With the fall season comes the changing color of the leaves, the cooler weather and the ever so sought after pumpkin spice flavored EVERYTHING. I set out to eat only pumpkin spice flavored foods for a week and I never expected this to happen.
We all know the basic b**** craze over pumpkin spice…
Well, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a basic b** myself. I’m talking once there is even a slight drop in temperature, I whip out the fall decorations and every pumpkin spice food you could ever imagine. Being the fall-lover that I am, I decided to set out on the ultimate pumpkin spice challenge. I had to eat something pumpkin flavored for every.single.meal. for a week straight. Yes, you read that right, pumpkin everything. No pumpkin spice challenge can start without a heavy dose of pumpkin spice coffee. ‘Cause I’m basic remember?!
I told you I was basic.
If you couldn’t tell, I was more than ready to tackle this pumpkin spice challenge head on. I had a game plan, I was ready to consume as much pumpkin spice as I could, because as the towel states, pumpkin spice IS life. Okay, maybe I embellished the saying a little bit, but to me, pumpkin spice isn’t just a spice, it’s a way of life.
My morning started off bright and early with a bowl of eggs and Cheerios.
You’re probably thinking I failed already, because there’s no pumpkin in sight. But wait, these just weren’t your average Cheerios, they were in fact, you guessed it, Pumpkin Spice Cheerios. And while they may have been a little bit on the cinnamon-y side, these Cheerios were definitely a good way to kick off the week of pumpkin spice meals. Now before you look at those eggs and question what I must have been thinking, my tastebuds can handle just about anything. This was another reason why I knew I had this pumpkin spice challenge in the bag. I already eat some pretty weird stuff, so I figured topping anything with pumpkin spice would taste a-ok in my book. Well, I was wrong. These eggs just tasted gritty and the pumpkin pie spice just left a dull after taste in my mouth. One for two? Not a bad start, I guess.
In case you were wondering, pumpkin spice and flannel go hand in hand.
There’s nothing like a big piece of celery topped with, yep, you guessed it, pumpkin spice cream cheese. This cream cheese, my friends, is a game changer. And as you can see by my flannel get up, I was not only eating fall in full force, but I made sure I was wearing it too.
A Pumpkin Taco Salad? Say What?!
In preparation for my week of dedication to the ever so sacred pumpkin spice, I made Pumpkin Turkey Chili and Pumpkin Beer Chicken. As you can see, I was so excited about this Pumpkin Beer Chicken and you would be too if you got a whiff of this juicy, beer soaked chicken. I used it atop a bed of spinach, guacamole and salsa for my own pumpkin-fied taco salad! And you best believe that taco salad was delicious!
Who doesn’t love a little banana and peanut butter?!
This girl sure does. And you got that right, I sure as a pumpkin spice latte made sure that peanut butter was pumpkin spice flavored. I told you everything would have some sort of pumpkin spice element didn’t I?! And let me tell you, that pumpkin spice peanut butter definitely filled the cracks of this girl’s fall-loving heart.
Would you really expect anything less?!
The only thing more basic than a pumpkin spice latte come fall, has to be these Pumpkin Spice Oreos. It seems whenever a new Oreo flavor hits the Target shelves, everyone is rushing to try it out (and you can’t forget to put it on the gram). This hype is definitely sent into overdrive whenever the infamous Pumpkin Spice Oreos reappear on the Target shelves. And there’s a good reason for it too. They’re FALL-TASTICALLY DELICIOUS! Yes, I went there. Paired with Protein Pumpkin Spice Cheesecake and whipped cream, you can’t get anymore basic.
I started out my second pumpkin-filled day with none other than a big ‘ol mug of coffee flavored with pumpkin spice coffee creamer, duh!
Pumpkin and protein, a basic fall-loving, weightlifting girl’s dream.
Not only do I fit in perfectly with the basic fall-loving girl stereotype, but I also fit right on in with the stereotype of the weight lifting gym rat who needs to make sure they’re getting plenty of protein. Only this protein was pumpkin-fied. Hey, more vitamin C right?! At first I was a little skeptical of this combination, but alas, my tastebuds did not fail me. This chocolate cupcake protein shake topped with Cool Whip and Pumpkin Spice Cheerios was the bomb.com. Okay, that was lame, just like my attempt at a cheesy “I’m so excited for pumpkin smile.” But, it really was a deliciously sweet treat!
And the face says it all.
On Tuesdays my company brings in lunch for us. #blessed But, surprise, surprise there was nothing pumpkin on the menu and you bet your bottom dollar I was not about to pass up a free meal. So what did I do? I improvised. I attempted to create my own pumpkin dressing to go on top of my salad. The salad included goat cheese, chicken and mandarin oranges so a pumpkin dressing on top couldn’t be too bad could it? Well, maybe if my attempts at making a dressing were a little better, it could have been good, but, my combination of vanilla Greek yogurt, pumpkin puree and spices definitely did not pass the test on this salad. Better luck next time?
When push comes to shove, throw some pumpkin on it.
Would you believe me if I said pumpkin grilled cheese was good? Well, it is and you should definitely try it. I got the idea to make this pumpkin grilled cheese while scrounging Pinterest for some easy pumpkin meals. The fact that 9 times out of 10 I wait until I am starving to attempt making myself food, I didn’t want to waste to much time preparing my dinner. I heated up some of the Pumpkin Turkey Chili (what is better in the fall than pumpkin chili?!) I had made earlier in the week and grilled two slices of bread, mozzarella cheese and pumpkin puree into a delicious pumpkin-themed dinner.
I promise it was better than it looks!
If you couldn’t tell by now, photography isn’t my strong suit, but this pumpkin grilled cheese most certainly was. It oozed at the center and strands of cheese dangled out as soon as you took a bite. The added texture of the pumpkin and crisp crunch of the bread just sent this girl into grilled cheese heaven.
Kettle corn dipped in liquid pumpkin gold.
Okay, okay, if you thought banana and peanut butter went together hand in hand, kettle corn and pumpkin spice peanut butter go together even better. I mean just look at that peanut buttery goodness! Looking back, I probably should have just ended the pumpkin spice challenge there…because well…you’ll find out soon enough.
I told you my tastebuds were weird!
Now before you judge me for what I am about to say, just know there was a point in my life where I consumed peanut butter, jelly and egg wraps on the daily. But pumpkin spice peanut butter on eggs, yeah, not so much. But, I choked it down with pride because this pumpkin-loving girl was not about to give up just yet. It was only the third day! There was so much more pumpkin out there left to be eaten!
If the third day of this challenge had a theme, it would be “oh, no, not again.”
This meal became a go-to in surviving this pumpkin spice challenge. The caramel rice cake and banana masked the pumpkin flavor in the peanut butter just enough to where my taste buds weren’t left thinking, “oh great, pumpkin again?!”
Wednesday’s downward spiral was interrupted by a slight pick-me-up though.
Although the taste of pumpkin was slowly starting to cramp my style, I couldn’t pass up an opportunity to consume the Limited Edition Pumpkin Pie Oikos, not even after eating countless meals of the same exact flavor over the past three days.
And the good pumpkin vibes seemed to carry into dinner.
Despite a rough start to the morning with eggs and pumpkin spice peanut butter, dinner included a chicken quesadilla made with my pumpkin beer chicken. While it may not have been the spicy Mexican flavors I was craving, I made due with this creation. At least I hadn’t resorted to eating pumpkin puree out of a can…yet…
These, my friends, were the best part of the challenge.
Bold statement you may be thinking. But, how can you go wrong with pumpkin spice chocolate covered pretzels?! Especially after they’ve been in the freezer. YUM! Praise the pumpkin gods, my love for pumpkin was alive and well again!
Same rice cake combination, different day.
Maybe it was just that good, or maybe it was because I didn’t want to choke down eggs and pumpkin spice again, but Thursday started off strong with a caramel rice cake, pumpkin spice peanut butter and banana.
A the good pumpkin vibes slowly started to fade.
Thursday drug on and my taste buds were starting to catch on to the cruel joke I was playing on them. I was no longer excited for food, and if you know me at all, you know my love for food is out of this world. You never have to force me to eat anything, and at this point in the challenge, eating was definitely becoming unappealing. I’ve never been one of those people who can eat the same meal day after day, so my attempts at masking the pumpkin beer chicken flavor included this plate of “nachos” made with the pumpkin beer chicken, spinach, cheese, guacamole, jalapenos and homemade “chips.” My attempts failed, because I was still not feeling the whole pumpkin thing.
Maybe it’s love or maybe it’s all just a delusion.
Maybe it was the love for pumpkin trying to shine through again, or the reality that I love any sweet dessert, but my fourth day of this challenge ended on a fairly high note. I made a protein mug cake topped with pumpkin spice peanut butter and Cool Whip.
Day five. Why am I still eating pumpkin?!
I started off Friday as strong as my coffee and as bitter as my love for pumpkin spice had gotten. But was I going to give up, absolutely not! My momma didn’t raise no quitter! Okay, all jokes aside, I was so ready to push my love for pumpkin aside and cut it out cold turkey, but alas, I prevailed and throughly enjoyed my mug of pumpkin spice coffee.
And I watched as the pumpkin flame slowly started to flicker.
Another taco salad was on the menu for lunch. I’m telling you, this pumpkin beer chicken still haunts my dreams. How could something that started out SO good leave me wanting to strangle every pumpkin in sight?! I went on eating my taco salad, trying to prove to myself that I still indeed did love pumpkin. But, it was starting to look like me and pumpkin were in some serious need of counseling.
Is the end near?!
What started out as a snack I looked forward to earlier in the week, quickly became one I was dreading. In all honesty, this meal tasted like nothing. Maybe I blocked out the painful memory, or maybe my taste buds were going on strike, whatever the reason, my body was not having this whole pumpkin spice challenge anymore. Warning: you may want to shield your eyes for what happened next…
Ahhh the sweet smell of…burgers?
I’m telling you, a burger covered in cheese, ketchup, mustard AND NO PUMPKIN never tasted so good in my life.
And on the fifth day, a pumpkin was born.
Well, I gave it my best shot. I lasted four and a half days. But in the end, eating pumpkin spice for every.single.meal for days on end is not a good idea, no matter how much you love pumpkin. It’s been three days since my pumpkin binge ended, and I still can’t look at pumpkin the same. Until next fall pumpkin. You will NOT be missed…for now.