Although the weather is still pretty hot around here in Arkansas’ River Valley, there’s one thing I always look forward to as a sweet promise of Fall and cooler days ahead – the return of pumpkin spice flavors.
And this year, that flavor seems more popular than ever. Along with the return of Braum’s pumpkin ice cream alone and in pies, pumpkin lattes offered at most coffee shops, and IHOP’s pumpkin praline pancakes, the Mars candy company has released a limited time pumpkin-spice flavored version of its M&Ms exclusively through Target stores. And all I can say to all of this is YUM!
At last weekend’s Arkansas Women Bloggers conference at Ferncliff Camp and Conference Center outside of Little Rock, the participants were offered sample boxes of chewy granola bars from Sunbelt Bakery. I’m not usually a big fan of these types of bars… but then I saw that they had a pumpkin spice flavor. Yes please!
I can’t stress enough just how tasty I found these chewy bits of Fall goodness. The pumpkin taste is very strong but not overwhelming. The box comes with 10 bars that, although they appear kind of small, are actually quite filling. And they’re just 110 calories each.
Sunbelt Bakery will be selling this flavor of granola bar, as well as its new Harvest Spice flavor, through stores such as Walmart starting in October. But they’ll do so for only 8 weeks. Bottom line: be sure to stock up on these things as soon as possible. You can thank me later.
For now, here’s a couple of fun pumpkin-flavored recipes for sweet treats I’ve come across lately. Enjoy! And please send me links to other pumpkin-flavored recipes, products, etc. As you can tell, I’m a big fan!
Super Quick and Easy Pumpkin Dip
From Gloria Neer, Sallisaw, OK
1 (16 oz) whipped topping
2 packages (5 oz each) instant French vanilla pudding mix
1 (15 oz) can solid pack pumpkin
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
In a large bowl, mix together pudding mix, pumpkin, and pumpkin pie spice. Fold in whipped topping. Chill in the refrigerator until serving.
This one is great on graham crackers or vanilla wafers – or both!
For a really great (although not exactly healthy) Pumpkin Dump Cake, check out this recipe from the Cookies and Cups blog. The same blogger has also posted a recipe for Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies using, yep, the new pumpkin-spiced M&Ms!
Happy baking everyone!
NOTE: Although the box of Sunbelt Bakery granola bars I received was free, the opinions posted are 100% mine. If I don’t like something, I won’t write about it.
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*drools* I love pumpkin, but Nan has only ever tried it once (about 25 years ago). And although she quite liked it at the time, she has never eaten it since. Pity, ‘cos it looks like she is missing out on a whole new world of yummies!
It’s true Tom! Tell Nan she needs to try pumpkin stuff again. She’ll be happy she did.
I just discovered your blog through a link from Arkansas women bloggers.com. I thought I’d add that you can also buy Sunbelt products at the Little Debbie company stores in Tontitown & Gentry in northwest Arkansas. I love the pumpkin granola bars but my favorites are the Sweet & Salty with almonds or peanuts.
Thanks for the tip Jen! And I’m so glad you discovered my blog. Stay tuned, now that the holidays are out of the way I have lots of travel stories that’ll be posting soon about Arkansas getaways as well as destinations all over the world!