I am so excited because we have a new Trader Joe’s open just a few miles from my house. That means we now have the best shopping in San Antonio all at one intersection and close to me- yay! I do most of my shopping at HEB Plus, but we also have an HEB Market, Whole Foods and Super Target that I shop at for certain items. I have been to the other Trader Joe’s across town a couple of times and was impressed, but it wasn’t worth the drive for me. This one is on my way home from just about everywhere I go, so I had to stop in the day after they opened to see what they had.
I was telling a friend about going and she told me I HAD to try their pumpkin cream cheese. I love cream cheese and was pretty much salivating for the rest of the day, but I wasn’t able to make it to Trader Joe’s to get it. I looked in my refrigerator and saw that I had some cream cheese and then looked for a recipe online.
All of the recipes I could find called for refined sugar, anywhere from 1/4 cup of sugar to 2 cups of powdered sugar! I avoid using refined sugar except for special occasions so I set out to make a healthier version that would be delicious, but not give my three year old a sugar high and subsequent crash. We served this with our favorite whole grain crackers and apple slices and it got a two thumbs up from Gabriella and several of her playmates.
Pumpkin Cream Cheese Recipe
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup pureed pumpkin
1. Add cream cheese, maple syrup, pumpkin pie spice and vanilla to a mixing bowl and beat with an electric mixer until smooth.
2. Fold in pureed pumpkin and beat for one additional minute or until thoroughly mixed. Serve with whole grain crackers or sliced apples.
- Use organic ingredients when possible.
- If you use canned pumpkin, be sure to look for a BPA-free can. I used Farmer’s Market brand organic pumpkin puree, which can be found at Whole Foods or Costco.
- Mix up a batch of homemade pumpkin pie spice ahead of time to keep on hand for all of your fall favorites.