It’s that time of year again, friends. No, not the official start of fall. No, not football season. ‘Tis the season for pumpkin spice everything! And, yes, I know that the whole pumpkin spice thing has gotten out of control (I recently came across pumpkin spice cake mix … for dogs). But it’s silly and fun little things like this that help get us through the day. Unfortunately, “pumpkin spice” on a label usually means added sugar and difficult-to-pronounce ingredients. The good news is that a simple can of pumpkin can be a quick and easy way to help you get your fall flavor fix. Here are a few of my favorite ways to use canned pumpkin.
Add a tablespoon to oatmeal. Mixing in a dab of peanut butter, and a drizzle of honey too, makes this a delicious and filling way to start your day.
Pep up your pasta. Move over, marinara – pumpkin and ricotta cheese can make for a tasty new pasta sauce. Try ¾ cup pumpkin with ½ cup ricotta, salt and pepper to taste, and experiment with different seasonings or spices depending on whether you’re craving something sweet or more savory.
Toss a can in chili. Simmer this deliciousness on the stove during college football Saturday.
Try a couple teaspoons in a protein shake. Mix in with unsweetened vanilla almond milk, a banana and plain Greek yogurt. If canned pumpkin in a smoothie is too earthy-tasting for you, an alternative is to mix one scoop of vanilla protein powder with one cup of unsweetened cold brew coffee, one-half cup of plain oat or almond milk and a couple shakes of pumpkin spice in a blender.
What’s your favorite way to use pumpkin?
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in September 2018 and has been updated for freshness, accuracy and comprehensiveness.