Who's excited? Anyone?
This past Tuesday, September 6th, Starbucks' Pumpkin Spice Latte was released. Yeesh. It feels like this premiere date gets earlier and earlier every year (because it does). Some are thrilled. Some are annoyed. Some couldn't give a sh*t either way. But whether you like it or don't, it's here. Pumpkin spice "season" has officially begun, and there are plenty of seasonal special products out there to prove it.
Being that pumpkin-flavored/themed products have taken over most grocery stores, we kind of had to get our hands on some of the most popular products (largely because they started flooding our office a couple of weeks ago whether we were ready or not) and put them to the test--the taste test, that is.
We tasted these goodies live on Facebook this week, and here's how it went:
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To recap our tasting session and to keep you from having to waste your money and mouth energy on pumpkin spiced duds, we've picked out some of our favorites from the bunch and highlighted the products we think are worth buying this pumpkin spice season:
Our Top Pick: belVita Pumpkin Spice breakfast biscuits
Even though these were one of the most nutritious option we tasted, we found these to be our favorite from the bunch, by far. You get 19g of whole grain and 12% of your daily fiber intake per serving for less than 230 calories for each pack. It tastes incredibly pumpkin-y (as in, fresh pumpkin) and toasty... essentially like a healthy graham cracker, with a hint of coffee. We especially enjoyed it dunked right in the pumpkin spice coffee from Green Mountain we tried, which also happened to be one of our very favorites.
Oreo Seasonal Pumpkin Spice Sandwich Cookies: Though smaller than we expected, and not overflowing with that pumpkin spice spirit, we really enjoyed these mainly because they have that familiar Golden Oreo flavor with a delicate touch of pumpkin spice flavor. The inside of these pumpkin Oreos have a rich orange hue and just enough of the pumpkin spice presence to let you know it's there--that's what we call refined. Like all grown-ass people with sophisticated, grown-ass palates, we found that we preferred our seasonal Oreos served with coffee or cold milk.
Granola Pumpkin Spice from Archer Farms was another one of the products that really stood out. It had a subtle, natural pumpkin flavor that was complimented just perfectly by the toasty spices. It tasted wholesome and not overly sweet.. It would be a great addition to your morning yogurt routine throughout the season. I would suggest adding in some chopped apples or pears as well.
Pumpkin Corn Tortilla Chips from Archer Farms, though not technically "pumpkin spiced," were definitely worth a shout out in this seasonal celebration of a round-up. While at first we were mildly confused as to why someone would make pumpkin tortilla chips, we ended up loving these. In fact, our entire staff did. The chip had a great construct to it--very thick and sturdy with a pleasant earthy pumpkin flavor shining throughout. These would be great with a little cheese dip, a black been salsa, or just for snacking on their own.
After overloading on pumpkin spice within a 20-minute span, we might be over the season (already), and decided that we really flock towards the more natural tasting items.
Moral of the story: less is more in the pumpkin spice game. Best of luck out there, folks.