What's That Ingredient? Pumpkin Power in Phoenix and Scottsdale

From food and drinks to spa treatments, pumpkin plays a big role.

As Halloween approaches, pumpkins become the go-to decoration. Carved, painted or left unadorned, they fill doorways and windows and have, for all intents and purposes, become a symbol of fall itself. But beyond just décor, pumpkin brings so much to the season. It is used for its flavor and nutrition in foods and drinks, and as a powerful ingredient in spa treatments.

Here are some of our favorite picks and where to find them.

Pumpkin Soup at St. Francis

Food: Eats to Savor

As the temperature outside cools, fall soups debut on menus throughout the Valley. The sweet and creamy Pumpkin Soup at St. Francis is a yearly favorite. A light kick of bitterness from the pumpkin is balanced by the garnish of the crème fraiche, pomegranate seeds and crouton. For a lighter indulgence, the seasonal salad at MAD Greens in Hilton Village includes baby greens, pumpkin seeds, elote, Cotija cheese and grilled sweet onions. Or, top off a meal at the romantic and iconic Coup des Tartes with the appropriately named Fall Crème Brûlée, a rich and creamy twist on a classic pumpkin pie, made with pumpkin and pumpkin spices. Are you a cupcake fanatic? Stop by Sprinkles for a pumpkin cupcake.

Pumpkin Patch drink at Gertrude's

Drinks: Toast to the Season

Fall means you can order up sips such as the Pumpkin Patch at Gertrude's. While kids love nature's version of the pumpkin patch, adults prefer the 21-and-over drink by the same name. The concoction includes basil, Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum, Four Peaks Pumpkin Porter and an orange slice. Enjoy it while sitting on the restaurant’s patio, which is nestled at the entrance of the Desert Botanical Garden. Those looking to fuel their health—and quench their thirst—can try the Pumpkin Pie Smoothie at Nekter Juice Bar. The drink sports pumpkin purée, nut milk, dates, cinnamon, agave nekter and ice.

And ahh, the Pumpkin Porter. Beer lovers always look forward to this seasonal favorite from the award-winning Four Peaks Brewing Company, a brewery also known for its Kilt Lifter, Oatmeal Stout and Hop Knot. Find it at one of four Valley Four Peaks locations, as well as a variety of retailers and restaurants. Those more in the mood for a margarita turn to the Pumpkin Spice Margarita. Settle in amongst the dark woods, trendy décor and welcoming fireplace at The Bees Knees at The Camby and sip on this drink, a mix of Forteleza Reposado Tequila, lemon juice, pumpkin purée and organic Vermont maple syrup.

Rejuvena Health & Aesthetics

To Heal: Simply Spa-valous

At Rejuvena Health & Aesthetics, quench your need for repairing summer’s sun damage with this month’s Pumpkin Latte Facial, which includes an enzyme made with pumpkin, vanilla bean, calendula, black seed oil and other individualized ingredients, and a microdermabrasion treatment. 

Beauty By Alicia features the Pumpkin Peel, a facial with antioxidants and enzymes that act as alpha-hydroxy acid, while the Pumpkin Enzyme Facial at Revive Spa at JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort & Spa will help improve skin’s tone and texture. At Skinapeel Beauty, find the Pumpkin Peptide Polish, a Rhonda Allison facial that leaves skin feeling smooth and bright, while at Agave, The Arizona Spa at The Westin Kierland Resort, indulge with the Essence of Autumn Facial, where the fruit enzymes and alpha hydroxyl acids found in pumpkin can help increase cell turnover to help brighten and smooth your complexion and the Vitamin A and Vitamin C help to soften skin and boost collagen production. 

Faces also get fall-ready at The Spa at the Village Health Clubs, where guests choose dermaplane or microdermabrasion with a PCA Pumpkin Retexturing Treatment, which combines exfoliating pumpkin enzymes, salicylic acid and a host of antioxidants to treat pigment damage on rough or dry skin to leave a soft, glowing retextured surface. At Salon Surreal, the Pumpkin Facial is packed with essential ingredients, including lactic acid, pumpkin wine, pumpkin fruit enzymes and salicylic acid. Then, let your feet get into the season’s spirit at VH Spa at Hotel Valley Ho with its Spiced Pumpkin Pedicure, with uses pumpkin and spices for increased circulation.

Michelle Glicksman
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