At this time of year, you can find them for sale around nearly every corner. That’s because we love Halloween, but also because Michigan farmers grow nearly 80 million pounds of pumpkins each year. You can carve them, roast the seeds, toss some in a smoothie, make soup, and a myriad of other things. Of course, lots of Michigan companies put these versatile fruits to good use too. Here are some of Michigan’s best pumpkin products to flavor your fall.
Our friends at East Lansing-based Biggby Coffee celebrate fall with a couple of special drinks, including this blend of seasonal flavors. It is both a great way to start a day, or an ideal afternoon pick-me-up. Try it hot on a crisp morning, or iced for those last wisps of summer days. For an extra treat, pair it with their scrumptious pumpkin muffin. It’s baked with a cream cheese swirl, which is divine.
If you prefer to make your own coffee at home, then turn to the talented roasters at Flushing-based Coffee Beanery. They’re Pumpkin Spice flavored coffee is the perfect mix of sweet spices that are sure to put you in a cozy fall mood. You can purchase regular or decaf, and choose whole beans to grind at home, or already ground to your liking.
While we’re talking morning coffee, how about a piece of toast with that? We’re not just talking any old piece of toast though. Try topping your favorite bread with this incredible spread from Naturally Nutty out of Willamsburg. Honestly, you can’t go wrong with any of their products, but this one is truly special. Pepita are pumpkin seeds, and in this concoction they are blended with sunflower seeds, flax, hemp, chia, and a delightful dash of spice. Aside from an abundance of health benefits, the combination provides and wonderfully unique, and tasty experience.
If you’d rather end a meal with notes of pumpkin, then turn to the masterful bakers at Grand Traverse Pie Company. This is no ordinary Thanksgiving dessert. Like all of their pies, it starts with a delectable, flaky crust. Then it is filled with a pumpkin blend that has the creamy texture of a dense mousse and all the flavor you hope for from a fall classic.
Do you like your pie a la mode? Whether paired with pie, or on its own, you’ll be hard-pressed to find better tasting ice cream than the creations from Moomers in Traverse City. Once named the best ice cream parlor in America by the readers of USA Today, they make over 160 flavors of ice cream, 20 of which are featured daily. This is the time of year to pop by for Pumpkin or Pumpkin Chip ice cream. If you’re hunting for fall color in that glorious northern region, be sure to stop in for a taste of goodness at Moomers, and maybe watch a cow or two roaming the farm.
Don’t just treat yourself to the go-to flavor of fall. Pups deserve some seasonal delights too, and Hunter’s Healty Treats has them covered. Shaped like hearts, and made from all-natural ingredients, they are packed with nutrients, yet taste great. My friend, Finn, loves them. These are soft-baked, so even puppies, or dogs with dental issues, can enjoy them. Choose from two sizes to best please your favorite pooch.
You’ve taken care of man’s best friend, now how about you and your friends? Whether sipping a brew by a beach bonfire, in front of the TV watching football, or just out to dinner, you can count on a Michigan brewer to provide the perfect choice. Many create fall specialties, especially pumpkin-infused. Consistently ranked as one of the nation’s best is Ichabod from New Holland. Named for the famous schoolmaster of Sleepy Hollow, this refreshing ale is brewed with malted barley and real pumpkin. The natural sweetness is enhanced with cinnamon and nutmeg for a classic autumnal taste.
If hard cider is more your jam this time of year than beer, turn to Blake’s. The tasting room is hopping in the fall, as is the rest of the property. Bring the family to pick out pumpkins and celebrate Halloween with tons of attractions, or just meet some friends to sip and savor. If you can’t make it to Armada, never fear, Blake’s is readily available in stores throughout the state. Apple Lantern is made from handpicked apples that are balanced with the oven-roasted richness of pumpkin, and perfectly spiced. It can be purchased on its own, or in a seasonal 12-pack. The Bushel of Blake’s also includes their classic Flannel Mouth, alongside Caramel Apple and Apple Pie. Hello fall!
Sure, by the end of the season you might grow a tad tired of pumpkin everything, but I’m betting you’ll find some favorites among this list that you’ll crave all year-round.