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5 Healthy-ish Ways to Get Your Pumpkin Spice Fix

You can enjoy pumpkin spice treats without derailing your healthy eating plan. Here's how.

Fall is right around the corner and it brings something glorious, highly-anticipated, frenzy-inducing, and—well—downright magical. A real sight to behold. No, I am not talking about beautifully-colored falling leaves or the soothing noise of laughter and crackling campfire wood as you roast marshmallows for S’Mores. I’m talking about pumpkin spice everything!

People go into a craze over pumpkin-spice treats, but what isn’t all that exciting is what those fall-favorite pumpkin foods can do to your waistline. Most pumpkin spice items that start to make their way onto grocery store shelves and menus everywhere are loaded with excess fat and insanely high amounts of sugar. Never fear, your creative, resourceful dietitian is here to reveal some healthier pumpkin spice treats for your guilt-free enjoyment.

Slender Pumpkin Spice Latte

Your typical pumpkin spice latte is going to rack up several hundred calories and is loaded with copious amounts of fat and sugar. However, you can make your own healthier version of this at home to save calories and money! In a small pot over medium-low heat, whisk together 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk or cashew milk, 2 tablespoons pumpkin purée, 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, a pinch each nutmeg and ginger, and 3 packets of stevia. Whisk the mixture until it becomes frothy, and add it to 3/4 cup of black coffee. Stir gently to combine and enjoy!

Pumpkin-Spiced Oatmeal

We all know that oats are super healthy, but plain oatmeal can be sort of meh. Spice up your morning routine and your oatmeal by preparing it with unsweetened vanilla almond or cashew milk (instead of water), 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract, and 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice. For an even more nutrient-packed oatmeal, stir in toasted pumpkin seeds.

Fluffy Pumpkin Spice Dip

This scrumptious dip pairs really well with slices of apples, pears, or jicama, and it is incredibly easy to prepare. In a large bowl, stir together the following ingredients: 1 cup pumpkin purée, 1/2 cup fat-free Reddi Wip, 1/2 cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice, and 2 packets stevia. Next, devour!

Pumpkin ‘N Oats Pancakes

Many restaurants that feature breakfast will be breaking out their calorie-catastrophe versions of pumpkin pancakes soon. To get an early start on your pumpkin spice fix without sabotaging your diet first thing in the morning, try these delicious, healthy pumpkin pancakes instead. In a medium bowl, whisk together 2 egg whites, 1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk or cashew milk, 1 1/2 teaspoons canola oil, and 1/4 cup pure pumpkin purée. In a separate bowl, blend together 1/2 cup whole-wheat flour, 1/2 cup oats, 1 teaspoon baking soda, 1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice, 1/8 teaspoon salt, and 2 packets of stevia. Combine wet and dry ingredients and measure 1/4 cup batter into in a skillet on medium-high heat sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Repeat until all batter is used. Cook until lightly browned on both sides. These are even yummy served cold the next day.

Pumpkin Spice Squares

This healthy recipe tastes just like regular pumpkin pie but without the crust—or the extra calories! Plus, it is very easy to make. Quick note: Make sure you store any leftovers in your refrigerator. In a large bowl, mix together until smooth 1 can pumpkin purée, 1 can (12 ounces) evaporated fat-free milk, 4 large egg whites (or 1/2 cup liquid egg substitute), 3/4 granulated Splenda, 1 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice, and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon. Spread into an 8-inch x 8-inch pan (sprayed with nonstick cooking spray) and bake at 350 degrees F for 45 minutes. Cut into nine evenly-sized pieces. You can enjoy this tasty treat—hot or cold—for a mere 65 calories!

[Image via Shutterstock]

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