When I spotted a bag of pumpkin ravioli while roaming the isles of Trader Joe’s, I nearly choked on my pumpkin spice latte and dropped my pumpkin spice-scented grocery list from my pumpkin spice lotion-covered hands. Even TJ’s has fallen to the pumpkin plague.
After the shock wore off, I took a pumpkin spice chill pill and decided to search the store for any other mention of fall’s ubiquitous flavor. What did I discover? Orange really is the new black.
FYI, I crunched the numbers and pumpkin consumption has risen by approximately 1000% in the past couple years, which is weird considering pumpkin itself isn’t a particularly delicious food.* It’s a dry, stringy fruit that more closely resembles brain matter than Thanksgiving pie, and most trendy pumpkin products rely more on sugar and spice (and everything nice) than actual pumpkin meat.
But let’s not shatter the almighty vision that is the great pumpkin. Here are Trader Joe’s top 10 new pumpkin-flavored treats to keep us fat, happy, and thoroughly stuffed with cinnamon.
*No numbers were crunched in this process. Only pumpkin crackers.
1. Gluten Free Pumpkin Pancake Mix
The triple-whammy of trendiness: gluten free, full of pumpkin flavor, and perfect for hungover brunch.
2. Pumpkin Butter
Fruit butters have nothing to do with dairy and everything to do with puree mixed with sugar, a.k.a spreadable deliciousness. Dollop it on ice cream, yogurt, pastries, or smear it on those gluten free pumpkin pancakes and you’ll be a goner.
3. Pumpkin Spice Chai Tea Latte Mix
Hop out of the line for your hourly PSL and pick up this easy and cheap just-add-water mix instead.
4. Pumpkin Cornbread Mix
TJ’s is known for its amazing cornbread mix, so the pumpkin variation is an obvious move on their part. Can’t get any more Midwestern than corn + pumpkin.
5. Pumpkin Cornbread Croutons
Just in case your fresh spinach salad thought it could escape the great pumpkin.
6. This Pumpkin Walked into A (Cereal) Bar
On-the-go pumpkin to ease those afternoon withdrawal jitters.
7. Pumpkin Cranberry Crisps
Pair these classy crisps with honey, goat cheese, and Two Buck Chuck. It’s that kind of night.
8. Pumpkin Macarons
Frozen gluten free pumpkin French macarons. Yeah, they went there.
9. Pumpkin Ravioli
If you want something with actual pumpkin in the ingredients (not “dehydrated pumpkin flakes” or other strange essences of pumpkin) reach for these thick honey roasted pumpkin ravioli. Top with sage butter if you want something savory or get fancy with salted caramel whipped cream for a sweet dish.
10. Pumpkin Ale
There are dozens of pumpkin beers and ales, but opt for a small-batch brew like Schlafly for the best flavor.
And, the less utilized form of pumpkin, pumpkins.
With just these 10 products, you can easily eat pumpkin at every meal. Pumpkin pancakes with pumpkin butter for breakfast, a salad with pumpkin croutons and a wedge of pumpkin cornbread for lunch, a pumpkin cereal bar as an afternoon snack, pumpkin crackers as a dinner appetizer, then a main course of pumpkin ravioli with a cold pumpkin ale, and of course some pumpkin macarons for dessert.
Don’t fight it, guys. Pumpkin is back, and TJ’s knows just how we like it.