How to Hack Your Pumpkin Spice Latte Healthy

Satisfy your pumpkin spice craving without throwing your healthy habits out the window.

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It may still be September, but like most seasons the festivities seem to kick off earlier and earlier every year. The overwhelming celebrations around pumpkin spice lattes are no exception. Coffee giants will continue to sling high-calorie and sugar-laden frappa-whatevers and the grocery store shelves will be stocked with "limited time" pumpkin-spiked versions of their usual products. Though it might seem impossible, you don't have to sacrifice your healthy habits and give in to the hype. Here are a few inventive ways to partake in PSL season without the sugar and calories.

Lighten Up

There are some ways to hack a good old latte. If you are rushing to the nearest coffee shop to order up a traditional PSL, ask your barista to cut the flavoring by half and skip the whip. You'll slash the calories considerably (by at least 200!) and still get to sip those aromatic cravings.

Spice It Up

Everyone says it's about the pumpkin, when it’s really about those warm and cozy spices. Buy or DIY a pumpkin spice mixture and infuse your smoothies, morning coffee, cream cheese spreads and yogurt parfaits with the spicy bite of cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger.

Make Baked Goods Good for You

Many folks like to satisfy their PSL cravings with cookies, muffins and other baked goods — and there’s good news on this front. Cut the fat in your favorites by replacing half the butter or oil with pumpkin puree in recipes for muffins, cakes and pancakes. And of course an extra sprinkling of your pumpkin spice blend won’t hurt either.

Go for Oats

Oats and pumpkin spice make a hot couple. Swirl pumpkin goodness and accompanying spices into your oatmeal of choice overnight or traditional. And sweet and crunchy granola is practically begging for pumpkin spice flavor. Sprinkle a homemade batch over yogurt and you'll put any PSL to shame.

Read Ingredient Lists

As usual there are several new pumpkin spice products hitting the market this year, including coffee creamers, granola, noodle cups and ice cream. What will they think of next? Before you get too carried away in the fall flavor fest, check labels and ingredients lists in the hopes you can keep the added-sugar tally under control. The dietary guidelines recommend capping your daily dose of added sugar to 50 grams.

Dana Angelo White, MS, RD, ATC, is a registered dietitian, certified athletic trainer and owner of Dana White Nutrition, Inc., which specializes in culinary and sports nutrition. She is the author of four cookbooks First Bites: Superfoods for Babies and Toddlers, The Healthy Air Fryer Cookbook, The Healthy Instant Pot Cookbook and Healthy Quick and Easy Smoothies.

*This article was written and/or reviewed by an independent registered dietitian nutritionist.

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