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It’s Pumpkin Spice Season! How Fall Favorites CAN Fit into Your Diet

As we move into the Fall season, we are often drawn to familiar, seasonal flavors (pumpkin spice, anyone?!) and comforting, warming meals. The traditional treats of autumn are tempting, but often loaded with sugar and calories. With a few simple swaps, you can savor and sip healthier this season.

Here are some healthy swaps that you can try on your favorite Fall treats: 

Swap your pumpkin spice latte for a healthier pumpkin latte

According to the Starbucks website, one grande pumpkin spice latte contains 390 calories, 14 grams of fat (9 of which are saturated) and 14 grams of protein. The good news is that there are things you can do to make your PSL healthier. Ask your barista for only one pump of the pumpkin spice sauce, you’ll still get that beloved seasonal flavor with much less sugar. You can also opt to top your PSL with milk foam instead of whipped cream to cut back on calories or just ask for it without whipped cream altogether. You can also get crafty and make your own pumpkin spice latte at home! Here’s the recipe. 

Swap apple cider donuts for apple cider energy balls 

Though they’re often found at the farmers’ market, apple cider donuts don’t deserve the health halo of typical farmers’ market foods. They contain approximately 20 grams, or about 5 teaspoons, of added sugar. Swap the donut for some apple cider energy balls and you’ll get similar flavors in a treat made with healthful ingredients and just a teaspoon of added sugar. Get the recipe here!

Swap apple pie for cinnamon baked apples

Everything you love about apple pie – the gooey cinnamon filling, the warm apples, the buttery homemade pie crust – all baked inside an apple. These apple pie baked apples are a fun and festive dessert that everyone will love without all of the added sugar and calories. Here’s the recipe! 

Swap a slice of pumpkin bread for pumpkin overnight oats 

You can certainly make a healthier pumpkin loaf by swapping whole grain flour for white flour and cutting back on the sugar. But an easier way to get those flavors you crave in a morning meal or anytime snack is to make overnight oats by combining 1/2 cup each oats and unsweetened almond milk with 2 tablespoons pureed pumpkin, 1 teaspoon chia seeds, 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice, and 1 teaspoon maple syrup, mixing well and covering overnight. When you’re ready to eat the oats, enjoy them cool or warmed in the microwave. You can also top the oats with chopped walnuts or pecans! 

The bottom line

As you can see, making healthy swaps for your favorite fall treats can be simple and delicious. BUT, if you want the actual thing once in a while, that’s ok too. Remember: one salad won’t make you skinny just like one pumpkin spice latte won’t make you fat.


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