Pumpkin Spice: Splurge, Then Substitute

By: Mary Pat Baldauf

Ahhh, how I love Pumpkin Spice Lattes! Although it came out extra early this year – August 14th, to be exact – it signals the start of Autumn for me. I treat myself to one Pumpkin Spice Latte during the season, and I’m waiting until it’s cool this year, maybe early October. Why just one, you ask? Because that yummy Pumpkin Spice Latte isn’t just packed with flavor. It also has:

  • 380 calories, as many as seven Chips Ahoy! cookies
  • Eight grams of saturated fat
  • 49 grams of sugar, nearly double the amount found in 16 ounces of cola
  • 51 grams of carbohydrate, almost as much as four slices of white bread

No one buys a Pumpkin Spice Latte thinking it’s a healthy drink, but YIKES! More than one of those could derail even the healthiest eater!

Pumpkin Bites

This year, I’m getting my favorite seasonal spice via a couple of healthier, but equally delicious treats:

Pumpkin No-Bake Energy Bites: I first tried these over Labor Day weekend, and they’re wonderful! They’re a great on-the-run snack and/or pre/post-workout treat.

Pumpkin Spice Smoothies: Compared to the same size Pumpkin Spice Latte, it has half the calories and sugar, a third less carbohydrates and even a nice amount of fiber! And it’s cold and extra refreshing during those still-warm September days.

What’s your favorite fall food? Do you have a healthier version or do you just splurge during the season?

It’s Pumpkin Spice Season!

By: Mary Pat Baldauf

Ahhh, how I love Starbucks’ Pumpkin Spice Latte! Although it comes out in early September, when it’s still plenty warm – hot, even – its arrival signals the start of Autumn for me. With my transition to healthier eating, I’ve mostly switched to Pumpkin Spice K-Cups, but every now and then, I still treat myself to a Pumpkin Spice Latte.

That being said, I was shocked to see in the October issue of Prevention that a 16 ounce serving of Pumpkin Spice Latte has:

  • 380 calories, as many as seven Chips Ahoy! cookies
  • Eight grams of saturated fat, 40% of your dietary reference intake
  • 49 grams of sugar, nearly double the amount found in 16 ounces of cola
  • 51 grams of carbohydrate, almost as much as four slices of white bread

As Sister just so wisely said, “That’s why you can’t get them all year long.” Touche!

I recently stumbled upon a fabulous Pumpkin Spice Smoothie recipe on an equally fabulous website, Healthful Pursuit. Compared to the same size Pumpkin Spice Latte, it has half the calories and sugar, a third less carbohydrate and even a nice amount of fiber! Given that, I think you could add a little whip with no guilt!

Another treat I’ve tried and loved: Crock Pot Pumpkin Spice Steel Cut Oats. Hearty, easy and delicious!

What is YOUR favorite fall food? Have you found any healthy alternatives? Please share them!