Fall is my favorite season, by far. There’s something about the cool, crisp air, the ability to cuddle up comfortably in a sweatshirt, and of course, the changing of leaves that has always resonated with me. Living in the northeast, I’ve always been able to feel the seasons change. As an adult, I now appreciate fall with my taste buds too.
There are so many great fall meals and desserts to eat, and no matter which course you’re making, there’s a few spices that just scream “fall” when you cook with them. Here are some of my favorite fall spices, as well as some ideas on how to use them this season!
Another classic spice, cinnamon, is quintessential fall. To me, it perfectly encompasses what I love about fall: the bittersweet change in nature from long summer days to cooler, darker days. Cinnamon’s flavor of sweetness and bitterness makes it a common addition to fall baking, but it’s also amazing served with meats--especially in stews.
Cinnamon may have a slight twinge of bitterness to it, but nutmeg is known for being sweeter all around. However, when combined with the right foods, it can also have an element of spice to it. Like cinnamon, it’s often used with desserts, but it’s also a great addition to more hearty meals.
If you like cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves, then allspice is the perfect spice for you. You can buy a mixture of allspice at the store that has all three of these spices mixed, but if you find yourself in a pinch, you can always just mix the three together to create your own spice. Plus, you can mess around with the ratio of ingredients to create your perfect flavor palette. This mixture is perfect for cooking and baking alike!
When I think of ginger, I often think of gingerbread houses and cookies. Don’t just associate ginger with winter, though! Aside from being a great spice for baking, ginger is yet another versatile spice that can be used with meats.
Come on, you had to know this one was coming. Pumpkin spice is one of the most popular fall flavors and for good reason. Different places have different blends, but the common spices that make up pumpkin spice are ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, clover, and allspice. These are all spices that have an element of warmth to them, and so pumpkin spice is commonly used in desserts. From cakes to muffins, from pie to cheesecake, pumpkin spice is excellent for dessert, but don’t forget about adding it to drinks! Making a pumpkin spice coffee, latte, or even a milkshake is a solid way to add fall flavor to your drink.
These are five of my favorite, most versatile fall spices to cook and bake with. As the seasons change, change up your flavor palette by adding these spices to your cooking and baking! It’ll make the changing of seasons even more sweet. What’s your favorite fall spice to cook with?