It's time for a revival of genuine fall spices.

By Real Simple
Updated October 13, 2015
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Pumpkin spice blends have taken over fall—from lattes and ice cream to pumpkin-flavored Oreos. But is it possible to broaden our fall baking perspective and try alternative spices and flavors?

On this week’s episode of “Thing’s Cooks Know,” Sam Seneviratne, author of the recently released cookbook The New Sugar and Spice, joins Sarah Collins and Sarah Karnasiewicz to discuss her favorite recipes in which warm autumn spices shine. Inspired by her Sri Lankan heritage, Sam explains how gathering spices from nutmeg trees and cardamom pods in her grandparents' yard gave her an entirely new perspective on how to use spices in the kitchen.

Sam talks about how bakers can use certain spices, nuts, honey, and dates as ways to introduce sweetness into baked goods without adding more sugar. She explains what spices every baker should keep in their kitchen, when it’s to use vanilla beans instead of extract, how to bake with savory spices (like bay leaves), and why pears deserve more attention.

For more tips from Sam, listen to the full episode below—and don’t forget to subscribe and review on iTunes.