So you love pumpkin spice

640px-Pumpkin-Pie-Whole-Slice

I was scrolling through my new twitter feed and came across a tweet from @HuffPostTaste.

The topic of pumpkin spice gives me endless amusement because people don’t seem to realize that it’s not actually a spice. It’s just a combination of several spices mixed together to create this signature flavor usually indicative of pumpkin pie. Using “pumpkin spice” or pumpkin pie spice bought from the grocery store won’t give your baking any kind of different, special flavor. It really just eliminates a bit of measuring.

As Julie R. Thompson wrote in her article on the Huffington Post, there are several key ingredients you will have when consuming anything pumpkin spice flavored. These include cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves or occasionally allspice. She also adds sugar, but I wouldn’t call that an ingredient of pumpkin spice. For me, that’s a part of baking. Or if you are ordering a latte it’s where the sweetness of the flavoring comes from.

Don’t get me wrong, I love pumpkin flavored things as much as the next person (well, aside from pumpkin pie), but I’m just putting it out there that it is just a combination of common spices used to flavor dishes, which may or may not include pumpkin. Since I prefer to make as much as possible myself, I forgo the called for pumpkin spice in recipes and make my own instead.

Here is a simple recipe to follow to make your own “pumpkin spice” to use in recipes this fall.

4 tablespoons ground cinnamon                                                                                                                                                  4 tablespoons ground nutmeg                                                                                                                                                      4 teaspoons ground ginger                                                                                                                                                            3 teaspoons ground allspice (or cloves if you prefer)

Just mix everything together and a bowl and you are good to go! You can also store mixture in an air-tight container.

Just for fun, here are some recipes you can make using canned pumpkin. I might have to kick off my pumpkin-themed baking with some of these suggestions. The pumpkin spice waffles and classic pumpkin muffins are calling my name.

Photo (cc) by Evan-Amos and published under a Creative Commons license. Some rights reserved. 

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