We all know the travesty of the Pumpkin Spice Latte — a seasonal confection that might as well be a big bowl of ice cream for how much sugar is hiding inside those creamy sips. Every year, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and allspice come together in the kitchens of food companies across the country to create a behemoth of products boasting the competitive descriptor “Pumpkin Spice.”
But this fall, we’re making it a point to indulge in those fantastically flavored pumpkin products that don’t make us worry about how unhealthy they are.
Some pumpkin spice products are huge hits. Some are huge misses. And some, in our opinion, never should have happened at all. But the products on this list in particular are in our favor. They’re somehow good for you.
We know Starbucks made you think that wasn’t possible. But it is — since “Pumpkin Spice” is literally just a blend of four basic spices, you can really take any healthy food and make it pumpkin spice flavored. You could totally do this on your own (by, say, sprinkling some spice over your favorite yogurt or into a smoothie) or you could try one of these 15 healthy seasonal choices.
Popcorn is a super-healthy snack — and even though this seasonal variety is sugary and delicious, it’s still a healthier choice for a pumpkin spiced treat. Angie’s Boomchickapop has been on our lists before due to the company’s simple ingredients and positive, health-focused philosophy. Pumpkin Spice is just one of three seasonal flavors they’re releasing this fall — and we can’t wait to get our hands on all of them.
Puffins are one of the healthiest cereals around. They’re low in sugar (with only 5 grams per serving) and loaded with fiber, unlike so many other sugar-bombs lurking on the cereal aisle’s shelves. Puffins also happen to be delicious — especially when they’re flavored with sweet pumpkin spice. Swap out your Pumpkin Spice Cheerios for these to save yourself the added sugar, refined sugar, and artificial colors. Puffins have none of those.
Betty Lou’s is famous for their gluten-free fruit bars that, reportedly, taste like a slice of pie. Now, they’re blowing us all away with pumpkin spice snack balls. The main ingredient is cashews, and they’re infused with pea protein and dates for added boosts of nutrition.
We know gluten-free doesn’t always mean healthy, but we think this product deserves both titles.
We are imagining the coziest of fall evenings curled up with a steamy cup of pumpkin tea. Pumpkin spice lattes may have a smidge of caffeine to their name, but so does this tea — and it doesn’t have any of the sugar, fat, and added syrups that are hiding in your PSL. Add some milk and cinnamon sugar for an even tastier treat.
Every year, Chobani blows us away with their high-protein, pumpkin-flavored Greek yogurts. This year, they’re bringing them back — alongside a crunchy, sweet treat of a snack in their “Flip” collection. It’s a small yogurt cup paired with crunchy pumpkin spice toppings that makes a satisfying, protein packed snack on the go! These yogurts, however, will not be on the market until early September. We’re counting down the days until we can find them at our grocery stores.
FlapJacked is known for its mixes that make you, well, jacked. All of their pancake, waffle, and muffin mixes are loaded with protein so you can indulge in something sweet in the morning without experiencing a major crash in energy two hours later. Each of these easy-to-make muffins has an unbelievable 20 grams of protein. The whole muffin is 200 calories — the perfect size for a healthy snack.
They use gluten-free oats, too, so even those with celiac disease can enjoy!
We are so impressed because Health Warrior managed to make a sweet and delicious superfood-filled bar without using any added sugar. Their bars are sweetened with honey and use all natural, simple ingredients. Their cinnamon spice flavor is made primarily of pumpkin seeds, giving us the natural energy and healthy fats we want from our snacks.
Flax seeds are high in fiber and omega-3s, just like their cohort pumpkin seeds. Luckily, these bars have both — and they’re flavored perfectly for the season. Each bar is made with whole grains, protein, and healthy fats for a snack that gets you all the nutritional value you could ask for from a bar.
You won’t find anything artificial in these bags. Non-GMO and organic, Michele’s Granola has product standards that are hard to beat. The main ingredients are oats, pumpkin seeds, and flax, so you can feel great about sprinkling this crunchy and sweet snack all over some yogurt, a smoothie, or absolutely anything else.
Salsa is one of our favorite healthy ways to add flavor to any dish. Its main ingredients are vegetables (and sometimes fruit), so you really can’t go wrong. We weren’t sure how pumpkin would pair with the spicy flavors of salsa, but with the season rolling around quick and companies competing for pumpkin spice product perfection, we figured it was worth giving a try.
We don’t need to tell you twice that peanut butter is a healthy food. And PSA: This peanut butter has real pumpkin inside. Could this get any better? With warm pumpkin spices mixed into the creamy blend, and no added corn syrup to speak of, this peanut butter belongs all over this season’s toast, oatmeal, fruit, and the tastiest PB&J’s that ever existed. We bet it goes phenomenally with honey, too.
Usually, baking mixes are infused with all kinds of ingredients you never wanted in your desserts: Corn syrup, colorings, chemicals, and more. But Simple Mills is great at keeping their ingredients just that — simple. So if you ever don’t feel like baking pumpkin bread from scratch, you don’t have to feel guilty about feeding your family from a mix instead. They clock in at 90 calories per muffin; all their healthy ingredients are printed in large letters on the side of the box.
They’re paleo, gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, vegan, and non-GMO verified, so you know they’re really okay for even the pickiest of guests.
We’ll take one of these probiotic drinks over a PSL every time. While dairy has the potential to seriously upset your stomach (and cause some unwelcome bloating), kombucha tames your digestion by boosting the good bacteria in your gut. And now it’s pumpkin flavored?! Amazing.
Haven’t you heard? Stevia is the new sugar. It’s got zero calories, zero chemicals, and zero consequences — other than a few rumored interactions with digestion. But it’s been said to help cure Lyme disease, so we give it a pass.
In its liquid form, it comes flavored in many varieties, including vanilla, lemon, chocolate, and the coveted pumpkin spice. Stock up on this stuff while you can. Since just one drop has loads of flavor (stevia is 40 times sweeter than sugar!), you can probably make just one of these last the whole season long. This sweetener seems like a way better option for your health than some of the worst pumpkin spice products of the season.