Autumn spice blends complement fall foods like pumpkins and apples. Made of the warming spices, enjoy them in both sweet and savory dishes.
Let’s create the fall kitchen this October by focusing on building a spice cabinet full of these aromatic flavors. Then, we’ll combine those flavors into spice blends, tea blends, and oh so much more!
This post is loaded with spice blend recipes. Scroll to get recipe cards for apple spice blend and pumpkin spice blend.
Click the link below for my Autumn Flavored Simple Syrup Recipe!Jump to Recipe
Autumn Spice Blends are perfect for pumpkins, apples, and so much more!
Walk into a home infused with the smell of cinnamon, ginger, cloves, or any of the warming spices and you are likely to be struck by a strong sense of nostalgia and memory.
There is a psychology of smell. It reflects upon the relationship of the nose to the brain, the olfactory nerve to the limbic system (the primitive brain).
Simply stated, the nose and the olfactory nerve are in very close proximity to the limbic system, the reptilian brain. This is the most ancient part of the human brain associated with instinct, memory, and emotion.
Smells are strongly and deeply associated with memory and emotion due to this intimate relationship between the nose and brain.
I believe that’s why these autumn spice blends are so attractive, maybe even addictive. They capture the entire gestalt of the fall season…ruby-red leaves falling, grandma in her kitchen, reading and study on gray afternoons, cozy fires, and wool socks.
It’s a seasonal experience that is primal. Smelling and tasting these blends brings up sensations of home, comfort, and an earthy sweetness.
The warming spices that make up blends like Pumpkin Spice are also healing. They aid digestion, are antioxidants and are anti-inflammatory. We crave them because they heal us.
There is a phenomenon called the Pumpkin Spice Economy. It is a $350 million dollar industry that grows and expands every year. But, you don’t need to give your hard-earned cash away to satisfy this seasonal craving. Read on to learn how to make your own autumn spice blends, syrups, and teas. A few satisfying hours in the kitchen will bring you months of yummy delight, and your house will smell great, too!
Create these concoctions with friends and family, especially children, and you’ll create strong, scent-based memories for years to come.
The warming spices and fall flavors
Craft fall spice blends by combining the warming spices to create specific flavors that complement fall foods like pumpkins and apples. Let’s learn a bit more about them before crafting our signature fall flavors.
Thermogenesis refers to any process that produces heat. Thermo=heat, and genesis=create.
There is a category of foods referred to as the thermogenics and science has proven they help with weight control. Most, if not all, of the autumn spice blend ingredients, are in this category and create heat in the digestive system. These species warm us from the inside out, and this sensation feeds into the powerful sensory experience they offer.
Here’s a list of ingredients we use to create difference autumn spice blends, with some of their nutritional benefits.
Read any article on the culinary and medicinal uses of black pepper and you quickly learn it is called the king of spices. Black pepper is the fruit of the pepper vine called Piper nigrum. When the fruit is dried it is called a peppercorn.
Black pepper’s heat and spiciness aid digestion, clear congestion, and a powerful anti-oxidant. Black pepper is one of my favorite ingredients in spicey turmeric chai tea. Scroll down for the recipe.
To complement the king of spices, we now turn to cardamom, known as the queen of spices.
Cardamom is the seed pod of the cardamom plant which grows in tropical climates. It is harvested and dried in a single day to preserve its flavor and color. Cardamom is a member of the ginger family, Zingiberaceae.
Cardamom is used as food, medicine, and perfume. It is the primary ingredient in chai tea, and is rumored to be the fragrance Cleopatra used to welcome Marc Antony to steamy nights on her barge.
The plant is as beautiful as the spice’s fragrance.
In keeping with the trend in these spicey descriptions, cinnamon is used as a food, medicine, and perfume. It is a warming spice and aids with digestion.
Of all the thermogenic spices, cinnamon is among the hottest. So warm is this spice, in fact, that a drop of cinnamon oil on the skin will create a burning sensation.
Cinnamon is harvested from the inner bark of its tree and is native to Sri Lanka.
The health benefits come from its very high anti-oxidant score. It relieves inflammation and increases circulation. Dr. Axe explains the tremendous benefits of cinnamon in the video below.
Cloves are the aromatic flowers of a tree native to Indonesia, Syzygium aromaticum. Its primary flavoring component is eugenol, a compound associated with herbal dental care.
Cloves are potent and should be used sparingly in recipes as their flavor can overwhelm all other spices.
Cloves aid digestion, alleviate congestion, aids dental care, and alleviates inflammation.
Let’s learn more from Glen & Friends Cooking!
Cumin, the small dried fruit of a plant in the parsley family, Cuminum cyminum flavors boldly.
It is a Mediterranean spice high in essential oils. It can be used as a whole kernel or ground, and is potent – a little goes a long way. Cumin is a component in many popular spice blends including chili powder and curry blends.
Here’s how to make your own cumin seed powder. Wow! I can smell it through the video.
Ginger is the rhizome, underground stem, of the plant Zingiber officinale, a tropical herb. We’ve actually grown ginger here at Stony Ridge Farm, but it was not easy as the plant thrives in hot, hot temperatures.
Widely known for its ability to calm the tummy, use ginger as the perfect flavoring for everything from soda to cookies. Ginger-lemon is my favorite kombucha flavoring. So refreshing and so very healing!
Ginger is another one of those warming spices and good for aiding digestion. Its flavor is potent, but I enjoy using it with a heavy hand.
Let’s use ginger in everything all the time!
Turmeric is a close cousin to ginger and a super food. Its primary component is curcumin, a medicinal compound proven to fight cancer, combat Alsheimer’s disease, and alleviate inflammation.
We’re growing turmeric here at the farm this year. It’s been a fun project and I’ve been sharing the plants with friends and family.
Turmeric’s flavor profile is peppery. Be careful when using as it can deeply stain everything yellow.
Back to Dr. Axe for a comprehensive overview of cumin.
An autumn spice blend for apples
There’s a way to combine these spices to make a perfect complement to apples. Yes, you can buy this spice blend, but by handcrafting it you can ensure its freshness and customize it to your own flavor preferences.
Apple spice blend is cinnamon forward. The other spices round out this firey flavor to a more mellow flavor to complement whatever apple variety you choose to make pies, breads, or brown betties! Click here to download the recipe card.
An autumn spice blend for pumpkin
My pumpkin spice blend is also cinnamon forward, but the complementing flavors are strong and bold. When combined, however, they are naturally sweet and quite soothing.
Chai Spiced Tea, an autumn spice blend beverage
I make this recipe at least once a week beginning in September and straight through February. It is the perfect end to every day. Flavorful and tremendously healing.
Autumn Spice Blend Simple Syrup
Here’s an autumn spice treat for your sweet tooth!
I have pretty much eliminated sugar from my diet, but I love keeping this syrup around for a hint of sweet fall flavor in everything from coffee and tea, to ice cream toppings and flavoring for my plain yogurt.
You are going to love this.
Autumn Spice Simple Syrup
- Heavy Bottom Pot
- Measuring Spoons
- Mason Jar with Lid
- 3 2'' cinnamon sticks
- 1 whole nutmeg seed
- 2 inches fresh ginger, peeled
- 2 tbs whole cloves
- 3 whole cardamom pods
- 1 vanilla bean
- 2 whole star anise
- 4 whole black peppercorns
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 2 cups water
- Measure out your spices and combine everything but the ginger.
- Place the pot over a medium flame and warm the spice blend for about 1 minute until it becomes aromatic.
- Add water and ginger. (You can also add 1 tbs orange zest at this point if you like.)
- Bring to a light boil and add brown sugar. Stir to dissolve.
- Return to a rolling boil and then immediately turn flame down to low.
- Simmer for 20 minutes.
- Cool, then strain. Store syrup in your mason jar, in the refrigerator. It is good for at least 3 months.
- Use the syrup to flavor coffees and teas, as an ice cream topping, to flavor plain yogurt. You can also add a dash to squash soups, or coat grilled pumpkin with it. It is very versatile and addictive.
The October Kitchen
Come October, the seasonal kitchen is in its full fall glory! Baking, soup making, roasted squashes…these are the stuff of fall meals.
To help you keep seasonal this October in the kitchen, I’ve pulled together a few recommended references. Enjoy!
The October Garden
October is an enjoyable month to work in the garden. Clean up comes easy when temperatures are mild and the soil moist.
Planting flowering bulbs as well as garlic and shallots is very satisfying.
Here’s my guide to maintaining the fall garden. It’s fairly comprehensive!
And, if you are a little behind, here’s the September garden tasks listed and described in detail.
Autumn is a time of introspection. It’s a time of turning inward, contemplation, and letting go.
As without, so within.
In this post about the Fall Equinox, I list 5 wellness practices that are good for any day in October when you have time and solitude. I hope you find them useful and healing.
Creating a better world
Seasonal Living rests on four pillars: garden, kitchen, wellness, and activism.
Once our home and garden are up-to-snuff, and we’ve taken time for our wellness in body, mind, and spirit, it’s time to give back.
Giving back to the community is active. This action is authentic and deeply personal.
Perhaps your October activism will involve planting trees. It’s the perfect month to establish new trees around the garden.
Maybe you’ll host a potluck or a book club.
Whatever action moves through you this October, be sure it serves your soul as well as the wider world.
The Seasonal Living Community
If you want a loving community to be a part of your seasonal life, please do anyone (or ALL!) of the following:
- Sign up for the newsletter and get my herbal teas and tisanes recipe book for FREE! Tea is always a welcome addition to any time in the kitchen.
- Join our FREE Facebook group where we’re always talking gardens and kitchens.
- Follow me on Instagram and watch the seasons unfold on my 5-acre homestead in Harpers Ferry, WV.
The Kitchen Garden Planner and Journal
Organize your kitchen garden, season by season, month by month, and project by project with this handy Kitchen Garden Planner and Journal! It comes with lifetime access to printable worksheets and journal pages, and membership in the Stony Ridge Farm seasonal living community.
This planner comes with instructions on how to tackle the following tasks and use our worksheets to:
– Design your vegetable and flower gardens
– Track plant selections and how successful they are in your garden
– Document soil amendments and pest control strategies
– Garden budgeting, tracking projections and actual expenses
– Seasonal and monthly planner calendars
– Garden journal pages