Frankly, I don’t care if Martha thinks pumpkin-spice stuff is for basic bitches: I’m here to tell you that nothing is better than pumpkin-spice season — a.k.a. fall — at Trader Joe’s. (Well, fall at Trader Joe’s and the annual hilarity of this and this.) I mean, it’s almost farcical how many pumpkin/squash/harvest things pop up around that place once September hits, but truth be told, my family is obsessed. There’s SO MUCH pumpkin swag there right now that’s worth your while. Stuff like:
Pumpkin Joe O’s.
These might be my very favorite. Sort of like cinnamon-tinged Cheerios, but crunchier and pumpkinier. Or like Apple Jacks (do they still make those?), but not disgusting.
Fall Zucchette Pasta
This butternut squash pasta comes in the form of, yes, tiny pumpkins. The flavor is nice — just mildly squashy — but the shape is absolutely delightful. We served it with run-of-the-mill tomato sauce, missing (sadly!) the fact that there is also a TJ’s “autumnal harvest” pasta sauce that pairs with this pasta, made with tomato, butternut squash, cream, rosemary, sage and carrots. It’s on the list for next time, no question.
Like dessert on toast. (Or bagels. Or apple slices. Or rice cakes. Or ice cream. Or by the spoonful …)
Pumpkin Cream Cheese
Heavenly on bagels, and though it’s sweetened with cinnamon and brown sugar, it’s not at all cloying. It’s also awesome for dipping with those crunchy pumpkin-cranberry crackers that show up this time of year.
Whole Wheat Butternut Squash Gyoza
Leap of faith here, simply because the regular veggie gyoza pot-sticker/dumpling things have been some of our freezer staples for ages now. The fall version is made with squash, edamame, sweet potatoes, carrots and more. (The description says sweet and savory, which sounds right.)
Pumpkins and Decor
It bears noting that the pumpkins at Joe’s are extraordinarily inexpensive, as was our rad Day-of-the-Dead cactus pictured above.
Of course, this list represents about 5 percent of all the autumnal bounty at TJ’s right now — I’m sure I’m missing other faves. Please feel free to alert us to what we’re missing in the comments — I’m nowhere near my pumpkin/squash/apple threshold yet, are you?