Fall Flavors (That Aren’t Pumpkin Spice)

Southeast Dairy Association - cinnamon hot chocolate

When the leaves begin to change and the flannel reappears in the closet, pumpkin spice is again the dominant flavor. And that’s not a bad thing! Pumpkin is the quintessential fall flavor, associated with the fall holidays of Halloween and Thanksgiving. If you’re craving the warmth of pumpkin, we have plenty of recipes you can enjoy! But if you are looking for a fall flavor that isn’t all over menus, we have you covered, too.  

Sweet potato is the other orange food of the season. Combine with brown sugar for a traditional sweet potato casserole or sweet potato pie, or try a new twist in poutine or a spicy dip for your chips. Sweet potato is stiil a fall staple known for its delicious versatility. 

And while fall should bring cooler temperatures, the South doesn’t always cooperate. Using the fall flavors of maple and pecan, enjoy ice milk when the weather is still deciding what season it is. On the cooler weekend mornings that you sit by the window with your mug of coffee or apple cider, whenever they finally appear, cut a square of a Maple Spiced Snack Bar as you warm up in your favorite sweater. If you’re not sipping on a warm mug of apple cider, try a snack of Apple Overnight Oats or apple slices with peanut butter later in the day. It’s basically a required fruit in October. 

Squash is most prominent in recipes for the late summer and fall months, so we have to mention it here. When the cold nights appear, warm up with a butternut squash and sage soup that adds the unexpected combination of chicken broth, orange juice, milk and Greek yogurt for a creamy meal. For a more subtle use, mix butternut squash with Italian flavors and the extra warmth that nutmeg brings for a lasagna that everyone in the family can enjoy. 

Southeast Dairy Association - pumpkin cranberry bread pudding

An often overlooked but well-used fall flavor is cranberry. While you enjoy it on its own most often through cranberry sauce or a morning glass of juice, it pairs beautifully to bring a sense of fall with whatever it’s used in. Try a bowl of Cranberry Orange Quinoa or combine with the other underappreciated fall flavor—pear—in a cheddar muffin. If you are looking for a way to use pumpkin in a new way, mix with cinnamon, ginger and cranberries for a bread pudding that tastes truly like fall. 

Combine the warmth of hazelnut with chocolate, either in hot chocolate or in a sweet bite-sized cheesecake. Another bite-sized option is a caramel tart, but there are plenty of other sweet recipes that use fall flavors. Try adding chai to your morning coffee and cinnamon to your breakfast with yogurt and french toast for a seasonal twist on the fuel you need to start your day. There are plenty of ways to enjoy the flavors of fall without relying on pumpkin. 

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