Fall in Arizona is how I imagine summer feels to everyone else across the U.S. (except you lucky Southern Californians).
In Winter in cold-weather states, you hurry from warm house to car to office, trying to stay bundled from the snow and frigid air.
In Summer in Phoenix, the oppressive heat beats down June through October, and we hustle from air-conditioned home to car to office, hiding from direct sunlight and trying not to burn our flesh off on our seat-belts and steering wheels.
But then October hits and it’s like waking up alive and happy from a hazy slumber, ready to cartwheel out of hibernation. After months of staying hidden indoors, you find yourself outdoors, soft sunshine on your face, breeze in the air, skipping along to a happy song in your heart.
And with this happiness comes Pumpkin season- my favorite time of year. Living around the corner from a Trader Joe’s breathes new life into this magical time and what better way to wrap myself in cozy Fall happiness than tasting my way through every pumpkin-flavored item I possibly can?
It usually goes that by the time Thanksgiving rolls around, I can’t even look at a pumpkin pie.
So without further ado, I present my:
All Pumpkin Everything Always October Treat Tasting List:
Andy’s Frozen Custard Pumpkin Concrete (Rating: 3 out of 10 Pumpkins) I’m really not supposed to be eating dairy (shakes head sadly), but sometimes taking an extra digestive enzyme is worth it to enjoy some Andy’s Frozen Custard. I typically go for a small vanilla cone, but had to taste their pumpkin concrete (like a DQ blizzard, but without the fancy upside-down holding). It was pretty tasty, but if you are looking for a frozen pumpkin treat, I say go for the Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Ice Cream.
Perfect Bar- Pumpkin Pie(Rating: 4 out of 10 Pumpkins) A perfect bar is my current favorite dessert because it’s (mostly) allergy friendly and even packs a bit of protein! While I’m trying to cut down on my refrigerated bar habit (those $2 bars add up quickly!), I had to try this season’s flavor. It was pretty scrumptious, and while I certainly wouldn’t say NO to one if offered, I still prefer the Dark Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Flavor.
Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Caramel Kringle (Rating: 5 out of 10 Pumpkins) I may have been the most popular gal in the office on the day I brought this sweet treat into work, but personally found it to be achingly sweet. I’m a bigger fan of TJ’s regular Danish Kringle, but this had to be tasted!
Starbucks Pumpkin Cold Brew (Rating: 6 out of 10 Pumpkins) Starbucks is always first in the pumpkin season kickoff, and this year they took it a notch further with this new pumpkin drink. For me, because their pumpkin options (both the cold brew and PSL) are cloyingly sweet and because I try and avoid dairy, I’m still happiest with an Iced Coffee (add Pumpkin) or Hot Coffee (add Pumpkin) and a splash of almond milk.
Pumpkin Energy Balls (Rating: 7 out of 10 Pumpkins) Well-Plated is one of my most favorite recipe blogs and she does not disappoint with these delicious Pumpkin Energy Balls! They are simple to make and a perfect pumpkin treat to keep in the freezer. We threw in chocolate chips for added happiness.
Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Tortilla Chips (Rating: 8 out of 10 Pumpkins) One of the few savory pumpkin bites I’ve tasted this year, these GF tortilla chips were so yummy paired with TJ’s black bean dip. A perfect seasonal snack!
Trader Joe’s Gluten-Free Pumpkin Pancakes (9 out of 10) You would not believe the fluffiness and yumminess of these Gluten-Free pancakes! Super easy to make and times a million deliciousness, they only lost points for sending my sister into a sugar coma (twice) after eating.
Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Butter (Rating: 9 out of 10 Pumpkins) Trader Joe’s is the pumpkin fan’s haven, and this yummy topping is paired best with toast (gluten-free if you are me) and a little Kerrygold Irish butter. Or try it on your TJ’s GF Pumpkin Pancakes for a double dose of punkin’! Also beware the sugar content.
Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Spice Almond Beverage(Rating: 9 out of 10 Pumpkins) This was the very first TJ’s Pumpkin Treasure we discovered last year and waited in anticipation for its happy return. This non-dairy option is the perfect pairing with overnight oatmeal (or traditional oatmeal), as well as a happy partner to my morning coffee). Like everything else loaded with pumpkin, there’s a lot of sugar, so beware the mood swings when starting your day with this.
Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Ginger Beer(Rating: 9 out of 10 Pumpkins) This drink is the best! Like the sparking apple cider baby of ginger and pumpkin it’s my favorite mocktail to accompany a girls night out since my hubs and I committed to a booze-free 2019. It’s loaded with sugar, but drinking on occasion won’t hurt.
Pumpkin Dip(Rating: 10 out of 10 Pumpkins) My sister-in-law made the most delicious cream cheese pumpkin dip that we paired with apples and graham crackers. A quick google search led me to this recipe, which sounds similar to the one she used: Pumpkin Dip by Deliciously Sprinkled. A yummy dessert we gobbled up before racing off to my daughter’ band concert on a perfect Wednesday evening, this easy treat is going to be repeated this holiday season.
Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Spice Coffee(Rating: 10 out of 10 Pumpkins) This economical coffee option fills the kitchen with a delicious aroma and zesty zing tastes so delicious even on my intermittent-fasting days when I drink my coffee black. A must-have, and my absolute favorite so far this pumpkin season.
So there you have my complete list of pumpkin-tastes this season. But perhaps the very best part of pumpkin season is spending time with these little punkins:
We had so much fun this past weekend in Williams on the
Grand Canyon Railway.
What other pumpkin treats should I add to my tasting list?