It’s that time of year again – when coffee shops and grocery stores shelves are full of the mass-marketed, in-your-face, pumpkin spice flavored everything. Ever since Starbucks first released the Pumpkin Spice Latte fourteen years ago, it’s become an unstoppable cultural trend. It’s now found in chewing gum, Oreos, Pringles, baby food and even pet treats! Like it or not, pumpkin spice is here to stay. But if you’re not one of the millions who obsess over pumpkin spice – and let’s be honest, it doesn’t even taste like pumpkin – you might be avoiding “fall” flavors in general. Don’t let your pumpkin spice hatred keep you from enjoying all the delicious flavors of the season, and try some of the options below.
Maple syrup has always been a Canadian obsession, and nothing screams fall like the colorful falling maple leaves of autumn and the maple syrup they produce. This woody sweet flavor is classically paired with pancakes but is remarkably delicious in a cup of coffee on a cool fall morning. It goes great with salty fares like sausage or bacon and is awesome for dessert over fruit or ice cream. Maple drinks are popular this year, so stop in any coffee shop and enjoy a sip of this classic flavor.
The smell of fresh cinnamon rolls in the oven brings back memories of lazy weekend mornings and the cool, changing weather of fall. Bring back this feeling by adding a dash of cinnamon to most any food and give it some fall flavor. If your ice cream tastes too much like summer, add some cinnamon and you’ve got cinnamon roll! Add it to coffee with cream and sugar and boom, you’ve got.. .cinnamon roll! Give oatmeal, baked goods, or anything a sprinkle of autumn flavor (and don’t forget to enjoy some genuine cinnamon rolls while you’re at it).
Move over pumpkins, you’re not the only gourds to enjoy this season. Squash might not be on the drink menu at trendy coffee shops, but savory fall foods that utilize pumpkin can be made more delicious by using butternut squash instead. Everyone’s loves butternut squash soup, but try it in a casserole, or in a black bean chili with chipotle pepper, and get ready to be blown away. From ravioli to stews, its rich nutty, fall flavor is versatile and never disappoints.
Forget the barrel-shaped blob of canned gel on thanksgiving and rethink this delicious and versatile fall fruit. The subtly sweet cranberry has and sharp tartness that pairs well with savory dishes, and can be used in oh-so-many ways. Throw some in your salads or enjoy them in trail mix. Enjoy it in a turkey sandwich or with almost any poultry dish. Cranberry muffins, bread, and scones are fall classics, and even the canned stuff can be great in stews, paired with cheese, dips, and so many other fun ways. Try cranberries in a different way this season and you’ll be hooked.