whipped cream. This is going to be featured right along with the pies at Thanksgiving, for the guest who, like me, would walk by 10 pies for a chance at CAKE.
Use it like jam. And use it on anything and everything. Toast, english muffins, pancakes (so good with maple syrup), waffles, and my personal favorite— a thick slice of artisan sourdough that’s been slathered with butter and toasted under the broiler until the bread is toasty and the butter has browned. HEAVEN.
These mini biscotti are perfectly sized to be a nice little treat with your morning coffee. But they’re out-of-this-world when you dip them in a cup of hot cocoa. These would be a great gift for the coffee lover in your life.
PETITE PUMPKIN SPICE COOKIES
This is THE pumpkin cookie to buy! They remind me of a gingersnap and they are coated in either a yogurt (white) or spice (orange) frosting. With sprinkles. Because everything’s better with sprinkles. IT’S SCIENCE.
PUMPKIN SPICE CHAI TEA LATTE MIX
Spicy and creamy and exactly what you want in your mug on a blustery autumn afternoon. The best part is that this powder mix blends with hot water so it’s quick and easy without feeling like you skimped.
PUMPKIN SPICE COFFEE
I’ve tried every “pumpkin spice” coffee that I can find. This one is my favorite. I take my coffee black so I’ve found that most flavored coffee tastes pretty artificial in the absence of cream and sugar. But Trader Joe’s pumpkin spice coffee is filled with actual spices and brews up nice and smooth.
Cereal isn’t really my jam, but I figured my kids would like it, so I tossed it in the cart. When they cracked it open, I tossed a handful in my mouth and gave a hearty “Oh! WOW!” A bowl of this with ice-cold milk would be pretty fantastic as a midnight snack. Think of them as a pumpkin spice Froot Loop. (Is it weird that I only think of cereal as a late-night thing? Takes me back to my college days.)
I had my skeptical pants on when I grabbed this from the shelf, but this stuff is GOOD. Really good. Tangy, spicy, flavorful, and not remotely sweet. Use this on mixed greens with some roasted beets, apples, bacon, goat cheese….maybe a handful of pistachios and you’ve got yourself an absolutely delicious meal on your hands.
FALL HARVEST SALSA
This has some kick! Mildly sweet too. If you’re a person that digs peach or mango salsa, then you’ll love this autumn version. I like that it’s thick and substantial. This alongside some guac would fill your tummy right up. Pairs well with Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Tortilla Chips below…
PUMPKIN TORTILLA CHIPS
I didn’t know what to expect. My mind sees “pumpkin” and still thinks PIE, so I expected something sweet. Nope. Just a salty, sturdy tortilla chip with a heartier taste—super similar to sweet potato tortilla chips, which I’m obsessed with. I have a feeling that a batch of nachos using these would be delicious.
PUMPKIN GREEK NONFAT YOGURT
This one won’t be for everyone. For example, if you aren’t a super fan of yogurt, but live for PSL season, you are going to want to cruise right by this item. But if you’re a greek yogurt lover, this flavor will be an awesome seasonal treat. Extra credit if you pair this with Trader Joe’s Pecan Praline Granola.
PUMPKIN BODY BUTTER
Trader Joe’s Coconut Body Butter is absolutely amazing. It’s best body butter product I’ve ever used on my crazy dry skin. I figured the pumpkin flavor would be a little odd, but it smells so good! The scent is more like an autumn apple to me, but maybe I’ve just gotten too narrow in my pumpkin worldview. I’ll work on that.
This post isn’t sponsored. I just super duper love Trader Joe’s.