- Maddie Levey ’21 & Juliana Rosen ’21
Pumpkin spice, everything nice? You guessed it, this issue we went to your local favorite in downtown Menlo Park, Trader Joes, and tried all of the pumpkin-themed food we could find. It’s the time of year again when we all bundle up by the fire, stop carving pumpkins, and start eating them.
Although there has been controversy, pumpkins are considered a squash, which is a fruit, not a vegetable. Pumpkins are most commonly paired with spices such as cinnamon, turmeric, and cumin. We tried pumpkin muffins, pumpkin ice cream, and pumpkin waffles from Trader Joes. Here is what our taste buds decided:
The first food item we tried was the famous pumpkin muffins made from the pumpkin bread mix, which is $2.99 a box. One serving has 250 calories and 18 grams of sugar, so it is especially good as a snack or dessert. Also, these muffins match perfectly with fresh fruit to give you a filling breakfast. A trick to make them a little “healthier” is to substitute the applesauce for butter, and it tastes the same! If you want to try a spin-off of the famous Starbucks Pumpkin Muffin, you can also add a chunk of cream cheese to the muffins before you put them in the oven. This is a great way to mix savory and sweet flavors. The muffins are delicious, and have just the right amount of pumpkin flavor, without being too much. They are nice and airy, and the mix makes it easy to make muffins or a loaf of pumpkin bread.
The pumpkin ice cream is definitely an acquired taste. It is extra sweet, with 28 grams of sugar and 250 calories in one serving. One tub is $3.99, the most expensive food item that we tried. Although it has a pumpkin flavor, we felt like the sweetness overpowered it and the neon orange color of the ice cream did not sit well with us. But, we know that many of our friends love pumpkin ice cream, so make sure to check it out at Trader Joes!
Our last food item that we tried was the Pumpkin Waffles, which were $1.99 a box. In each serving, there are 260 calories and 10 grams of sugar. But all of the calories are worth it because even though they are more difficult to make than the pumpkin muffins, they are perfect for breakfast, or even dessert with some ice cream. When we made them, they turned out light, fluffy, and crispy on the outside. The waffles tasted very similar to the muffins, so if you love pumpkin muffins, make sure to give the pumpkin waffle mix a try. ***Disclaimer*** do not forget about your waffles while they are cooking, because our fire alarm went off when we made them.
Overall, our favorite pumpkin treat was the pumpkin muffins, with the waffles coming in a close second. Make sure to go to Trader Joes soon to stock up on the muffin and waffle mixes, because the pumpkin season is almost over! Stay tuned for our next article when we look for the best hot chocolate in the area!