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Your Guide to Autumn Spice Blends

Make your own batch of the season’s signature seasonings  

Pre-made spice blends can be a lifesaver in the kitchen, especially on busy holidays. But if it’s 2 PM on Thanksgiving Day and you’re out of pumpkin pie spice, don’t panic. You likely have all the ingredients you need to whip  some up at home. We’re sharing DIY versions of the most popular fall spice blends along with our favorite recipes to help you put them to good use. Start with our ratios below and adjust them to your liking, that’s the beauty of making them yourself. 

Cinnamon Spice  

Try it in: Cinnamon Sugar Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

Before we dive in, it’s worth  spotlighting cinnamon, which is the star  ingredient in all two of the spice blends below. Derived from the inner bark of several species of tree, spicy-sweet cinnamon offers numerous health benefits, including being a good source of antioxidants.  While you can buy it in stick form (which adds a festive touch to mulled wine or Christmas cocktails), these blends all use ground cinnamon.  

Apple Pie Spice 

Try it in: Baked Streusel Apples 

 If you find yourself out of apple pie spice, you’re not out of luck: the popular blend is made with just three ingredients. To make one tablespoon total, combine 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon with 1/2 teaspoon each ground nutmeg and allspice (you can double or halve the amounts as needed). If you’re feeling fancy, add a dash of cardamom, cloves, or ginger, which all pair well with any apple-centric dish. Apple pie spice gives our better-for-you take on apple dumplings its signature fall flavor.  


Pumpkin Pie Spice 

Try it in: Pumpkin Spice Smoothie 

A slightly more complex blend, pumpkin pie spice adds sweet dimension to all kinds of fruit-based desserts. Of course, it’s best known for adding the signature warm and complex flavor to creamy pumpkin pie. Its building blocks are similar to apple pie spice with ginger and cloves added for extra spicy, earthy flavor. To yield one heaping tablespoon of pumpkin pie spice, combine 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon, 3/4 teaspoon ginger, and 1/4 teaspoon each nutmeg, allspice, and cloves. For an extra kick that will liven up both sweet and savory recipes,  add a pinch of freshly-ground black pepper. Pumpkin pie spice is the key ingredient that makes this protein-packed breakfast smoothie taste like a sip of Thanksgiving dessert.

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