We can finally ~officially~ say it's fall, which means one thing to many of us: pumpkin season! Except... am I the only one getting just a little bit tired of pumpkin spice? Don't you want to experience the many other fall flavors this amazing season has to offer? Wait, wait, stop throwing cold lattes at me and listen!
Don't get me wrong: I love pumpkin spice-flavored things. Give me a steaming hot latte, some leaves to crunch through in my new leather boots, and a breezy yet sunny day, and I'll be a very happy girl. I think pumpkin spice candles smell like happiness. I wait all year for pumpkin pancakes, and I make a delicious pumpkin pie, if I do say so myself. So, it's not that I have anything against pumpkin spice, because I don't — I love it.
It's just that... well, it's just that there are a lot of other great fall flavors out there, and I feel like they're not getting the attention they deserve, because pumpkin spice has literally taken over the world. In the craziness that has been our pumpkin spice obsession (I mean, pumpkin Pringles? Is that necessary?), I feel like we've forgotten about the other options that are just as good, if not more delicious. I'm almost hesitant to put them out there, because I don't want them to get as played out as pumpkin has, but I'll risk it.
Here are 10 fall flavors that might actually be better than pumpkin spice:
1. Apple Cinnamon
In the midst of our pumpkin obsession, it seems that some of us have forgotten about the joy that is apple season. Fall is when apples are the most crisp, sweet, and delicious. While they really don't need extra flavor, they are only made better by adding cinnamon. And the possibilities are endless! Make apple cinnamon pie, pancakes, waffles, tea, ice cream, and cereal. Or go apple picking, and dust a little cinnamon on your fresh apples. You really can't go wrong.
2. Apple Cider
If you've never had apple cider, you're just not living your best life. Whether you drink it hot or cold, spiced or just straight up apple-flavored, mixed with booze, or kept clean, apple cider is one of the best treats autumn has to offer. In fact, when made correctly, I would argue that it tastes better than pumpkin spice. And it smells amazing, so there's that.
3. Caramel Apple
I worry that we are not appreciating caramel apple as much as we should. So, let me just remind everyone how delicious it is: it is the freakin' best. Caramel on its own is a very popular flavor for fall, and combining it with apples only makes it better. My favorite way to eat it? As a caramel "dip" for my fresh apple slices.
Ginger is a very popular fall and winter flavor for a reason: the bold, spicy taste is perfection for the colder months of the year. I love ginger and could eat it or drink it on its own. If you need to make it less intense, pair ginger with other fall flavors like apple, or something like chocolate to make it sweeter.
Pomegranates are in season, meaning there couldn't be a better time to enjoy them. You can eat pomegranate on its own, or you can use the flavor in an endless amount of desserts, breakfast foods, dinner foods, salads, and more — it's so versatile. If you ask me, the unique flavor is so good that it comes dangerously close to beating out pumpkin spice. If only it worked in latte form, but what can you do?
Look at that smoothie recipe. Does that not sound delicious? Cranberry is a huge flavor for winter, but it's also big for fall. Even just looking at cranberries makes me think of the perfect autumn day. And when paired or cooked correctly, these bitter little berries become sweet and comforting.
7. Butternut Squash
I probably sound like your mom right now, urging you to eat your vegetables, but seriously butternut squash is amazing — and it's at its best during the fall months. Butternut squash is so good that it just might replace pumpkin as the best. You can use it for soups, pasta dishes, salads — even in mac and cheese. And if you're not into butternut squash, you have other squash options: acorn squash, spaghetti squash, and zucchini, just to name a few.
Between the popularity of apples and pumpkins, I feel like pear really gets pushed off to the side, which just isn't fair. Pears are awesome. If you're not enjoying fresh pears during October and November, you're doing it wrong. Eat them plain and enjoy their natural sweetness, bake them into desserts, use them to sweeten a salad, or warm them up and add ice cream. You can also mix pear with cinnamon, ginger, apples, pomegranates, or cranberries if you want to be extra festive.
Maple flavor brings with it so many possibilities: natural maple syrup on hot pancakes, maple cake, maple scones, maple muffins, maple tea. It just sounds like a fall flavor! And it's SO GOOD. You can even combine it with pumpkin. Doesn't that make you happy?
Chai is one of my personal favorite flavors for fall, because there's almost no way to mess it up. Enjoy cold chai tea on a warmer day, or hot chai tea on a chilly day. Mix chai with extra cinnamon, or caramel or chocolate. Use the spice to add more flavor to oatmeal or cereal. Open your mind to the possibilities, guys. They're endless.
Looking for more pumpkin spice? Check out Bustle on YouTube.
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