Think Twice About Pumpkin Spice

pumpkinsPumpkin lattes, pumpkin-spiced ice cream, pumpkin cream cheese, pumpkin frosting, pumpkin candy…if you’ve been in a grocery store lately you’ve probably seen one of these treats. We are officially in the season of pumpkin-spiced everything. According to Registered Dietitian and nutrition expert for TOPS, Dena McDowell, these foods have one thing in common…and it has nothing to do with actual pumpkin. Most of these treats are loaded with sugar and calories and lack the nutrients of real pumpkin. That’s a shame, too, since, according to Dena, pumpkin is a great source of vitamin A, vitamin C, folate, vitamin B6, thiamin, potassium and antioxidants. To help you reap the nutritional benefits of this natural superfood, Dena shares the following tips for adding pumpkin to your diet.

  • Boost your fiber for the day by adding pumpkin puree to yogurt.
  • Need to satisfy your sweet tooth? Add cooked pumpkin to homemade muffins or cookies. Using pumpkin puree can substitute for oil or butter and will produce a moist and light final product.
  • Enjoy a hearty soup or stew made with pumpkin.
  • Don’t forget about the seeds! Lightly coat pumpkin seeds with olive oil and seasonings of your choice and bake. Enjoy this crunchy snack mixed with dried fruit.

If pumpkin-spiced treats are one of your favorite parts of fall, it’s perfectly okay to indulge every once in a while. Just remember that, sometimes, you can’t beat the real thing.

5 thoughts on “Think Twice About Pumpkin Spice

  1. I love these ideas! I can’t wait to share them with my chapter tonight. Thank you for sharing!

    Brightest Blessings,

  2. Love your blog Maggie.

    I have a favorite pumpkin soup recipe that was given to me by one of my TOPS pals. I will have to try adding the puree to my morning yogurt with some pumpkin spice – never thought of that one.



  3. Thanks for posting it. I have been on a pumpkin binge lately and you are right it isn’t the pumpkin it is sugar and syrup. They are also putting sugar and spices to the rim of beer on tap in bars and changing $2.00 more. Thank from Pumpkin Head, Barb Frost TopsVt0133Groton.

  4. There are recipes that are very easy to add some pumpkin to. I added a can of solid-pack pumpkin puree to a batch of turkey/bean chili and it was delicious. A simple treat is to mix up a batch of sugar-free vanilla pudding and combine some pumpkin to it – dip/spread on a few graham crackers. Yum.

  5. Hi Maggie, I was just browsing your BLOG and ran across this one about Pumpkin Spice. I just made 6 times my recipe for Pumpkin spice this morning. FYI, it consists of 1 tsp. cinnamon, 1/2 tsp. ginger, and 1/4 tsp. each nutmeg and cloves. I make a lot of Baked Apples in the microwave this time of year. For each apple, I core it and slice part way through the top in an “X”. Then I put a tablespoon of raisins or craisins in the middle, then 1/8 to 1/4 tsp. my homemade Pumpkin Pie Spice and add a little liquid to the dish such as lite cranberry juice or orange juice or even apple cider, in season. I do this in a cereal dish, loosely cover it, and microwave on high for 3 minutes. Yesterday I made 4 in a square pyrex dish and nuked it for 12 minutes. Thus, I used up all my Pumpkin Pie Spice. I had forgotten about mixing pumpkin puree with yogurt. It was one of my favorite go-to snacks in the past. I will be doing that again.

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