vegansaurus!

11/04/2009

Pumpkin Madness!  »

Just because Halloween is past us, doesn’t mean it’s time to put the pumpkin away just yet. After all, it’s still decorative gourd season! Here are just a few of the seasonally available pumpkin-flavored goods you can be sure of enjoying until January at least.

For me, the season was inaugurated not with changing leaves, but when I first noticed the return of Starbucks' beloved Pumpkin Spice Latte. Get that shit with soy milk, no whip—with or without a shot of espresso as your mood dictates—and you’re golden. I ask you, is there a better way to enjoy these coming cold(ish) months than with a steaming hot cup of corporate good cheer?

UPDATE: Scrooge came early this year! Against our better judgment, we believed the word of a Starbucks employee and didn’t examine the ingredients label for ourselves. The PSL is not vegan, even with soy milk—we are very bummed! Mea maxima culpa. SOLUTION: Make your own with this easily veganizable recipe.

Peet’s Coffee also has a pumpkin-flavored latte available, but it’s not as good as Starbucks’ version. Consider it the lesser of the two. Unlike Starbucks, however, these are definitely vegan.

Clif Bar features a “Spiced Pumpkin Pie” flavor as one of three seasonally available flavors. The others, just so you know, are “Spiced Gingerbread” and “Cranberry Orange Nut Bread.” I can’t vouch for cranberry yet (it’s new), but the others are delicious (for Clif bars). AND they will give you vitamins and energy to keep you going on the…trail…or whatever.

For those marginally more inclined towards making something themselves, Trader Joe’s brings us their Pumpkin Bread and Muffin Mix. This stuff is the shit. We’ve already shown you how to hack their bread mixes. The important takeaway is: substitute 1/2 cup of canned pumpkin for the eggs! After all, why would you want to dilute your bread with anything that’s not MORE pumpkin?

Now available at Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s is Buffalo Bill’s pumpkin ale. This is a relatively decent beer which earns unaccountably low marks from sites such as Beer Advocate. They must know something I don’t! Side note: Buffalo Bill’s brewery is located just over in Hayward, and their menu actually has a vegan pizza listed. Granted, it’s just veggies and no cheese, and it’s the only vegan item they have, but still! They might be getting a visit from me soon!

Superior to Buffalo Bill’s by all accounts (including mine) is Dogfish Head’s Punkin Ale. This is for “real” beer drinkers only, and comes with a price tag to match. Available at Whole Foods and City Beer Store, this is what I’ll be pouring over my head in between Pumpkin Spice Silk rinses, all holiday season.

What’s your favorite vegan pumpkin food product? Seriously, I would love to know: I won’t be happy until I’m eating nothing but pumpkin in its various forms.

[Photos by pinprick and jwiv.]

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