Nothing says fall like pumpkin-everything and what better way to ring in the month of October than with pumpkin spice? October 1 is National Pumpkin Spice Day, paying homage to the seasoning that defines fall.
What is pumpkin spice?
You won’t find pumpkin spice growing from a single plant. Rather, it is a mixture of several spices including cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice, and cloves. Traditionally, it is used in sweet recipes like pumpkin pie or pancakes, but it has started to catch traction in savory dishes like pasta and roasted vegetables.
My favorite ways to use pumpkin spice:
Yogurt Parfait: It’s that time of year to sub pumpkin puree for berries in your yogurt parfaits. Top your protein- and calcium-rich, plain, non-fat Greek yogurt with pumpkin and a dash of pumpkin spice for an easy fall breakfast with staying power.
Kefir Pumpkin Pie Smoothie: With more strains of good-for-you probiotic bacteria than most yogurts, the fermented milk product called kefir is a great start to any day. Its tart flavor makes it a natural for pairing with sweet fruits like pumpkin or berries.
Pumpkin Spice Latte: Pumpkin spice characterizes the beverage that we all know and love. Traditionally it is made with espresso, pumpkin pie spice, steamed milk and whipped cream. Try this six-ingredient pumpkin spice latte, made with non-fat milk. Not only does milk have 8 grams of protein per cup, but it’s also loaded with eight other essential vitamins and minerals including vitamin D, calcium, and potassium.
Soup: As we transition to warmer weather, soup is making its way back onto our menus. Upgrade your winter squash soups with a dash of pumpkin spice. This lactose-free Butternut Squash Soup is a delicious way for those with lactose sensitivity to enjoy the goodness of a dairy-based soup, without the lactose.
Mia Syn, MS, RD is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and on-air nutrition expert based in Charleston, South Carolina. You can find her at @nutritionbymia on Instagram and nutritionbymia.com