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Fall is in the air! The kids are back in school, leaves are changing colors, and pumpkin is all over the place. Coffee drinks, muffins, pies, cookies, booze, you name it and someone is going to pumpkin it up.  And why not?  Pumpkin is awesome. It’s delicious, smells fantastic, and its really quite good for you (lots of fiber, alpha and beta carotene, potassium, and magnesium just to name a few nutritional benefits).

Unfortunately, a lot of the pumpkin products hitting the shelves isn’t made with real pumpkin, its pumpkin flavored, so you’re missing out on all the health benefits and getting a sugary syrup. Listen, I know you want to eat and drink everything pumpkin you can get your mitts on, just make sure you read this beforehand.

Lattes:

People go bananas for Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Lattes (honorable mention to Dunkin’ Donuts). But beware, the Pumpkin Spice Latte will mess your diet up.  A sixteen ounce Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte with two percent milk and whip clocks in at 380 calories, 13 grams of fat (about a quarter of your daily allowance), and 49 grams of sugar (the American Heart Assocation recommends keeping your sugar intake at 30 grams or below).  Dunks is no better, a medium pumpkin latte with skim has 330 calories, 9 grams of fat, and 50 grams of sugar.  And these are the lower fat, “healthier” versions, but don’t worry, I won’t completely horrify you by posting the stats for the lattes made with cream, shudder. A healthier alternative? Try our Homemade Pumpkin Spice Latte. Or, if you can’t break your Starbucks addiction, try these healthier Starbucks choices.

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Baked Goods:

How good does a coffee shop smell with freshly baked pumpkin goodies on the counter? What’s not so good are the nutritional numbers for pumpkin treats, brace yourselves. A Starbucks pumpkin cream cheese muffin is 340 calories, 13 grams of fat, and 28 grams of sugar; while a pumpkin scone is a diet killing 480 calories, 17 grams of fat, and 43 grams of sugar. If you’re a scone lover, try this skinny pumpkin scone alternative instead! Dunkin’ Donuts baked goods are even worse. The pumpkin donut has 360 calories, 21 grams of fat, and 20 grams of sugar, and if the Starbucks scone kills your diet, the Dunkin’ Donuts pumpkin muffin kills your diet and then does a little jig on its carcass, it has 550 calories, 24 grams of fat, and 41 grams of sugar.

Now don’t worry, it’s not all pumpkin doom and gloom. The real pumpkin is super tasty and good for you! And to prove it here are some totally tasty pumpkin recipes, enjoy!

Skinny Pumpkin Spice Muffins: These muffins are super delicious and full of flavor! With only four ingredients, try this dish for an impressive breakfast or a unique, fluffy, pastry dessert!

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Skinny Pumpkin Cheesecake Poke Cake: This cake is impressive enough to share at a party, while being easy enough to make any night of the week. Jello Sugar-free, Fat-free Cheesecake Pudding Mix and Cool Whip Free Whipped Topping keep this dessert light and delicious.

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Skinny Banana Pumpkin Spice Smoothie: Surprise your kiddos with this smoothie at breakfast time and they’ll think they’re having dessert before school…what a nice surprise! 

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Skinny Pumpkin and Cream Bread: Pumpkin bread with a drool-worthy creamy layer for less than 200 calories a serving? Yes, please!

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Now it’s time to grab your apron and get cooking! Click here to check out more pumpkin inspired recipes!