Pumpkin Pie Spice Still Big Business!!

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Pumpkin-flavored grocery products reaped over $511 million in 2019, and that was an increase of 4.7% from the amount in 2018 , companies such as Starbucks report a 10% sales increase the week that pumpkin pie spice debuts for the season. In late September, pumpkin latte’s, pumpkin- flavored beer, pumpkin-flavored creamer, pumpkin breads, pumpkin ice cream, pumpkin yogurt, pumpkin cream cheese, and pumpkin cider, among others fill the shelves of grocery stores around this great country.

Long before pumpkin spice became all the rage, it was a homey and innocent piece of Americana.

One of the earliest references to this type of blend known as “pumpkin spice” was posted in the Washington Post in 1936. Titled “Spice Cake Of Pumpkin Newest Dish: Delicacy Tempting to All Appetites and Easy to Prepare. Ideal Dessert for Family Dinner, Healthful for Children.” Pumpkin sure has come a long way. But even then, a pumpkin spice dessert still seemed to always contain pumpkin.

For years I have kept a container of “pumpkin spice” in my spice cabinet; little did I know it was soon to be a super star! This spice combination started in the 1950’s when spice companies started bundling common spices used in pumpkin pie as “pumpkin pie spice” in the 1950s and then simply as “pumpkin spice” in the 1960s for people who didn’t want to measure out their own “Cinnamon, Ginger, Cloves, Nutmeg, and Allspice.”

It’s a shame that pumpkin and pumpkin pie spice is really only popular for two months out of the year. Besides being great for decorating, and the only vegetable that is carved and lit up, this low-calorie squash is rich in potassium and loaded with beta-carotene (a powerful antioxidant), and its natural sweetness brings flavor to baked goods without any added guilt.

Pumpkin is an often-overlooked source of fiber, but with three grams per one-cup serving and only 49 calories, it can keep you feeling full for longer on fewer calories. This aids in weight loss as well because a fiber-rich diet seems to help people eat less, and thereby shed pounds.

Believe it or not, the canned pumpkin retains most of the fiber and nutrients therefore making it almost equally nutritious to the fresh pumpkin. One note to remember is that when making your own fresh pumpkin puree it can be thinner than canned, so you may need to strain.

Give these pumpkin recipes a try. You may enjoy pumpkin a whole lot longer this season!

Make Your Own Pumpkin Spice


  • 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg


  • Combine all ingredients in a small bowl. Stir to combine. Use in your favorite fall pies, smoothies, milkshakes, coffees and so much more!! Better make extra!

Pumpkin Chili with Chicken

(This is a recipe modified by Kelly Tyndall, FCS Agent, N.C. Cooperative Extension, Lenoir County Center, this makes a very large batch, so be prepared to freeze some for future use)


  • 2 onions, diced
  • 1 pound fresh bell peppers, chopped
  • 5 stalks celery, chopped
  • 6 carrots, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon and 1 tablespoon salt
  • Pepper to taste
  • 3 pounds cooked chicken, cooked and chopped or shredded, (I use chicken  tenders, baked)
  • 2 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 3 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon oregano
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 can black beans, drained
  • 1 can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1 can pumpkin puree, or 1 ½ cups
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon


  1. Over high heat, sauté onions, bell peppers, celery, and carrots with 1 tsp. salt for about 10-15 minutes or until tender.
  2. Reduce heat to medium and combine it with the cooked veggies. Add the tomato paste, garlic and slices and sauté for a few more minutes.
  3. Add the black beans, diced tomatoes, broth and pureed pumpkin and cinnamon. Combine well and simmer for at least 15 minutes or until you are ready to eat!! Enjoy!!

Pumpkin Spice Dip


  • 1 container (8 ounces) whipped cream cheese
  • ¼ cup canned pumpkin
  • 2 tablespoons firmly packed brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons Pumpkin Pie Spice
  • ¼ cup finely chopped pecans (optional)


  1. Beat cream cheese, pumpkin, brown sugar and pumpkin pie spice in medium bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until blended. Stir in pecans. Cover.
  2. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Serve with ginger snap cookies, carrots, apples, or crackers. 

Serves 14. Each serving 2 tablespoons.

Pumpkin Spice Granola

(modified from a Southern Living recipe)


  • 2 cups whole grain oats
  • 3 cups puffed rice
  • 1 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 1 cup pumpkin seeds
  • ½ cup brown sugar, or brown sugar substitute
  • 1½ tablespoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • ¾ teaspoons baking soda
  • ½ cup local honey
  • ½ cup Extra Virgin Olive oil
  • ½ cup pureed pumpkin, canned is fine
  • ½ cup peanut butter
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract


  1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. In a large bowl, combine oats, rice, coconut, pumpkin seeds, brown sugar, pumpkin pie spice, kosher
    salt, and baking soda.
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk together honey, olive oil, pureed pumpkin, peanut butter, and vanilla. Add to dry ingredients and stir until everything is evenly coated.
  3. Transfer to prepared baking sheet. Bake, stirring granola every 10 minutes, until granola is evenly browned, 25 to 30 minutes.
  4. Allow granola to cool before storing or eating.

Pumpkin Spice Spread

Compound Butters are all the rage these days, especially for making Butter Boards. This one is great for fall.


  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin spice
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground pepper
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 3 tablespoons confectioner’s sugar
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt


  • In a saucepan over medium heat, toast pumpkin spice, and pepper for 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in heavy cream, bring to a simmer, and remove from heat. Let cool completely.
  • Store in an air tight container overnight. Great for serving on toast, waffles, other breads and pastries and crackers.

Pear and Mixed Green Salad with Pumpkin Pie Vinaigrette


Pumpkin Pie Vinaigrette:

  • ¼ cup cider vinegar
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon packed brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon fresh orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon canned pumpkin
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1½ teaspoons Pumpkin Pie Spice


  • 6 cups mixed salad greens
  • 1 pear, cored and cut into 12 slices
  • ½ cup crumbled feta cheese
  • ¼ cup sliced almonds, toasted


  1. For the Pumpkin Pie Vinaigrette, place all ingredients in blender container; cover. Blend on medium speed until well blended.
  2. For the Salad, toss lettuce with vinaigrette in large bowl. Divide among salad plates. Divide pear slices, feta cheese and almonds among each salad.

Crock Pot Apple Pumpkin Butter


  • 5 lb. apples (about a dozen) cored and chopped into ½-inch dice OR peeled and chopped to avoid blending later
  • ¼ cup apple juice
  • 1 cup maple sugar (or natural cane sugar), divided
  • 2 Tablespoons cinnamon, divided
  • 15 oz. can pureed pumpkin
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • Juice of 1 lemon (1/2 teaspoon)
  • Pinch salt


  1. Place the apples in the slow cooker along with apple juice, ½ cup maple sugar, and 1 teaspoon cinnamon. Cook on low for 8 hours until apples are extremely soft (you have apple sauce at this point)
  2. If you did not peel your apples, place cooled apples into your food processor and process until smooth (in two batches). If you did peel your apples, then just mix well in the bowl of your Crock Pot to eliminate chunks. At this point the apples can be stored in the fridge for up to a few days.
  3. When ready to turn the applesauce into apple-pumpkin butter, put the applesauce back into the Crock Pot with the rest of your ingredients. Stir with a wooden spoon until well incorporated and mixed together.
  4. Cook on high for 4-8 hours, stirring occasionally, until the butter is dark brown and reduced by about a quarter. At this point, taste the butter and if you feel that it needs to be a little sweeter, add up to ¼ cup more sugar until desired sweetness is achieved.
  5. Transfer Apple-Pumpkin Butter to pint size glass jars and store in either fridge or freezer. Apple-Pumpkin Butter can store in the fridge for up to 4 weeks, OR in the freezer for up to 6 months.

Pumpkin Pie Frozen Yogurt

For the Pie Crust Pieces

  • ¾ C graham crumbs (about 5 sheets)
  • 2 tbsp. brown sugar
  • ⅛ tsp. salt
  • ¼ tsp. cinnamon
  • 3 tbsp. butter, melted

For the Frozen Yogurt

  • 1 C pumpkin, chilled
  • ¾ C low-fat plain yogurt
  • 1 C low-fat evaporated milk, chilled
  • ½ C fat free sweetened condensed milk, chilled
  • ½ tsp. cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp. nutmeg
  • ⅛ tsp. cloves
  • ⅛ tsp. ginger


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F
  2. In a small bowl, stir together graham cracker crumbs, brown sugar, salt, cinnamon, and butter until well combined. Press crumb mixture into a thin layer on a cookie sheet. Bake for 8 minutes.
  3. Remove to a wire rack to cool completely. Break graham layer into pieces.
  4. While the graham cracker crust is cooling, stir together pumpkin, yogurt, evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and ginger.
  5. Add yogurt base to ice cream maker and freeze according to manufacturer’s instructions. When frozen yogurt becomes soft-set, remove to a freezer-safe container. Sprinkle graham pieces over the top and swirl into the frozen yogurt using a spoon. Place frozen yogurt in the freezer and freeze one hour or until it has reached desired consistency. Serve.