Krusteaz Pumpkin Spice Pancakes

I have been seeing a boatload of pumpkin spice pancake mix all over the place, but had been mildly hesitant to pick up a box for two reasons. One, many of the mixes I have spotted required eggs and oil, which I don’t like adding to my pancake mix. Second, I realize I love pumpkin but my boyfriend isn’t the biggest pumpkin fan.  There are a few exceptions to that rule … so I had hoped that these Krusteaz Pumpkin Spice Pancakes would be an exception.  And … they were!
The mix itself is quite simple to put together – all you have to do is mix together water and the dry mix, with no need for eggs, oil, etc. A ½ cup of mix is a serving, so to make pancakes for two I used 1 cup of mix and divided out the water (listed on the back of the box) out for 2 servings instead of 4.
The pancakes cooked up nicely. As they cooked they changed into a nice brown color, and with the pancake browning it made it perfect. The pumpkin flavor wasn’t overwhelming, but it was noticeable. I enjoyed my pancakes with 1 tablespoon of sugar free syrup on them, with a sautéed banana on top of it.  Since we were having pancakes for dinner, I opted for scrambled eggbeaters and turkey sausage.
A ½ cup of mix is 230 calories or 6 points plus values. Delicious!
Have you ventured into pumpkin spice pancakes?

Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Spice Rooibos Herbal Blend Tea

I’m sure many of you have read how much I enjoy pumpkin-things especially in the fall/winter months. So with that I was given a tin of Trader Joe`s Pumpkin Spice Rooibos Herbal Blend Tea and I got that giddy child feeling when you get something you typically love but haven’t tried.
The moment you open the metal canister you get a nice fragrant smell — pumpkin, nutmeg and a little cinnamon. It just has a very homey and delicious scent. After reading the ingredients, I was a little hesitant because the tea does have clove in it and I just happen to not be a huge clove fan.  Thankfully, I have found after trying the tea, the clove taste doesn’t come through very much otherwise this would have been a complete miss for me
I prepared my tea as I would any other.  Boiled the water in my tea kettle, poured it over the tea pouch and let it steep for about 5 minutes. I then removed the tea bag and added in one packet of artificial sweetener and gave it a whirl. I have to say, this was really delicious. The flavors blended together nicely and there was a hint of all the flavors present (cinnamon, nutmeg, pumpkin, etc), but not one stood out more than the pumpkin flavor. Which is appreciated.
Do you like pumpkin tea?

Trader Joe’s Country Pumpkin Spice Granola Cereal

Fall brings out all the pumpkin and fall goodies at Trader Joe’s.  This meant, I was super excited to pick up a box of Trader Joe’s Country Pumpkin Spice Granola Cereal. I did not have a chance to give this a try last year and since I have a pumpkin fascination/obsession I wanted to give it a go.
I’m a big granola fan – but I truthfully don’t eat it very often at all. This has been the first box of granola I have purchased in over 3 years … and I have to say, it was well worth the wait.  I first described this granola as what you would get if plain old granola and pumpkin pie had a baby. It’s that classic crunchy granola texture mixed with chewy raisins with a very noticeable pumpkin spice flavor mixed throughout. It’s delicious, flavorful and mixes well with yogurts and assorted fruits.  I’ve had this pumpkin spice granola over pumpkin flavored yogurt, while I’ve also had it with coconut vanilla yogurt mixed with fresh blueberries, strawberries and granola on top of it.  It adapts well to the flavors it’s mixed with while it also holds up to its crunchy texture.  I have been such a fan I have incorporated this into my breakfast/snacks daily.
A serving is 2/3 cup which is 240 calories, or 6 points plus values.  Although I find a 1/3 cup serving is more than enough to accompany a serving of yogurt. A 1/3 cup serving calculates out to be 3 points plus values.
Have you ever tried Trader Joe’s pumpkin spice granola?

Philadelphia Pumpkin Spice Cream Cheese

When fall rolls around and pumpkin items begin to hit shelves at Target, every year I make sure to pick up the Philadelphia Pumpkin Spice Cream Cheese. One of my favorite things to get during fall is a Dunkin Donuts multi-grain bagel and pumpkin spice cream cheese. It’s a wonderful match, but it’s so high in points it’s something I enjoy but typically don’t have because it’s really not worth the boatload of points.
The pumpkin spice cream cheese is smooth and creamy, yet slightly softer than regular plain cream cheese.  It’s sweet and undoubtedly pumpkin spice flavored. I enjoy it on bagel slims or even light English muffins. I think it would even be a great addition to baked goods – but that’s a road I have not traveled so I’m not sure how it might turn out.
A serving is 2 tablespoons, which rings in at 80 calories or 2 points plus values. I have only spotted this at Target – but I do know there’s a store brand version at Aldi incase you have that grocery store in your area.
Have you ever tried pumpkin spice cream cheese?

Starbucks Via Pumpkin Spice

The moment fall is close to coming into the picture, fall items start arriving. One of the drinks I absolutely love, but don’t order very often is the Pumpkin Spice Latte from Starbucks.  It’s pumpkin, its latte, and it’s pure magic. So when I spotted the Starbucks Via Pumpkin Spice packets on the shelf at Target, I quickly scooped up a box.
I heated up 1 cup of milk, added in the Via packet and stirred it up … and it was HORRIBLE!  Now, I love coffee, but this has a very, very bold coffee flavor to it. I actually picked up more of the coffee flavor than I did any pumpkin.  The packet of mix smelled more of pumpkin in powder form than it did when it was mixed in with my milk.  Once I mixed it with the milk it just smelled of very, very bold coffee.  Now, I admit, I love coffee BUT I’m more of a light and occasional medium roast coffee fan. This was so bold I’d have to water it down to make it palatable, but by then I’d probably end up just drinking 1-2 cups of milk with a mild flavor in the background. I’d have to give it a nice dosing of sugar free pumpkin syrup and a few Equal packets, plus some additional milk to maybe even get a pumpkin flavor.  Needless to say … I was quite bummed, especially since the Via packets are not cheap.
Each pack has 60 calories to it, which is 2 points plus values. You then need to add in your points/calories associated with the type of milk you use.
Do you like any of the Starbucks Via packets?

Pumpkin Spice M&M’s

As mentioned in a previous post – I am a pumpkin fanatic.  So when I saw there was Pumpkin Spice M&M’s being sold, I immediately jumped on the bandwagon, put them into my Target shopping cart and had to bring them home. I love pumpkin and I love chocolate and any way to bring the two together is a-okay in my book!
I cracked open the bag the day after buying them because I wanted chocolate.  But I have to say… I was a little disappointed. They’re not bad, but they definitely don’t pack a pumpkin punch.  They taste like a classic M&M that’s slightly bigger in size and after chewing there’s a very, very mild pumpkin taste in the background. But it’s literally so mild it’s almost not noticeable.  I guess this may be a good thing for some – but for others who are expecting a true pumpkin spice flavor they’d be a bit disappointed as I had.
A serving size is 1.5 oz which is roughly ¼ cup of the bag (which is more than what is in my hand in the photograph above) and is 210 calories.  A serving is 5 points plus values.
What is one of your favorite fall/Halloween flavored candies?

Pumpkin Spice Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookies

This past week I decided I wanted to do a little baking and Spice Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookieswere on the menu!
I wanted to make these the week prior, but time just didn’t allow so I went ahead and whipped these up over the weekend and boy, oh boy, were they delicious!  Not only were they delicious, but they were so simple to make.  It involved opening packages and a can, dumping the contents into a bowl and measuring out chocolate chips and walnuts.  Easy as pie.
The Points Plus values do vary depending on the amount of cookies you make so your individual recipe would have to be thrown into Weight Watchers Recipe Builder to uncover the points plus value per serving.  I ended up making 68 cookies and it made each cookie 1 points plus value each.
These cookies are softer cookies – but they are heavenly.
  • 1 box Spice Cake Mix
  • 1 can 100% pure pumpkin (NOT pumpkin pie)
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 cup milk chocolate chips
  • ~1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
Blend spice cake mix. Pumpkin pie spice and pumpkin together until evenly combined and there are no bumps left.  Add in the chopped walnuts and chocolate chips and fold until combined.
Using a melon baller, teaspoon or the tip of a tablespoon drop cookies onto a non-stick cookie sheet.  Note: the cookies don’t really rise or spread so having them close together (but not touching) on the pan will not affect the end result.
Bake in a 350 degree oven for roughly 10 minutes or until golden brown.  Cooking times vary oven to oven, so it may take up to 15 minutes to bake.
Last but not least – enjoy!