Pumpkin spice is a classic American mixed spice, also known as pumpkin pie spice. Pumpkin spice is used in a variety of dishes or sprinkled over them. It is a warm and welcome addition to food, especially in colder weather. Not only does pumpkin spice taste great, but it is also very healthy. Most of the ingredients are appreciated for their medicinal properties.
What Is Pumpkin Spice?
The stock standard pumpkin spice recipe typically contains ground cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and ginger. Cloves and ginger are great for fighting off common ailments. Nutmeg comes from Indonesia and has a nutty taste. It is also used in essential oils and butter. Nutmeg is a source of antioxidants and is thought to offer protection from liver and heart diseases as well as cancer. Nutmeg also protects against the signs of aging. Cinnamon, which is harvested from tree bark, native to the Caribbean, Asia, and South America, is good for coughs, sore throats, and arthritis. Cinnamon is also an antioxidant. It is often used in savory and sweet dishes as well as teas.
More adventurous pumpkin spice ingredients include cardamom and lemon peel. Cardamom, which originated in India, is highly regarded for its health properties. It is an antioxidant and has diuretic properties which are thought to lower blood pressure. Cardamom flavor is slightly sweet and intense, comparable with that of mint.
First to mind is the great American classic dish pumpkin pie. This dish is popular in the fall around Halloween and Thanksgiving. Pumpkin spice is great for other pies that are sweet and savory as well. Muffins and cakes can also be spiced up with pumpkin flavoring. A pumpkin spice blend can be used to flavor roasted veggies and oatmeal or sprinkled over goodies such as homemade cranberry bread, pumpkin chocolate chip bread, and chocolate-chip cookies. Homemade pumpkin pie spice mixes can also add a new dimension to gingerbread. Some folks enjoy sprinkling it in their coffee (pumpkin spice lattes) and use it as a coffee creamer as well.
Homemade Pumpkin Spice Recipe
The big plus of making pumpkin spice at home is that it only takes five minutes of prep time and zero cooking time. Although this pumpkin spice recipe is quite generic and basic, more curious and adventurous home chefs can add more experimental ingredients. This particular recipe will make enough pumpkin spice for one regular sized pumpkin pie.
- 3 tbsp. ground cinnamon
- 2 tsp. ground ginger
- 2 tsp. nutmeg
- 1 1/2 tsp. ground allspice
- 1 1/2 tsp ground cloves
Using a small bowl, whisk together cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice, and cloves until well combined. Store the mix in an airtight jar or container. Give it a good shake before using.
Tasty Healthy Gift
Pumpkin spice is embarrassingly easy and quick to make. Therefore, it is ideal for batching up for making several gift jars at a time. It’s a great way of giving a personal, healthy, homemade gift. Add a bow and it’s ready to go. To make it truly unique or personal add a secret ingredient that you like. For those of us with a little more time, bake up a gift that either uses pumpkin spice as an ingredient or lightly shower a homemade baked good with it. Whether gifting a jar or a pie, it is a wonderfully American gift to give as we head into the holiday season.
Additional helpful reading: Healthy Pumpkin Recipes to Enjoy the Best Fall Flavor
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