I’m not sure if it’s the crisp fall air, the chance to dig out last season's boots from storage, fresh apples straight from the orchard, or pumpkin in foods everywhere that has me most excited for the best season of the year.
Pumpkin takes a cult following in the fall and for good reason: just 1 cup of the fruit serves up a mere 50 calories, 3 grams of fiber, and enough vitamin A to turn your skin orange (okay, maybe not that much!). It's seeds show benefit too with healthy fats and protein to keep you feeling fuller longer and zinc to stray away nasty colds.
But I’m so over the fake-pumpkin-flavored foods: poptarts, bagels, cream cheese, coffee creamer, lattes, and – new to the grocery store shelves – Oreos. You may think they taste "good," but many have Z-E-R-O pumpkin or pumpkin seeds in them.
Let’s get some REAL fall-flavored love up in here! Check out these better-for-you pumpkin foods and beverages that deliver on flavor, better nutrition, and extra fall flair:
479° Chipotle Caramel + Pumpkin Seeds Popcorn
479° Chipotle Caramel + Pumpkin Seeds Popcorn is sweetened with agave nectar and brown sugar and flavored with organic spices including cinnamon, chipotle, and allspice – ingredients your body knows and recognizes. It does contain added sugars, so keep your serving size to one cup and you'll be getting a much better quality choice for a healthier indulgence.
Crio Brü: Pumpkin Spice Blend
The PSL is the quintessential trendy fall drink, but it doesn’t deliver fully on quality nutrition. When you combine trendy with better-for-you, you get Crio Brü – a beverage made by roasting not coffee beans but cacao (yep, the same beans that are used to make dark chocolate!). With hints of cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves – and without chemicals or added sugars – Crio Brü’s Pumpkin Spice Blend is perfect for those crisp fall mornings.
Dr. Kracker: Pumpkin Seed Cheddar Crispbreads
Serve up a better snack with pumpkin seed cheddar crispbreads from Dr. Kracker. One crispbread gives you healthy whole grains featuring 4 grams of fiber and 5 grams of protein. Try it PB&J style with a thin layer of pumpkin seed butter (Dastony makes a great quality one!) and indulge with a little bit of apple butter (find a local option at a farmer’s market near you!)
SuperSeedz: Pumpkin Seeds
Pumpkin seeds serve up a healthy dose of protein, fiber, and healthy fats to help keep you feeling fuller, longer. This fall, add Coco Joe or Cinnamon & Sugar SuperSeedz as a topping on your yogurt, oatmeal, or ancient grain breakfast bowl. Feeling spicy instead of sweet? Kick up the heat on salads and soups by swapping out croutons, tortilla strips, and wonton noodles with pumpkin seeds in flavors like Super Spicy or Curious Curry.
Rise Bar: Perfect Pumpkin Breakfast Bar
Rise and shine with a better-for-you breakfast bar. This crunchy Perfect Pumpkin Rise Bar combines pumpkin seeds with cranberries, raisins, and apricots to provide 18 grams of carbohydrates, 9 grams of “healthy fats” and 7 grams of protein – an impressive nutrient-balance for a bar! YES! Nutrition is stocking these in the Kitchen Makeovers happening this fall.
What REAL pumpkin foods are you most excited about this fall? Let me know in a comment below or tweet me @ToriHolthaus!
Be sure to pin or print the photo below to save these ideas for later!