PUMPKIN SPICE: THE MAIN CHARACTER
The temperature starts dropping, nights turn darker, cozy blankets become an accessory, fireplaces start crackling, the color of leaves rapidly change, and the aroma of pumpkin spice fills the air – that's when you know fall has officially arrived.
When people think of fall flavors, they automatically think of pumpkin spice, the famous seasonal latte we patiently wait for every coffee shop to release during this time of year. However, pumpkin spice lattes aren’t all there is when it comes to this fall flavor profile, so what exactly is pumpkin spice, and where does come from?
ALL ABOUT THE SEASONINGS
For starters, pumpkin spice is a combination of those delicious warm spices that we all reach for in our fall and holiday baking. These spices include cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, allspice, and ginger – that's it! All these spices originating from different parts of the world collide together to make a seasonal blend that we all know and love.
HISTORY BEHIND PUMPKIN SPICE
Now that we know what pumpkin spice consists of, where did it originate? The origin of pumpkin spice dates back to the Dutch East India Company. The ingredients that make up pumpkin spice—cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, allspice—are native to Southeast Asian islands. This spice was discovered on a few island groups as well as ancient pottery shards in Indonesia. On Pulau Ay, one of the Banda Islands in Indonesia - also known as the Spice Islands - archaeologists found ancient nutmeg residue on ceramic pottery shards they estimated to be 3,500 years old. A desire for spice is part of what drove European seafaring and contact with the Americas. The Dutch then took control of the Spice Islands in the early-17th century. The Spice Islands inspired many to mix spices and create their own unique flavors. The Dutch crafted a blend named Speculaaskruiden; it is similar to pumpkin spice but has cardamom and occasionally white pepper. The Dutch’s new spice became so popular in Netherland desserts that its makeup spread across borders.
The earliest-known pumpkin spice relates to a British recipe from 1675; during this time, it was called pumpion pye. This original spice blend featured pepper, cloves, nutmeg, and cinnamon. The combination of both the British spice blend and pumpkin being prominent in the Americas led to the beautiful thing we know as pumpkin pie spice. Today, it is thanks to the spice company McCormick for officially branding and giving pumpkin pie spice its name; now, it's the blend we still use to this day for all things pumpkin.
HEALTH CAUTIOUS FALL RECIPE
Now that we’re experts on all things pumpkin spice, let’s put this spice to use and create something warm, healthy, and comforting for the soul as we indulge in the fall season.
These muffins have a taste of fall in every bite! They’re an easy, go-to snack because of the simplicity of this recipe. Preparation time for these muffins is 15 minutes, and they’re ready in just 20 minutes. The best part is that one muffin is just 108 calories!
- 1.50 scoop(s) (32.400g) Medi-Weightloss® Cinnabun Premium Protein
- 2.00 Tbsp (14.000g) Coconut flour
- 0.50 cup (243.000g) All Whites®, liquid
- 0.50 tsp (4.600g) Baking powder
- 0.25 cup (244.000g) Libby's® Pure Pumpkin
- 4.00 tbsp (0.000g) Sugar-free caramel syrup
- 1.00 tbsp (16.000g) Almond butter
- 1.00 tsp (2.600g) Pumpkin spice
How to Make Pumpkin Cinnamon Muffins:
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- In a bowl, add pumpkin, Cinnabun Premium Protein, coconut flour, egg whites, and baking powder. Mix well.
- Prep muffin tin with non-stick cooking spray, and then divide batter evenly into 4 molds.
- Place in oven and bake for 10 minutes. Then, using a fork or knife, loosen the muffins from the tin and flip them over.
- Continue cooking the muffins for about 2-5 minutes. The muffins are finished cooking when you can insert a toothpick into the center and it comes out clean (no batter on the toothpick). Be careful not to overcook.
- While cooling muffins outside of the oven, prepare the glaze.
- In a microwave-safe bowl, add sugar-free syrup, almond butter, and cinnamon. Microwave for about 15-20 seconds. Remove from microwave and stir well.
- Drizzle glaze mixture on all 4 muffins, and set on a rack to cool.
- Sprinkle with pumpkin spice and serve.