It’s that time of year again, fall is here! For most of the country, the weather starts cooling down, the leaves change colors, and you can finally start taking out your sweaters, scarves and boots. However, for us here in California, 80-100 degree weather is still the norm. Leaves don’t change colors and you most certainly can still wear shorts and sandals. Not complaining, but the best way to get into the fall spirit is to embrace everything pumpkin! Many times this can lead to poor diet choices and over eating. However, it is possible to enjoy the pumpkin season and keep your weight down!
Make your Own Pumpkin Spice Latte
Fall is often synonymous with a Starbucks Pumpkin Spice latte. While Starbucks certainly isn’t the only coffee shop offering this drink, they do offer one of the worst nutritional profiles. For a tall (small sized) coffee, its 330 calories, 14 g fat, 9 g saturated fat, 39 g carbohydrates and 37 g of sugar. Not to mention the recent concerns regarding all of the artificial additives and chemicals Starbucks adds to their drinks. Try this recipe below when you are craving a fall drink without all the calories and sugar!
Homemade Pumpkin Spice Latte
Recipe found here.
Use Pumpkin Puree as a Fat Substitute in Recipes
Pumpkin puree has a creamy, delicious consistency that can be used as a substitute for fat (butter, oil, etc.) in many recipes. It is an extremely easy substitution, especially when baking muffins. Some other options include pancakes, waffles or oatmeal. For comparison, if switching out pumpkin for butter—¼ cup butter has 407 calories, 46 g of fat and 29 g saturated fat, while ¼ cup of pure pumpkin puree has 20 calories, 0.2 g of fat and 0 g saturated fat. Just by making one substitution to the recipe you will save 387 calories, 45.8 g of fat and 29 g of saturated fat.
Try this recipe at home for a healthier muffin alternative.
Visit a Pumpkin Patch or Outdoor Farm
Thankfully, most pumpkin patches don’t have food temptations. Plus, you get to walk around outside, get some exercise and maybe carry around a heavy pumpkin (as an added workout).
Or you could visit an apple orchard. They will let you pick your own apples and take them home with you. It is a fun, healthy activity for the whole family to enjoy!
However you choose to enjoy this fall season, make sure you embrace your health!