The Best Recipes for the Anti-pumpkin People in Your Life

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Pumpkin is back and it’s everywhere. Like an inescapable fog that looms over every coffee shop menu, bagel deli and TikTok feed from August to November. VALLEY is coming to the rescue for those who don’t really care for the glorified squash. Sorry.

Fall Harvest Salad
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What you’ll need

For the salad:

  • Mixed greens or kale (whichever you prefer)
  • 1 apple
  • 1 pear
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/3 cup feta cheese (add more if your heart desires!)

For the dressing:

  • 1 cup apple cider
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tbsp minced shallots
  • 1 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
What you’ll do

For the salad:

  • Thinly slice the apple and pear
  • Combine all salad ingredients
  • * If you choose to use kale, massage it with olive oil until its soft. Kale just needs a little TLC.

For the dressing:

  • Add apple cider, apple cider vinegar and shallots to a small pan over high heat
  • Bring the liquids to a boil for about 7 minutes or until it has reduced to about 1/2 cup then remove from heat
  • Allow the liquids to cool then add to a bowl
  • Whisk in remaining ingredients until there are no clumps
  • Pour over salad, toss it up and serve
Cinnamon Apples
Photo from
What you’ll need:
  • 3 apples (sliced or chopped)
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 tablespoon salted butter (or substitute with coconut oil)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon fine salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
What you’ll do:
  • Put the apples in a pan with water
  • Cook over medium heat and heat for 5 minutes, stir occasionally until the apples are soft and the water is absorbed
  • Add butter to the skillet. Stir apples and oil together until all the apples are coated. Cook for 5 minutes. Cover the skillet for the last 2 minutes
  • Add Maple syrup, cinnamon, salt and vanilla
  • Continue stirring and cooking until the apples reach the desired softness
  • Remove from heat and serve
Sweet Autumn Turkey sandwich
Photo from
What you’ll need:
  • 4 slides of whole grain bread or ciabatta rolls
  • 6-8 ounces fresh deli turkey (VALLEY recommends black pepper or honey maple, though anything works!)
  • 1/4 cup red onion
  • 1/2 avocado (sliced or mashed)
  • 2 tablespoon pesto
  • a couple apple slices (measure with your heart)
  • small handful of baby spinach
  • sharp cheddar cheese (cheese is always supposed to be measured with your heart)
What you’ll do:
  • Lay all four slices of bread out, set two aside as they will be the toppers
  • Spread one tablespoon of pesto per slice of bread
  • Spread avocado on each slice
  • Add apples, onion, cheese, turkey, and baby spinach
  • Top the sandwiches and slice in half
Frozen jam bites
Photo from @Chloeewheaties on TikTok
What you’ll need:
  • 1 bar semi sweet chocolate
  • 2 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 2 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 3 tablespoon water
  • Cherries (or substitute with berry of choice)
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup
What you’ll do:
  • Use a fork to mash up the frozen berries.
  • Combine water, cherries, maple syrup and chia seeds in a bowl. Mix until the ingredients form a mushy/jam like consistency
  • Line a baking sheet or plate with parchment paper, scoop the “jam” on to the sheet in several different “balls.” The “jam” might be liquidy and run a little bit — this is okay!
  • Place baking sheet into freezer and wait until the jam is frozen
  • Combine coconut oil with chocolate in a bowl. Place in the microwave to allow to melt (should be 30-45 seconds).
  • Once the jam bites are frozen, coat them in the melted chocolate. The coconut oil and chocolate will harden almost immediately.
  • Put the bites back in the freezer for 10-15 minutes to solidify the chocolate coating.
  • Once solid, take them out and serve!

Or, if you don’t feel like cooking here are some fantastic Trader Joes fall products that have nothing to do with pumpkin!

Cinnamon bun spread: great on toast or by the spoonful!

Cinnamon Bun Spread

Salted Maple Ice Cream: maple is singlehandedly the most underrated autumnal flavor.

Trader Joe's Salted Maple Ice Cream

Have you tried any of these recipes? Tweet us your fall-inspired snacks and recipes at @VALLEYmag!


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