Fall Flavors: Hold the Pumpkin Spice
Hey, y’all, Coach Monica here! Fall is here; it is my favorite time of the year. Not only is Fall one of the most visually stunning periods, but it’s also a foodie’s heaven. It’s me; I’m the foodie!
Now, I have nothing against the pumpkin fanatics out there – go ahead, grab your pumpkin spice lattes, snuggle up in that cozy sweater, and lose yourself in a good book. But here’s the scoop: I’m not exactly head over heels for pumpkin flavor. Honestly, pumpkin spice is a blend of classic fall spices, and those spices deserve their moment in the spotlight. So, if you’re all about autumn comfort but not so keen on pumpkin spice, let’s explore some alternative fall flavors that’ll tickle your taste buds.
Sharing some similarities with pumpkin in terms of ingredients and taste, Chai is a fantastic fall flavor to get you into that autumn groove. Chai blends aromatic spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, allspice, ginger, cardamom, star anise, and vanilla to create a warm and cozy fall vibe. Mix it up with black tea or creamy milk, serve it over ice or in a charming fall-themed mug, and you’ve got yourself the perfect autumn beverage. Swap out the milk for a protein shake, and you’re good to go. Plus, when autumn means baking, don’t hesitate to sprinkle those chai spices into everything from cookies and cupcakes to ice cream and pancakes.
Before we dive into one of my absolute favorite fall flavors, let’s settle the score: do you say car-muhl, care-a-muhl, or care-a-melle? Regardless of pronunciation, salted caramel is a top contender for those seeking a non-pumpkin fall flavor. While it may not offer the warm and spicy embrace of Chai, it’s a sweet and salty alternative for those looking to switch things up. Salted caramel can elevate your baking game, from cookies to candies, and even the classic apple pie. And for my fellow coffee lovers, don’t miss out on a salted caramel latte on those chilly days.
You didn’t think I would miss this fall classic, did you? Apples are at the top of my list when I picture the fall season: apple cider, apple-picking adventures, corn mazes, and endless fields of hay – there’s no fall without apples. Whip up apple cinnamon cupcakes or bread, indulge in freshly baked apple pie, or savor homemade apple sauce – all delightful alternatives to pumpkin-flavored treats. And here’s a tip: fresh apple sauce works wonders as a substitute for eggs or oil in baking, resulting in moist and delicious treats.
While often associated with pancakes and waffles (or any breakfast food, really), maple shines bright as a standalone autumn flavor. It’s sweet, with notes of caramel, nuttiness, and a hint of warmth. What’s fantastic about maple is that it pairs seamlessly with both savory and sweet ingredients. Drizzle it over rosemary-seasoned roasted sweet potatoes for the ultimate flavor fusion. And for bonus points, combine maple with my honorable mentions, bourbon and pecan, for a mind-blowing maple bourbon pecan latte.
Butterscotch may not have been on my initial fall flavors list, but its inviting blend of caramel, browned butter, molasses, and vanilla has earned it a well-deserved spot. Add it to your favorite latte or use it to flavor blondies, cheesecakes, and cookies – Butterscotch can take your fall creations to the next level. Pro tip: a touch of sea salt can beautifully balance out Butterscotch’s sweetness in baked goods.
Cinnamon: Spicy cinnamon is the ultimate fall flavor – warm, aromatic, and just the right amount of spicy.
Hazelnut: Hazelnut introduces a rich, nutty undertone to any fall beverage or baked good.
Pear: Don’t forget about this delightful fruit – it’s a superb alternative to apples when paired with various spices like cinnamon, star anise, and vanilla.
Brown Sugar: Last but not least, brown sugar spice. This one’s a personal favorite and boasts robust notes of caramel, brown sugar, cinnamon, and cardamom – a next-level fall flavor.
So, hold the pumpkin spice, and make room for these fall flavors because they’re here to steal the spotlight. Whether you are a pumpkin spice lover, hater, or simply looking to spice up your autumn palate, this list has something for everyone. Please take what you want, leave what you don’t, but most importantly, let’s enjoy the start of the holiday season!