Pumpkins Are All The Rage

Pumpkins and pumpkin flavored products all the rage this time of the year. On shelves in the supermarket, you will find many products made with pumpkin or “Pumpkin (Pie) Spice” (which has no pumpkin in it but is a common ingredient in pumpkin pie and pumpkin spice cake) and others made with pumpkin itself. To be part of this trend and not miss out on any limited editions, it’s worth investigating exciting products in this category.

In choosing a basic pumpkin pie spice, McCormick, an OU Kosher certified company has you covered. They also make pumpkin extract, so you can add pumpkin flavor to any food.

When looking in the coffee category, there are options. You can always get pods with OU Kosher certified Keurig Green Mountain, Inc., that offers Fair Trade Pumpkin Spice K Cup Coffee. If you’re looking for a creamer, an excellent choice is Coffee-mate Pumpkin Spice. It is made by Nestle USA/ Beverage Division and is certified kosher by the OU.

In terms of general beverages to quench your thirst, you can always turn to your local Trader Joe’s where there are no shortage of choices. Trader Joe’s, an OU Kosher certified company, offers numerous products in this category including, Pumpkin Spice Protein Smoothie, Pumpkin Spice Almond Beverage and Pumpkin Pie Spiced Ginger Brew Sparkling Beverage, just to name a few.

For yogurt and ice cream lovers, there are a variety of fine selections. Chobani, an OU Kosher certified company, offers Chobani Greek Yogurt Pumpkin Spice Blended Greek Lowfat Yogurt 2% Pumpkin Pie. Target Corporation offers an OU Kosher certified product, Blended Greek Lowfat Yogurt 2% Pumkin Pie. Turkey Hill Dairy LP, another OU Kosher certified company, offers Premium Ice Cream, Pumpkin Pie.

When it comes down to enjoying “pumpkin filled” products, mixes and chips are a creative way to go. General Mills, an OU Kosher certified company, offers BC Mug Treats Pumpkin Spice Cake Mix with Cream Cheese Icing, a great treat as a snack or dessert. Hain Celestial, an OU Kosher certified company, under its well-known brand Sensible Portions, offers Sea Salt & Vinegar Garden Veggie Chips made with Potatoes, Sweet Potatoes, Carrots and Pumpkin.

After discussing the food trending aspects of pumpkins, it’s worthwhile to also investigate their spiritual dynamic which has applications for this time of the year as well.

One of my former teachers, Rabbi Mordechai Kornfeld shlita, had a phenomenal insight relating to the spiritual nature of pumpkins. The Talmud relates that those who fear G-d dream of pumpkins. What’s the connection? He explained that when it comes to the mechanics of how pumpkins grow, as they grow larger, they sink more into the ground. So too, those who fear G-d live the same experience, as they grow, they sink lower in humility.

With the days of awe upon us, Yom Kippur approaching, and Sukkot to follow, this message has great relevance.

In the piyyut V’chol Ma’aminim of mussaf on Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur, we approach G-d as the judge. There is a wonderful stanza where we say, “And all believe that He is good to all, Who knows the impulses of all his creations.” One must be humbled by such a statement for it acknowledges that G-d, our hope for good, takes into consideration our human foibles. This should inspire humility.

Sukkot, a time when we confront nature, must also engender humility. By knowing how vulnerable we are to the elements, we are in essence acknowledging our reliance on G-d in all aspects of life.

Enjoy the below recipe from McCormick (OU Certified) for Pumpkin Pancakes.

https://www.mccormick.com/recipes/breakfast-brunch/pumpkin-pancakes

Ingredients

  • 1 egg
  • 1 2/3 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup canned pumpkin
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1 teaspoon McCormick® All Natural Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon McCormick® Pumpkin Pie Spice
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Instructions

Beat egg in medium bowl. Add milk, pumpkin, butter and vanilla; mix well. Mix remaining ingredients in large bowl until well blended. Add pumpkin mixture; stir just until blended. Let stand 5 minutes.

Pour 1/4 cup of batter per pancake onto preheated lightly greased griddle or skillet. Cook 1 to 2 minutes per side or until golden brown, turning when pancakes begin to bubble.

Steven Genack
Steven Genack has worked for OU Kosher for nearly ten years with a specialty in ingredients. He is an attorney and former editor of a newspaper who continues to contribute articles to numerous Jewish publications. During college, he took a summer session at Harvard University where he studied journalism and screenwriting. He is the author of an upcoming book relating to his family’s Torah. He has a wide array of interests including playing tennis, golf and basketball and reading biographies and memoirs. He has worked with special needs children in the past and feels passionate about their causes. He is currently working on a few books.