Pumpkin spice is in the air, and it’s everywhere! You’ll see just about every type of processed food with pumpkin spice flavoring this season, from the classic Pumpkin Spice Latte at Starbucks, to Pumpkin Spice Greek yogurt, Poptarts, cereal, cheesecakes, granola bars, and even peanut butter.
Before you go and buy any of these foods, think about this: it’s so much healthier to make your own versions of these at home, with simple pumpkin and pumpkin pie spice — and it’s easy!
The allure of pumpkin spice EVERYTHING!
Real pumpkin spice is no doubt delicious, but don’t believe the hype: most of the products on the market don’t even contain real pumpkin, and if they do, they also contain lots of sugar, processed oils, refined grains, chemicals, and preservatives.
One of the foods I once considered purchasing was pumpkin spice nut butter. The price tag is what first kept me from doing so, but the ingredient list was the main reason I chose not to buy it. Most of these contain sugar in the form of refined sugar, agave, or evaporated cane juice or syrup. I’d rather have no sugar in my nut butter, so I just made my own!
How to make your own pumpkin spice nut butter the easy way
You can get a jar of raw nut butter, or use raw nuts to make the base of your nut butter. If you’re using peanut butter, I’d suggest buying plain, organic peanut butter with no ingredients but peanuts (and maybe salt), since making your own peanut butter can be a little harder than making almond butter.
I simply used the remains of some leftover nut butters I had at home that needed to be used up, but you can use any others you have on hand to come up with variations of all kinds. My version included a jar of raw almond butter, cashew butter, pecan butter, and raw walnut butter, which I blended with pumpkin and pumpkin pie spice.
Ingredient ideas and variations:
If you want to make pumpkin spice peanut butter, just sub in plain natural peanut butter for the other nut butters in my recipe. You could also use a cup of another unsweetened nut butter in place of the blended cup I use, or a cup of nut butter that already contains a mix of nuts and seeds, since there are many organic options without sugar on the market.
You won’t believe how cheap, easy, and healthy this is!
Homemade Pumpkin Spiced Nut Butter
- 1/4cup raw almond butter
- 1/4cup raw walnut butter
- 1/4cup raw cashew butter
- 1/4cup raw pecan butter
- 1cup canned organic pumpkin
- 1 1/2tablespoons organic pumpkin pie spice mix (or a mix of organic ground cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice, and clove)
- A pinch of ground vanilla bean
- Blend the nut butter, pumpkin, vanilla bean, and pumpkin spice mix in a food processor. If you don’t have ground vanilla bean, you can sub in 1 teaspoon of pure, alcohol-free vanilla extract.
Storage and use:
Simply store in a mason jar and keep in the fridge for up to two weeks. Enjoy on gluten-free sprouted grain toast, in oatmeal, or spread onto flax crackers for a quick snack. You could also add a tablespoon or two of this to a smoothie recipe, use it as a cookie base in place of butter, eggs, and oil, or add it to homemade muffins, pancakes, waffles and even chia seed pudding.
Feel free to even throw a few pumpkin seeds into the butter for more pumpkin goodness!
The benefits of making your own pumpkin butter
Raw nuts and seeds are high in disease-fighting antioxidants and healthy fats that aid in fighting obesity. Also, they’re much less acidic to the body than processed, heated nut butters. Whole organic pumpkin is also full of antioxidants, along with fiber that promotes healthy digestion and prevention against disease.
Pumpkin can also boost your skin health, improve satiety, and help slim your waistline, since it’s low in calories and high in fiber.
The sugar and unhealthy fats in processed foods promote weight gain, diabetes, and other health issues. Not to mention, they’re pricey and hard to stop eating once you start. Instead of gaining a few pounds and having poor blood sugar within a few weeks of the season, why not celebrate fall by making your own pumpkin spice recipes at home?
Start with this one, but don’t stop there! What are your favorite healthy, homemade pumpkin spice goodies?
Heather McClees is a professional health journalist and Certified Holistic Nutritionist from South Carolina.She received her B.S. Degree in Nutrition Science and Dietetics, and is most passionate about helping others discover the gift of of holistic health, showing others how to create healthy recipes based on their favorite foods, physical fitness and yoga, and creative writing
http://www.foxnews.com/health/2014/10/29/healthybenefitsallspiceandnutmeg/ http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/279610.php http://www.everydayhealth.com/columns/jaredbunchrhythmoflife/nutsthatcutyourh eartdiseaserisk