DAY 17: Pumpkin Butter (the other kind)

Earlier this year, ESPN published an article about a staple of pregame diets around the NBA, specifically a variation of the product that I am going to be tasting today. It is an incredibly fascinating read, well worth your time.

One of the examples that they highlighted was current Charlotte Hornets center and notorious candy addict, Dwight Howard. At one point, they noted, Howard consumed so much candy prior to games and after practices that he developed pre-diabetic nerve issues.

This is shocking! I can’t possibly comprehend how someone could manage to eat this way and maintain an elite level of play. (During this span, Howard was an 8-time All-Star, named to 8 All-NBA teams, and won 3 consecutive Defensive Player of the Year awards)

Eventually, his team put their foot down and assigned a nutritionist to reign in his candy habit. Her solution to the problem? The PB&J sandwich.

Reading about his candy habit forced me to confront my own sugar consumption. Eventually, I decided to add my own version of the PB&J to my diet. After all, I figured that if it worked for a professional athlete, it could work for me.

DAY 17: Pumpkin Butter (the other kind)
Item: Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Butter
Cost: $2.29
Purchase Location: Trader Joe’s

“Our Pumpkin Butter is smooth and light with opulent flavor and mouth feel. In fact, it tastes much like pumpkin pie, though there are no eggs or cream in this spread, and thus no fat. Shocking, really, once you've tasted it.
How should you use Pumpkin Butter? The possibilities are limited only by your imagination…”

Because I'm allergic to peanuts and very fancy, I make my sandwiches with creamy almond butter and fig butter from Trader Joe’s. And if I’m feeling really bougie, I’ll put it on some potato bread to set it off.

When I saw that Trader Joe's was selling pumpkin butter, I realized that it was an opportunity to put a twist on one of my favorite sandwiches. Right off the bat, I liked the simple ingredient list: pumpkin, sugar, honey, lemon juice, and spices. It’s basic, but it ensures that pumpkin is the central flavor.

Opening the jar, the aroma of pumpkin and spices is pleasant and well-balanced. I also noticed that the butter is a lot thicker than other jams and jellies, but is in line with the fig butter.

Sampling the pumpkin butter on it’s own:
The pumpkin flavor is wonderful, strong, and supported by a nice spice blend. The sugar/honey makes it sweet, but only as a background flavor (not dominant).

On to the sandwich:
The pumpkin butter spread well on toast, and I made sure to put a moderate amount so it wouldn’t get drowned out by the almond butter.

I don't know about you, but I'm very much Team Diagonal Cut when it comes to sandwiches. I know that a lot of people have strong and varying opinions about this subject, but I just like the shape! (Honestly, right down the middle is also perfectly fine as long as you’re okay with being wrong. Got ‘em!)

At first bite, this combination is a hit. The pumpkin butter does not lose anything, and its flavor blends with the almond butter perfectly.

One of the risks that comes with peanut butter and jelly sandwiches is the jelly portion being too sweet. Although the PB isn’t overly sweet to begin with, the almond butter mellows it down while leaving the spices to pop.

Overall, I really like this product. Out of all the ones that I've had so far, it features the most pumpkin by weight. The taste is fantastic, the sweetness is subtle, and the spices make the flavor profile complete.

Almost immediately after finishing my sandwich, my wheels started turning and I began to brainstorm how else I could use pumpkin butter. I’m thinking it would be nice to combine with a baked good, over ice cream, or even as a filling to homemade donuts.

In any case, go eat a PB&AB. You’re welcome.

Final Rating 5 /5 pumpkins.


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