Lighter Ways to Enjoy Pumpkin Spice Season

Back in 2003, Starbucks debuted its Pumpkin Spice Latte, with great success.  Other food  and beverage companies noticed and followed suit. Now,  fall means the Great Pumpkin Spicing of Everything.

Many of the pumpkin-spiced flavored foods and drinks are heavy on refined carbs (pumpkin spice Twinkies, anyone?) And that cozy, luscious Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Grande (16 oz.) latte contains 390 calories, 50 grams sugar and 14 grams fat.😳

I wanted a few pumpkin spice treats that are reasonably healthy. At my grocery, I scored some fun pumpkin spiced foods that are not over the top in carbs, sugar or saturated fat.  Prices are included, but they can very depending on store and promotions.

Pepperidge Farm Pumpkin Swirl Bread/ Philadelphia Pumpkin Spice Cream Cheese.

If you feel deprived passing up pumpkin bread, definitely try this flavor combo – it is wonderful.

The pumpkin swirl bread, one of Pepperidge Farm’s limited edition flavors, is soft and lightly spiced, with a texture similar to a sweet roll.  A bag of 12 thick slices runs about $4.69.

To “ice” my slice of pumpkin swirl toast, I spread it with Philadelphia Pumpkin Spice Cream Cheese. The pumpkin spice cream cheese, also a seasonal product, has a soft consistency and spreads easily. One tablespoon, which is plenty, is 40 calories, 1.5 grams saturated fat and three carbs. Philadelphia Pumpkin Spice Cream Cheese retails for about $4.59.

A piece of  pumpkin swirl bread has 110 calories, 22 carbs and no saturated fat. Topped with pumpkin cream cheese, it’s a rich tasting treat for 150 calories, 25 carbs and less than two grams of saturated fat.

Pumpkin swirl bread with pumpkin cream cheese is a good stand-in for a pumpkin sweet roll or muffin. I’m going to serve it with scrambled eggs and turkey bacon for a fall breakfast-for-dinner. The pumpkin swirl bread also should make good French toast; be sure to use day-old bread to prevent sogginess.

Goldfish Dunkin’ Pumpkin Spice Grahams

I will pass on regular Goldfish but I am crazy about the new, seasonal pumpkin spice version. The goldfish are actually tiny, very crispy graham cracker cookies, spiced with just the right amount of cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg. A generous one ounce serving is 140 calories, one gram of saturated fat and 21 carbs. I paid $3.39 for a 6.6 oz bag.

A couple of ideas: Mix the pumpkin spice goldfish with some toasted nuts for a fall trail mix. For fall entertaining, create a deluxe trail mix by adding a sprinkle of mini chocolate chips or a few reduced sugar Craisins along with the toasted nuts.

Chobani Pumpkin Spice Yogurt (regular or Zero Sugar.)

I didn’t care for the Chobani Zero Sugar Pumpkin Spice Greek yogurt but the nutritional breakdown was great – 60 calories, zero sugar and 5 grams of carbohydrates. I would call the taste “Spicy-Artificial and Diet-ish.”

On the other hand, Chobani’s regular Pumpkin Spice Greek Yogurt ($1.50) is very appealing (no surprise because it contains sugar.) Sweetened yogurt isn’t the healthiest snack but it works well as a sub for a regular dessert.  The yogurt contains 130 calories, 14 carbs and 11 grams of protein.

I currently have a Chobani pumpkin spice yogurt in the freezer – I think of it as pumpkin frozen yogurt. To make the dessert, freeze the yogurt until solid then remove from the freezer about 10 minutes before digging in.

Do you have a favorite pumpkin spice flavored food that is reasonable in calories, carbs and fat? Please share!









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