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6 Healthy Ways to Get Your Pumpkin Spice Fix

Enjoy your favorite fall treats—minus the extra calories.

Medically reviewed in March 2022

pumpkin latte
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For many people, fall doesn’t officially start until they enjoy the first warm sip of a pumpkin spice latte. And the pumpkin love doesn’t stop there: From doughnuts to ice cream, fall has become the season of pumpkin spice.

Unfortunately, your favorite fall foods can pack some serious calories. One pumpkin muffin from Dunkin’, for example, contains 550 calories—more than a typical slice of pumpkin pie!

Fear not, here are six deeply satisfying pumpkin spice recipes that won’t overload you with calories.

pumpkin spice latte
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Low-cal pumpkin spice latte

When fall winds make you shiver, there’s nothing like a pumpkin spice latte to warm you from the inside out. Plus, pumpkin contains a compound called beta-cryptoxanthin that gives the fall vegetable its bright orange color. The chemical may also offer some protection against osteoporosis, so adding it to your diet can help support healthy bones. 

To get this nutrient, you need to pick recipes that use real pumpkin. So the next time you’re craving your favorite latte, try making yours with a few tablespoons of pumpkin puree, for authentic texture and flavor.

 

pumpkin soup
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Savory pumpkin soup

Real pumpkin is an excellent source of fiber, which supports a healthy gut and helps to satisfy hunger. This hearty cold-weather soup is loaded with 7 grams of fiber and 8 grams of protein per one-cup serving, thanks to rich pumpkin puree and creamy white beans. Since it takes just 30 minutes to prepare, this simple dinner is the perfect warm-you-up meal after a chilly day.

Three ramekins of pumpkin custard
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Creamy pumpkin-spice custard

Earthy flavors of cinnamon and nutmeg blend with maple syrup in this incredibly satisfying but surprisingly low-carb pumpkin custard. Your guests will never guess that it’s diabetes-friendly with just 125 calories, 6.7 grams of sugar and 13.5 grams of carbs per serving.

It offers the taste of pumpkin pie without all the fat and sugar. Plus, it’s served in individual cups that can be decorated or personalized according to your holiday theme.

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Sweet pumpkin-spice trail mix

Autumn weekends are often jam-packed with outdoor activities, so having healthy on-the-go snacks is key. Pick up some almonds, walnuts, sunflower seeds, and—if you've got some left over from pumpkin carving—pumpkin seeds. 

Lightly coat your selection with cooking spray, then toss them in a teaspoon each of cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice. Cook in the oven at 325 degrees Fahrenheit until toasted and brown. The healthy fats and protein in the nuts and seeds can help stave off cravings through busy fall afternoons.

pumpkin smoothie
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Pumpkin pie smoothie

This mouth-watering pumpkin spice smoothie is loaded with fiber and potassium from pumpkin puree and banana, with a boost of protein from almond butter. Blend in pumpkin pie spice to make a decadent treat that’s also a nutrition powerhouse.

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Happy harvest muffins

You can get into the autumn spirit with these banana-chocolate muffins. The brown sugar and vanilla lend a rich, fragrant aroma and the pumpkin seeds sprinkled on top lend crunch and holiday spirit.

We want to see your healthy holiday plate! Show us by tagging us on Instagram!

 

Slideshow sources open slideshow sources

Burri BJ, La Frano MR, Zhu C. Absorption, metabolism, and functions of β-cryptoxanthin. Nutr Rev. 2016;74(2):69-82.
Yamaguchi M. Role of carotenoid β-cryptoxanthin in bone homeostasis. J Biomed Sci. 2012;19:36.
Myhrstad MCW, Tunsjø H, Charnock C, Telle-Hansen VH. Dietary Fiber, Gut Microbiota, and Metabolic Regulation-Current Status in Human Randomized Trials. Nutrients. 2020;12(3).

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