It’s that time of year again–the weather is just beginning to cool off. In a few weeks, you’ll need a sweater when outside in the evenings, and soon, the leaves will start changing into an explosion of color: red, yellow, purple, and orange. That last color is a favorite for many, as it's the same color as fall's most famous farmed product: the pumpkin.
When you start seeing pumpkins in the fields, you know that it's time for everyone's fall favorite pumpkin-spiced drinks! And not just drinks–fall is a time filled with all kinds of pumpkin spice flavored things, from cookies and cakes to candies and muffins. In today’s article, we’ll talk about the secret sauce that makes the pumpkin spice world go around–pumpkin spice syrup! We’ll dive into when it became popular, making your own, choosing a quality brand, and how you can enjoy pumpkin spice at home guilt-free with a sugar-free pumpkin spice syrup!
The History of America's Obsession With Pumpkin Spice
They say nothing is more American than apple pie–but wait a second, apples aren’t even native to North America, they originated in Kazakhstan! Apples didn't make their way to America until European colonists came.
Pumpkins, however, are 100% North American. They were cultivated by Native Americans in the Northeastern U.S. for thousands of years. After the first colonists arrived, they received pumpkin seeds from the Native Americans and began to grow their own.
In the late 1670s, something resembling the modern pumpkin pie began to emerge in cookbooks found from this period with ingredients such as clove and cinnamon–these complementary spices have been a staple of pumpkin flavor ever since. However, the first mention of what we today know as the “pumpkin spice blend” was developed by world-famous spice company, McCormicks, in 1934.
The reason for this was that the first canned pumpkin began to arrive on store shelves in 1929. Prior to canned pumpkin, one had to cut and cook the pumpkin and then puree before starting their pie–talk about a lot of work! The spice mix, together with the canned pumpkin, made it easier than ever before for Americans everywhere to start making pumpkin pie.
Choose a Quality Pumpkin Spice Syrup, or Make Your Own?
If you’re like most of us, you probably don’t have time to make a pumpkin spice sauce yourself, so let's first talk about choosing a quality pumpkin spice sauce. The key to a good sauce is natural ingredients and flavorings. If you turn the label around to look at the ingredients and see high fructose corn syrup followed by a list of confusing ingredients you're looking at a low-quality sauce. A quality sauce shouldn’t contain twenty-six-letter chemical names–you should seek out something containing natural ingredients and flavorings.
To make your own sauce, the recipe is quite simple. Here are the ingredients:
- 1 ¼ cups water
- ⅓ cup pumpkin puree, fresh or canned
- 1 cup sugar
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon cloves
- ½ teaspoon nutmeg
Simply place all ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Slowly simmer over medium heat, be sure to stir constantly to keep the sauce from sticking or burning. After about ten or fifteen minutes, once the mixture thickens and begins to stick to the spoon, it's ready. Pour the mix into a shallow dish and refrigerate. Even if it looks a little watery and runs off the spoon easily, it will thicken once you place it in the refrigerator.
Wondering how to make Starbucks pumpkin syrup, specifically? Check out our latest post.
Guilt-Free Pumpkin Spice Syrup
If you’re one of those people who loves sweet flavors without the calories, it’s time you tried Skinny Mixes’ sugar-free pumpkin spice syrup! With zero calories and zero fat, it's the perfect way to enjoy your morning and afternoon coffee with delicious pumpkin spice flavor. Now, you’ll be able to indulge that sweet craving, without the need to schedule a personal training session just to work off the extra calories!