Happy Halloween! Hope everyone had a fun time celebrating this weekend. Rob and I went to a wine walk at Red Rock Resort on Saturday and spent the rest of the weekend watching Stranger Things. It was sooo good! We also made our first pumpkin pie of the season! It’s hard to believe I’m not sick of pumpkin everything yet, because I’ve had a lot of it this season. Trader Joe’s is definitely the place to go for autumnal flavored goodies. I limited myself to only spending $25, but I easily could have spent $100 since they have SO MUCH! So before the shelves are filled with peppermint and gingerbread for the holidays, I wanted to share my favorite picks and what to skip. I’d love to hear about your favorite pumpkin items, too, so leave a comment if there’s something else I need to try!
I’m a big herbal tea drinker, so the Pumpkin Spice Rooibos was a must try. This fall flavored drink is the perfect way to warm up as I sit in a cold office all day. Plus it pairs perfectly with the Pumpkin Spice Scone Mix with Maple Icing. They are really easy to make (just add water!), but still moist and flavorful. The Pumpkin Cereal Bars would also complement the tea well, but honestly these were just okay. I probably wouldn’t buy them again. Another item I wasn’t too impressed with was the Pumpkin Spice Almond Beverage. It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t what I was expecting. I thought it would be like a normal white almond milk and have some subtle flavoring. However, it’s an orange color and thicker consistency with A LOT of flavor. I used it to make my oatmeal and it tasted like I was eating a full on pumpkin pie. I plan on bringing it to work and adding some to a cup of coffee, so I’ll let you know how that is!
I wasn’t sure what to expect with the Greek Yogurt, but it was really tasty! It’s not overly sweet because there is still the tanginess of the Greek yogurt. I topped it with the Pumpkin Spice Granola, which adds a nice texture. The granola is good, but if I tried it blindly I don’t think I would have picked up on the pumpkin flavoring.
If you’re looking for a more savory meal or side, the Pumpkin Soup or Honey Roasted Pumpkin Ravioli would be a good choice. I made the ravioli for dinner one night and wanted to pair it with a brown butter cream sauce, but I screwed up that recipe :( we ended up serving it with some extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper. Still really good and simple to make!
The snack aisle is always dangerous for me. I tried the Pita Chips with Cranberries and Pumpkin Seeds last year, which have a great sweet and salty flavor. This year I opted for the Pumpkin Tortilla Chips and was not disappointed! They have the subtle pumpkin flavor and are perfect for crumbling over a bowl of chili or serving with your favorite salsa. I also bought the Pumpkin Spice Caramel Corn to snack on during our Wyoming road trip and could have eaten the entire bag! It was so addicting.
On to my personal favorites: DESSERT! I could have spent a fortune on all of the sweet items they have to offer. Last year I used the Pumpkin Pie Spice Cookie Butter for my homemade Reese’s cups. You can find the recipe in this post—I think they turned out really well :) This year I bought the Mini Pumpkin Pies, which come frozen. I haven’t had the chance to try those yet, but they sure look delicious!
—- 2017 UPDATE —-
We now live in Destin, FL and don’t have a Trader Joe’s nearby, so my mom surprised me and sent a big box of their pumpkin goodies this fall! Out of all of them, the pumpkin spice granola bark is probably my favorite. Mostly because it’s covered in chocolate :) I also love the pumpkin Joe-Joe’s and petite pumpkin spice cookies. And don’t even get me started on the caramel corn! So. Good.
I wasn’t a huge fan of the oatmeal (not worth the sugar to me). The toaster pastries were also just okay. I wish the filling was thicker, you mainly just taste the pastry party.
What are your favorite fall items at Trader Joe’s?