Tag Archives: Pumpkin

Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Joe Joe’s

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This fall, Oreos made their bug announcement that they were releasing a pumpkin spice flavor. Other than Golden Oreos and the white chocolate dipped ones, I do not like the different varieties of Oreos; their cream fillings always taste heavily artificial to me. However, I was ready to shamelessly throw out those convictions in the name of pumpkin. The only thing standing in my way – finding the cookies! I have searched Targets and Wegmans’ galore fruitlessly. So you can imagine my excitement when I saw pumpkin sandwich cookies during a random trip to Trader Joe’s.

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Now, I have no idea if Pumpkin Joe Joe’s happened as a result of Pumpkin Spice Oreos, but I am just happy that they exist. My mother is not a pumpkin enthusiast, but even she could not wait until we got home to try them. So like mature adults, we opened them up and tried them as soon as we got in the car. The cookies could be a festive car freshener. The aroma was delectable, sweet and cinnamony. Nothing could have prepared me for how good the cookies would truly be. The cookie portion is buttery, and the cream holds the glorious pumpkin and its spices. And the cream is soft! When I bit the cookie, the cream spread. That probably is not a big deal, but I have never had a store bought sandwich cookie in which the cream can move. You really know all the ingredients at Trader Joe’s are real.

I really cannot speak highly enough about these. They are literally autumnal joy in a cookie.

Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Joe Joe’s: 5/5

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Celestial Seasonings Sweet Harvest Pumpkin Tea

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As you all know, I make some impulsive buys when it comes to pumpkin. I do like tea, but generally the only tea I purchase is Chai because I know I will make it. Otherwise, if I want tea, I will get it from a coffee shop. If you could get teas in smaller amounts, I would probably buy more and be more daring, but when I have to commit to twenty bags of tea or half a pound of loose tea, I play it safe. But then I saw this sweet pumpkin tea and threw caution to the wind and bought it.

The tea was okay. I do not drink my tea unsweetened, but I do take a sip before I sweeten it so that I know how I want to do so. I could faintly taste the pumpkin, but mostly the ginger, cinnamon, and nutmeg, which was what I was anticipating since it is a tea, but I also tasted something off about it. I looked at the ingredients (which I will do before purchasing from here on out) and saw “natural sweetener,” which was a stevia extract. I know stevia is a natural sweetener and zero calories and all that goodness, but it still tastes like splenda and sweet ‘n’ low and equal and all the other artificial sweeteners to me. And I did not appreciate that the tea forced a sweetener on me; however, it did say it was a “sweet” pumpkin tea, so I should have known some sort of sweetener was in it. I tried to mask it with agave, and that did not work. I also tried to make a tea latte out of it, and I still could not eliminate the stevia flavor. If it was not for that, though, I think I would have liked the tea, so if you like stevia, you can add an extra point to the score.

Celestial Seasonings Sweet Pumpkin Tea: 3/5

Wawa Pumpkin White Hot Chocolate

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My little sister takes a few classes at our local community college, and on those days, my mother or I, depending on who is dropping her off, we treat her to Wawa since it is the cool thing with college kids these days to go to the local gas station and get coffee, breakfast sandwiches, bagels, or mac and cheese. And actually going inside Wawa with my sister this go around, I can see why. The options and customization they have now is ridiculous, and now they have a latte section?! After this discovery, I felt it necessary to treat myself as well. I decided to go with a nonfat pumpkin white hot chocolate since I kept trying to get one from Dunkin Donuts, but they never got my order right (I eventually realized they never “got my order right” because they were selling a pumpkin white chocolate latte, and I misread). This was a little cup of heaven. I already love white hot chocolate, and theirs was sweet and creamy and just a dream. And their pumpkin syrup was delicious, more similar to Dunkin’s than Starbucks’ just to give a comparison. The only downfall to this drink is even a 10 oz nonfat one is 200+ calories, and Wawa currently does not carry soymilk, both of which mean I probably will not be drinking anymore this holiday season. But I look forward to having this lovely beverage annually.

Wawa Pumpkin White Hot Chocolate: 5/5

Little Bites Pumpkin Muffins

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On one of my rare trips to Giant, I found this little tempting morsel. I love the Little Bites blueberry muffins (my unhealthy breakfast of choice sophomore year of college), so I had some high hopes for these. I can’t say they were disappointing as a muffin. Just like their blueberry cousin, they were curiously (and probably should have been concerningly) soft and sweet. However, as a pumpkin muffin, they are disappointing. I mean, they did not even have an artificial pumpkin flavor; they were void of pumpkin flavor entirely. They should have just been called pumpkin spice muffins because they were soft, sweet muffins dusted with pumpkin pie spice. At least they were tasty though. My little sister loved them.

Little Bites Pumpkin Muffins: 2/5

Happy Farms Pumpkin Spice Cream Cheese, Yogurt, and Creamer

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Target has been slacking for me this year on pumpkin treats. It seemed like they always had at least one new and exciting item and carried more of those hard-to-find big brand items, like pumpkin spice Eggos. However, their slacking has forced me to branch out and scope for pumpkin goodies in other stores, which has proved to be a positive thing. In my recent trip to Aldi, I went on the hunt for pumpkin and did not leave empty handed.

The first thing i tried was the pumpkin pie yogurt. Generally, I try to stay away from milks and yogurts because my stomach likes them better some days than others, but I couldn’t resist. When I first took a bite, it tasted pretty delicious, pumpkin-y and cinnamon-y. Then, the aftertaste was bothersome. I scanned the ingredients and realized it was aspartame. While I could finish it, it became less and less enjoyable with each bite. If the taste of aspartame or artificial sweetener, this yogurt is good for you.

Fit & Active Pumpkin Pie Yogurt: 3/5

The next morning I had a half a bagel with the pumpkin spice cream cheese. The color is an alarming dark and artificial orange coloring with huge flecks of what I assume are nutmeg but can’t be too sure. I slathered it liberally on my bagel half (if I can stick with half a wheat bagel, I’ve earned my extra cream cheese), took a bite, and was not pleased. It was chalky, just like the Great Value version, and tasted as artificial as it looked. I was so upset I refuse to buy pumpkin spice cream cheese unless it’s Philadelphia or Einstein Bros.

We’ll see if I can stick with those convictions.

Happy Farms Pumpkin Spice Cream Cheese: 1/5

Accompanying my bagel, which was soon replaced by a bowl of cereal, was my signature cup of Veranda Blend Blonde Roast and the pumpkin spice coffee creamer. Now, I’m an avid International Delight pumpkin pie creamer enthusiast (Coffeemate’s pumpkin spice creamer has so much spice it burns my throat if I accidentally overpour), but it seems like this year they have been focusing so much on their new sugar free version that the original version is nowhere to be found. So I decided to branch out and try this. Fortunately, my entire pumpkin haul from Aldi was not a waste because this was delicious. It is almost exactly like the International Delight creamer. I would have just liked it to have had a tad more spice, but otherwise, I was very happy with this and will probably purchase every time I’m at Aldi until it is off the shelf.

Friendly Farms Pumpkin Spice Creamer: 4/5

 

Pepperidge Farm Pumpkin Cheesecake Cookies

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For the first August in a while, I did not see premature signs of fall. Most people would be relieved to not have a season aggressively pushed on them in the midst of another, but I’ve been a little sad. I enjoy seeing orange all through the isles of places like Target and trying new products so that I know by October and November what will be a staple for me that season and what I will use to entertain. Needless to say, I was thrilled when I saw these pumpkin cheesecake cookies sneak their way into my local grocery store. These types of cookies are not necessarily my thing, but I was pretty starved for pumpkin and did an impromptu buy.

When I opened the package, I was overwhelmed with autumnal glee. The cookies smelled like a freshly baked pumpkin pie, and I had to enjoy a few wiffs before I actually indulged into a cookie. The positives of the cookies, other than that heavenly scent, are that they are delectably soft and the cheesecake chunks are rich and sweet. The negative is the pumpkin flavoring is weak, if there at all. The flavoring is more pumpkin spice, which as you probably know is not offensive to me, but a little disappointing. I will probably not be purchasing these again, but if you are not into strong pumpkin flavoring but love that wonderful nutmeg, cinnamon, and clove combo and a sweet cookie, you will definitely love these.

Pepperidge Farm Pumpkin Cheesecake Cookies: 3/5

Eddy’s Pumpkin Ice Cream and Dunkin Donuts Pumpkin Spice Coffee

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Just a little back story on the picture. Finals week is approaching, so I’ve had lots of late nighters writing papers (boo). Usually my TV is always on The Food Network or The Cooking Channel, and while watching “Extra Virgin,” I learned what affogato was, a life changing experience, I assure you. And thus, this concoction was born. Pumpkin affogato.

I would be lying of I didn’t admit I searched reviews on different store brand pumpkin ice creams to find one worth purchasing. Near my university is a Kiwi Yogurt and a family owned ice cream shop called Scooped, both of which are serving festive flavors, including pumpkin. While both are absolutely delicious, I cannot afford to spend $4+ whenever I am craving pumpkin ice cream, one of my favorites since my freshman year (my first school’s dining facility actually carried pumpkin and pumpkin pie ice cream, brought by a local creamery, so I was spoiled). But I can spend that much on a gallon. So after some research, I came across Edy’s pumpkin ice cream. And I was not disappointed. The texture was smooth, and the ratio of pumpkin and pumpkin pie spice was 50/50. The only reason it does not get a perfect score is because it does not have anything that makes it particularly special, like gram cracker or pie crust chunks, but it’s exactly what I wanted.

Edy’s Pumpkin Ice Cream: 4.5/5

Honestly the only reason I got the Dunkin pumpkin spice coffee was because it was on sale for under $2. I aleady had regular coffee and International Delight pumpkin  spice creamer. But I am glad I got it. It was labeled correctly, pumpkin spice, not pumpkin, was flavored well, and smelled heavenly. A satisfactory choice in holiday coffee.

Dunkin Donuts Pumpkin Spice Coffee: 4/5

Pumpkin Pie Pop Tarts

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This is the one food I have searched for since before pumpkin products released. When trying to find out if Campbell’s makes pumpkin soup, amazon.com suggested one of the most glorious pumpkin products I have ever heard of: Pumpkin Pie Pop Tarts.

I read every review possible to attempt to figure out where to purchase these (they were $27 on amazon at the time), and all I saw were positive reviews on the deliciousness and how these were everyone’s favorite Pop Tarts and how have these only been made last year … Definitely did not help my patience. Eventually I found a Facebook page for the product and asked there where everyone was finding them, and nearly all said Target, which made sense considering their commitment to pumpkin products (holiday food heaven).

After four Targets throughout the month of October and making second rounds in November, I almost gave up until two weeks ago on an impromptu trip I found two boxes shoved in the back. I almost squeeled and jumped with joy, but I didn’t think my friend would have appreciated that. As soon as I got home, I put one in the toaster oven (unfilled parts of the icing is brown as I like it) and devoured it as soon as it reached a heat that would not seer my tongue.

The Pop Tart was all I imagined and more. The taste of pumpkin was pleasantly prevalent for just being a smooth layer in a pastry. And the amount of cinnammon was perfect. And while this has nothing to do with the pastry’s taste, it was just too stinkin cute with its orange, brown, and yellow festive sprinkles. This Pop Tart is to pumpkin pie as a stromboli is to pizza, and just a pleasant experience.

Pumpkin Pie Pop Tarts: 5/5

Maine Root Pumpkin Pie Soda

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One of the biggest benefits to college life is being spoiled every time your parents see you. The parental surprise this week was Maine Root Pumpkin Pie Soda she found at Wegman’s … my mommy definitely loves me.

I have to admit it took me half the bottle to develop an opinion, mostly because I had no idea what to expect. Would it literally taste like liquid pumpkin pie? Or does it taste like those Harry Potter World pumpkin drinks? It’s beer-resembling exterior definitely started a lot of conversation with my classmates.

It’s a very sweet soda, the kind of sweet a cream soda is. Nutmeg is its most prevalent flavor, and it smells like a pie. I think I would have named it pumpkin pie spice soda just because I tasted no pumpkin. Nonetheless, once I analyzed the soda, I found myself very much enjoying it and sad it only comes in packs of four. I definitely am buying more.

Maine Root Pumpkin Pie Soda: 3.5/5

Panera Bread Pumpkin Spice Latte and Pumpkin Muffie

Panera Bread is one of my favorite places to eat ever … my mom says because I have expensive tastes in sandwiches. But I just have a big thing for comfort foods, so soups, paninis, and baked goods are right up my ally. In late September, my mother came to visit me (yay groceries), and, as per usual, took me out to Panera Bread for lunch/dinner. You can imagine my excitement when I saw pumpkin already invading the cafe.

The pumpkin spice latte was an unfortunate experience. I do like the Panera lattes, especially the caramel, but this was extremely bitter. I also had a difficult time finding the pumpkin flavor in the drink. Cinnamon was the only ingredient that hinted towards it being a pumpkin spice latte. I love Panera, but this needs serious improvement.

Pumpkin Spice Latte: 1/5

I have seen the calories on the Panera muffins and have not touched one since, so I always get muffies instead and split them with my mom because they are a decent size and a more acceptable amount of calories. The pumpkin muffie just looked extremely promising with its familiar orange coloring and dusting of powdered sugar. I took a bite and it was easily one of the best pumpkin bread-y products I have had.  It was moist, and the pumpkin and pumpkin spice all shine through clearly but with pumpkin being the stronger flavor, as it should be. Other than it being 300 calories for one, this could not have been any better.

Pumpkin Muffie: 5/5