What Spices Are in Pumpkin Spice?

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Add your own pumpkin pie spice mix to liven up canned pumpkin.
Add your own pumpkin pie spice mix to liven up canned pumpkin. (Image: ITStock Free/Polka Dot/Getty Images)

Pumpkin pie is synonymous with Thanksgiving, but this decadent dessert can be enjoyed all year long. Pumpkin has many health benefits and pumpkin pie is one of the easiest pies to make. Use store-bought pie dough, canned pumpkin, sugar, eggs and your own spice blend to make a delicious pumpkin pie in minutes. Pumpkin spice blend includes popular spices that are probably already in your pantry, including cinnamon, ginger, cloves and nutmeg.

Cinnamon

Cinnamon is the most predominant spice in a pumpkin spice blend. Cinnamon can either be bought in sticks or a fine powder. For the purpose of making a spice blend, the powdered version works best. If you have some leftover after making your pumpkin spice, sprinkle it on coffee or add to chocolate desserts to intensify the chocolate flavor.

Ginger

Ginger is sold in a variety of forms: whole root, pickled, candied and a dried powder. To make a pumpkin spice blend, only powdered ginger will do. Whole root and pickled are inappropriately flavored for this purpose, but you can use candied ginger as a fun garnish on your pumpkin pie.

Cloves

Cloves are best bought whole and ground. Use a coffee grinder for this purpose to get them ground into a fine powder. If you must buy them already ground, buy in small quantities because the flavor dissipates quickly.

Nutmeg

Nutmeg is sold whole or ground. Again, whole is best for this purpose. Ground nutmeg loses its flavor quickly while whole nutmeg can keep indefinitely. You will need a micro-plane grater to grate the nutmeg. If you do not have one, buy ground nutmeg. Use it up in chai tea, white sauces or any dish using dark, leafy greens.

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