Pumpkin-flavored foods are all around this time of year. Pumpkin spice latte, pumpkin muffins, and pumpkin bread are just a few of the mouth-watering choices at popular cafes, but they have the calories and sugar you might expect given their decadent tastes.
With a few swaps, you can make these treats healthier or get the same flavors in a similar, but healthier, form. That way, you can enjoy your pumpkin-flavored fall treats while sticking to your healthy intentions!
Pumpkin Spice Latte
Some people wait year-round for pumpkin-flavored lattes to make their annual debut in early autumn, but is each one really worth 400 calories and 50 grams of sugar? You can cut calories and sugar by ordering the smallest size with unsweetened almond milk instead of whole milk, skipping the whipped cream, and asking for only one pump of syrup. Or, you can make your own with regular or decaf coffee, canned pumpkin, unsweetened almond milk, pumpkin pie spice, and natural low-calorie sweetener such as stevia or monk fruit.
Pumpkin bread is a lot less healthy than it sounds when you consider that it has more sugar, flour, and fat than pumpkin. Make a few swaps, though, and you can change it into a high-fiber, low-guilt treat. Just swap half the white flour for whole-wheat, use yogurt instead of oil, and swap the sugar for a low-calorie alternative. Or, cut the sugar in half and use honey instead, while adding walnuts or pecans.
Muffins are among the sneakiest high-calorie breakfast foods around because they often seem healthy, with words such as “blueberry” and “bran” in the name. Pumpkin muffins fit the trend, as a single one can have over 500 calories, 70 grams of carbohydrates, and 35 grams of sugar.
Healthier pumpkin bread, as described above, is one option, and you can make it in muffin cups if you prefer. Another way to get your freshly prepared pumpkin fix for breakfast is to make pumpkin pie oatmeal. Just make regular or steel-cut oatmeal your favorite way, such as with water, milk, or almond milk. Then add pumpkin and cinnamon, and top with walnuts or pecans. Your breakfast is packed with healthy fats, fiber, and antioxidants!