Want to make your own pumpkin spice blend?
Pumpkin spice is the perfect, warming spice blend that adds an instant sense of “cozy” to any recipe you add it to. Here’s how to make it zero waste and from home!
Living in Tunisia, we have beautiful whole spice shops available. Barrels and glass jars filled with fresh and whole spices. It is the perfect place to try zero waste shopping, so come prepared with your own bags, as the spices are not prepackaged and are not sold in single-use plastic.
Come September first, the recipes call for spice!
As an American woman, I stereotypically enjoy my “pumpkin spice” blend as soon as September rolls around. Here in Tunisia, pumpkin is not consumed in baked goods the way that they are back home in the US. You can not find cans of pumpkin puree, though whole pumpkins are available year-round, and from what I can tell – it is added to dishes like any squash and sometimes added to couscous dishes.
I enjoy the whole pumpkin for soups, and I also puree it for my sweet pumpkin treats. You bet that a homemade zero waste pumpkin pie recipe will be on the way next month. My favorite ways to use pumpkin spice are: in my oat milk latte, on pancakes, bakery-style muffins, fresh-popped popcorn (you can also find popcorn kernels in the market, another zero waste snack I have coming for you!), and so so much more.
The last few years I have ordered pumpkin spice from US amazon because I knew I would need it for recipes. This year, I realized it was crazy. Low waste living is not something that happens immediately. Usually, over the course of several years – you start to see where consuming habits can be shifted. We have been limiting our amazon purchases and orders, and importantly … we have abundant spice shops and wanted to try to make our own. Making our own pumpkin spice was so simple that I never plan to buy it again. One of the best parts of this lifestyle is that you can create a list of “things you never have to buy again”. In the long haul, you save a lot of money, and becoming aware of how much waste we can reduce overtime by purchasing whole spices in bulk is a beautiful way to enjoy our favorite blends. Plus, we get to be creative and experiment.
All you need is a few readily available spices. I found everything I needed at carrefour. The people who assisted me at the counter were happy to use the reusable bags I provided.
We also have a spice grinder we picked up from the local grocery store in our neighborhood. It was affordable and works great. We really enjoy grinding our own spices now. We started with a manual one that you twist to grind your spices, but it quickly broke while grinding cinnamon sticks. I definitely recommend an electric spice grinder.
The french words for the spices needed are:
cinnamon – cannelle
nutmeg – muscade
clove – clou de girofle
ginger – gingembre
I was able to find all of the spices whole except for dried ginger. That was pre-ground. I simply added the pre-ground spice to my other blended spices.
- 4 whole cinnamon sticks
- 1 whole nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon whole cloves
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- Individually place your spices in your spice grinder, and grind until they are finely ground.
- Use a sieve to transfer the ground spices into your jar of choice.
- Grind any larger pieces again, and then transfer into your jar.
- Store in an airtight container.
Use a recycled jar to gift some freshly ground, homemade pumpkin spice to your friends. Nothing is more thoughtful or loving than a homemade zero waste gift.