Winter is in the air! And you know what that means – it’s pumpkin spice time! Some time over the last ten years, pumpkin spice has become synonymous with the change of season . But as good as a piping hot pumpkin spice latte sounds on a cool winterl day, the crazy amount of calories and sugar leaves much to be desired.
If you, like the majority of the population, simply cannot resist the spicy sweet combo of pumpkin spice goodies, don’t fret! There are lots of healthy alternative recipes out there for you. Going homemade is the best way to cut fat and calories out of these sweet treats – read on to see remixed versions of your favorites that you can feel good about!
1. Pumpkin Spice Pie
Nothing says Thanksgiving quite like pumpkin pie. But a store bought or frozen pie like the ones from Marie Callender’s can yield up to 330 calories a serving with 14 grams of fat and 270 grams of sodium. Yikes! Why not go homemade to cut calories to 191?
- 1 whole wheat pie crust
- 1 can (15 ounce) pure pumpkin or 2 cups fresh
- ½ cup milk ( I used 1%)
- 4 beaten eggs
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons pumpkin spice or mix together nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves
- 1 teaspoon vanilla liquid stevia
- Prepare your crust from the recipe above.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Lay aluminum foil over the pie crust and add pie weights or raw dry beans, about 2 pounds.
- Spread beans over the bottom of the pie on foil.
- Place pie plate onto a baking sheet. Bake the crust for 10 minutes then remove the foil and beans and bake another 10 minutes.
- While the crust is baking prepare your filling. Mix all ingredients together in a bowl.
- Pour filling mixture into the crust.
- Bake for 45 minutes -1 hour or until center is set.
- Cool to room temperature on wire rack.
- Refrigerate until ready to serve.
2. Pumpkin Spice Cake
If cake’s more your thing, then you probably go for something like Paula Deen’s Pumpkin Gooey Butter Cakes. Alas, Paula Deen isn’t exactly known for her healthy recipes and a dish called “butter cake” just screams disaster for your diet. Rather than having a big ol’ slice of pumpkin goodness, why not opt for a healthy pumpkin spice cupcake instead? This way you can have your cake and eat it too! (P.S. if you skip the frosting, you can cut 37 calories per serving!)
- 18.25 oz Betty Crocker Golden Vanilla Super Moist Cake Mix*
- 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
- 1 cup canned 100% pure pumpkin
- 1 cup water
- 8 oz Philadelphia 1/3 fat cream cheese (do not use fat free)
- 1/2 cup pureed pumpkin (canned is fine)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
- 5 tbsp packed brown sugar
- Preheat oven to 350°. Line a cupcake tin with cupcake wrappers.
- Combine cake mix and pumpkin spice in a large bowl. Add pumpkin puree and water, mix about 2 minutes.
- Fill cupcake liners 2/3 full and bake about 20 – 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
- For the frosting, combine the cream cheese, pumpkin, vanilla, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice and brown sugar until smooth. You can use a spatula to ice the cupcakes or pipe them which may require making more frosting.
3. Pumpkin Spice Bread
Starbuck’s pumpkin spice bread may seem like the perfect on-the-go breakfast, but unless you’re looking to add 410 calories next to your morning coffee, you might want to slow down. At less than half the calories, this spicy pumpkin bread is a better alternative for your health. Make a big batch and freeze for longer shelf life – voila! a grab-and-go breakfast ready to help you take on the day.
- 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 1/3 cups packed brown sugar
- 3/4 cup fat-free milk
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil (or substitute with apple sauce)
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs
- 1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin
- Cooking spray
- 1/3 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350°.
- Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour and the next 7 ingredients (flour through cloves) in a large bowl; make a well in center of mixture. Combine sugar and the next 5 ingredients (sugar through pumpkin) in a bowl, and stir well with a whisk until smooth. Add to flour mixture, stirring just until moist.
- Spoon batter into 2 (8 x 4-inch) loaf pans coated with cooking spray, and sprinkle with walnuts. Bake at 350° for 1 hour or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool loaves in pans 10 minutes on a wire rack; remove from pans. Cool loaves completely; cut each loaf into 12 slices.
4. Pumpkin Yogurt
There’s no way frozen yogurt can be bad, right? I mean, it’s chock full of bacteria and live cultures and it’s healthier than ice cream! Right? Unfortunately, even fro-yo has its downfalls. A typical cup of pumpkin pie fro-yo is about 300 calories (and that’s not including all the toppings you won’t be able resist). Instead of a frozen treat, opt for a regular pumpkin yogurt parfait. This easy recipe is packed with 16.2 grams of protein and 5.3 grams of fiber – and is just as delicious!
- 3/4 cup canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)
- 1 tsp agave nectar
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
- 3/4 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
- 1 cup granola (your favorite kind)
- Additional agave nectar, if desired
- In a medium-sized bowl, mix together the pumpkin, agave nectar, ground ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg until combined.
- In two small glasses or bowls, scoop some of the pumpkin mixture into the bottom.
- Layer with the Greek yogurt, granola, agave nectar, and more of the pumpkin mixture.
- Serve. Sweeten with additional agave nectar, if you wish.
5. Pumpkin Spice Cookies
If you haven’t heard already, Oreo has a officially jumped on the pumpkin spice wagon train with their new pumpkin spice flavored Oreos. Yes, it’s a real thing and our waistlines are going to be paying for it. But before these babies hit the stores and we start drowning ourselves in artificial pumpkin spice creme (that’s the best part, didn’t you know?), we need to jump on another pumpkin spice cookie bandwagon. Sure this one doesn’t have a creamy filling (but it does have chocolate chips) but it is vegan! Vegan friends rejoice!
- 1 1/2 cups Gold Medal whole wheat flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted and cooled
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
- 3/4 cup vegan chocolate chips (can use regular chocolate chips)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with a Silpat baking mat or parchment paper and set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together whole wheat flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, and spices. Set aside.
- Using a mixer, combine the coconut oil and sugars together. Add vanilla extract and pumpkin and mix until combined, about 3 minutes. Slowly add in the dry ingredients. Mix until just combined. Stir in the chocolate chips.
- Drop by large, rounded tablespoons onto prepared baking sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until cookies are just beginning to brown around the edges. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for two minutes. Transfer to a wire cooling rack and cool completely.
- Note-to make the cookies gluten-free use your favorite gluten-free flour instead of the whole wheat flour.
6. Pumpkin Spice Lattes
Of course we didn’t forget the pumpkin spice concoction that started it all – that’s right, the pumpkin spice latte! Every year since 2003, Starbucks addicts have patiently waited for the coffee gods to bless them with the first sign of fall. Now if only these drinks were as healthy as they are tasty. A Grande size pumpkin spice latte a la Starbucks sits at 380 calories (120 of those from fat) and 49 grams of sugar. But they’re soooo good right? Well, you can beat the calories with your own freshly brewed pumpkin spice latte using this recipe.
- 1 cup almond milk
- 1 cup hot brewed coffee
- 2 tablespoons pumpkin puree
- 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup, or stevia to taste
- ½ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- Combine all of the ingredients in a high-speed blender, and blend until smooth and creamy.
- Adjust flavor to taste, and serve warm! A high-speed blender should keep the contents hot enough to serve immediately, but if you’re using a traditional blender, you may want to transfer the contents to a saucepan and warm over the stove top before serving.