With the coming of fall come all things wonderful; the crispy, cold breeze, the crunchy leaves and the chilly nights. It really is the most wonderful time of the year. Fall also means hot chocolate, delicious pies, and best of all, pumpkin spice! Be it lattes, pies, pancakes, or cookies, we are all about this delicious fall ingredient!

We’ll also let you in on a quirky secret; pumpkin spice doesn’t even contain any pumpkin! It is actually a mixture of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice, and cloves. Previously, all these spices were separately acquired to make pumpkin pies. It was around the 1950s when spice manufacturers like McCormick began selling the blend of spices that made the pumpkin pie spice. However, with time, it began to be used in many recipes that didn’t contain any pumpkins.

All the big companies, including Starbucks and Krispy Kreme add items to their menus that add fuel to this trend that takes over the world, every fall season. But we’re obviously not complaining, because it is oh-so good! However, while it’s okay to indulge one in a while, most of these food and beverage chains have items that are loaded with refined sugars that are harmful for the body. And, because the fall season is much about celebration and food, it is important to keep a check on what we consume.

But don’t let this dampen your festive, fall mood, because there are many healthy alternatives that you can easily whip up at home using pumpkin spice. Read on to find some easy, at-home recipes to satisfy your fall craving of all things pumpkin.

Pumpkin spice latte

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup water
  • 1 tbsp. ground coffee
  • 1 tbsp. pumpkin puree
  • 1 cup milk (non-fat)
  • 1 tsp. pumpkin spice
  • 1 tbsp. sugar/honey

Method:

Brew half a cup of strong coffee. In a saucepan add milk (you can add soy milk, almond milk or any other of your choice) and pumpkin puree. Whisk and let simmer. Add in pumpkin spice. Add sugar (or a natural sweetener for a healthier version) and whisk mixture till frothy. Add this mixture to the coffee prepared beforehand. Sip and enjoy!

Pumpkin spice cake

Ingredients:

  • 1 ¾ cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 ½ tsp pumpkin spice
  • 1 ½ tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 tbsp. coconut oil
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp. vanilla extract
  • ½ cup maple syrup

For frosting:

  • 4-ounce low-fat cream cheese
  • ½ cup Greek yogurt
  • ¼ cup powdered sugar

Method:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a bowl add all the dry ingredients and whisk together. In a separate bowl combine melted coconut oil and pumpkin puree. Add egg, vanilla and maple syrup. Stir until combined. Mix the wet and dry ingredients. Pour into pan and bake for 20-25 minutes. For frosting combine cream cheese, Greek yogurt, and powdered sugar. Beat until smooth. Frost cake and refrigerate for a while. Serve cold.

Pumpkin spice pancakes

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ cup whole wheat flour
  • 6 tbsp. brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp. pumpkin spice
  • 1 cup pureed pumpkin
  • 1 ½ cup milk
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • Pinch of baking powder
  • Pinch of baking soda
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 tsp. vegetable oil 3 tsp
  • Maple syrup

Method:

In a bowl, whisk together all the dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, add pureed pumpkin, milk, eggs, vegetable oil and vanilla. Mix well. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and fold together well. Add a small amount of mixture to a frying pan making sure to flip at the right time. Serve the pancakes maple syrup.

These recipes healthier as they have little sugar, that can be easily swapped with natural sweeteners like maple syrup or honey. They also make use of low fat dairy products like milk, cream cheese and Greek yogurt. Additionally, they have actual pumpkin in them, which is not only delicious, but extremely healthy as it is rich in vitamin A, vitamin C, potassium and fiber.

With these easy recipes, you can make the most of the pumpkin spice season, without feeling left out but also keeping your health goals in check. Being mindful about food, doesn’t take away goodness or flavor from it, rather it adds to the quality of your life, helping you live a more healthy and wholesome life.

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