Ah, fall. The time when the leaves are changing, the weather gets a little cooler, and almost every food product now comes in a pumpkin flavor.
I’m always scouring the grocery store aisles around this time of year to see what new pumpkin-flavored items I can try as a pumpkin devotee myself. This year, I found it reassuring to know that pumpkin actually has some pretty impressive health benefits so we can all feel good while eating good.
As Halloween is quickly approaching, I thought it would only be polite to inform my fellow pumpkin lovers which snacks I think are worth stocking up on and which should be completely avoided.
20. Pumpkin Spice Milanos
I’m usually a huge Milano fan, but no pumpkin was detected by my taste buds in this seasonal version of the cookie everyone knows and loves. Extremely disappointing. Sorry, Milano.
19. Archer Farms Pumpkin Corn Tortilla Chips
I found these on a Saturday night jaunt to Target (I am the definition of a party animal) and couldn’t wait to get home and try them. I sadly discovered that all they had was the tiniest hint of a cinnamon flavor to them. I didn’t taste a trace of pumpkin in the tortilla chips.
Moral of the story: don’t waste your money. But more importantly, don’t waste your Saturday night.
18. Pumpkin Spice belVitas
I’m pretty sure belVita just re-packaged their Cinnamon Brown Sugar breakfast biscuits to say “Pumpkin Spice” because I don’t taste any difference between the two varieties. In other words, don’t even bother.
17. Dark Chocolate Pumpkin Seed Bark Thins
These first sparked my attention because I’m a huge fan of dark chocolate and I love pumpkin, so I didn’t think I could go wrong with the bark. And I didn’t. But, that doesn’t mean I’ll be racing back for the next pack. These were good, but nothing special.
16. Hostess Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes
I was hoping that when I tried these, I would be flooded with elementary school nostalgia, but to be honest, I could barely finish one of the cupcakes. The icing in the middle was way too sweet and gave me a stomach ache worth being sent to the clinic for.
15. Pillsbury Pumpkin Cookies with Cream Cheese Chips
It’s hard to judge a warm, squishy cookie that’s just come out of the oven since those are always mouthwatering, but if I’m being honest, these don’t taste too different from your regular snickerdoodle cookie. Still good, but the pumpkin flavor is almost completely absent.
14. Pumpkin Pie Quest Bars
Quite tasty and perfect as a healthy treat in the fall, but they do contain a bit more fat than some of the other Quest bars. Although they don’t have the strongest pumpkin flavor, any basic bitch will love these (myself included).
13. Pumpkin Spice Latte M&Ms
M&Ms really did a great job by having these actually taste like the PSL we all know and love. I was very pleased with how much I enjoyed these since I was hesitant to even buy them in the first place.
12. Kraft Pumpkin Spice Marshmallows
These marshmallows are scrumptious and surprisingly have a pretty true pumpkin flavor. Try them in this spiked version of the classic pumpkin spice latte to really maximize their potential.
11. Archer Farms Pumpkin Spice Granola
This would be perfect to add to some plain greek yogurt to spice it up this season. Crunchy and reminiscent of fall, this granola is exceptional.
10. Planters Pumpkin Spice Almonds
Ok, I almost peed my pants when I saw these at the grocery store. Planters hit the mark on this one by making the almonds contain the perfect equilibrium between savory and sweet. These should without a doubt be added to your grocery list the next time you go to the store.
9. Pumpkin Spice Frosted Mini Wheats
I personally love the regular Frosted Mini Wheats so I was stoked to see these at the store. I was pleased to find that the Mini Wheats weren’t too sweet and had a solid pumpkin flavor.
8. Pepperidge Farm Pumpkin Spice Swirl Bread
This bread has been a favorite of mine for years and is amazing on a cool fall morning with a cup of tea. Pop a slice in the toaster, butter it up, and enjoy the fall air.
7. Philadelphia Pumpkin Spice Cream Cheese Spread
All I have to say is YUM. The next time you invite your friends over for bagels and coffee, whip this spread out for a delicious treat that they’re sure to love.
6. Chobani Pumpkin Greek Yogurt
When I first heard of greek yogurt that tasted like pumpkin, I thought there was no way I would ever try it. However, this ended up being one of my favorite snacks that I’ve tried this fall and I think everyone should try it too. Who knew pumpkin and dairy could have such a harmonious relationship?
5. Pumpkin Spice Peeps
Let me just start this off by saying these are heavenly. I know that Peeps are very divisive among the general public, but I usually like them. I think what makes these so divine are that they’re dipped in white fudge on the bottom, adding a dash of creaminess to the inside. Definitely try a pack if you’re lucky enough to get your hands on them before they leave grocery store shelves.
4. Trader Joe’s Frosted Pumpkin Toaster Pastries
Trader Joe’s never does pumpkin wrong. When warmed up in your toaster, these taste almost identical to a piece of pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving.
#SpoonTip: Scoop a dollop of vanilla ice cream on top to get the full pumpkin pie effect.
3. 365 Pumpkin Pie Ice Cream Sandwiches
When food makes you want to dance (which is what I did with these), you know it’s good. Plus, these are organic, so it’s almost like you’re eating healthy ice cream sandwiches.
2. Pumpkin Spice Oreos
I was a little skeptical when I first picked these up, thinking they were going to be way too sweet for me and much too overrated. Oh boy, was I wrong. These are the perfect blend of spicy and sweet without making you feel like you need to go to the dentist after you eat one. I even found a recipe for Pumpkin Spice Oreo Pops (found here) in my research that I may have to try soon.
1. Ben and Jerry’s Pumpkin Cheesecake Ice Cream
Ben and Jerry’s did good with this one as this is easily my favorite pumpkin snack this year. I may or may not have finished the entire pint while doing “research” for this article. If you can find it at the grocery store, I would be ashamed if you didn’t buy at least one (or two) this fall.
Now that you have my guidance, you can confidently walk into any grocery store knowing which pumpkin flavored snacks won’t totally suck. Happy fall and happy pumpkin season.