Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Tis the Season for Pumpkin

Mmmm... fall means.... pumpkin spice lattes!!  Are you downing them everyday like there's no tomorrow?  Do you know they have to be chocked full of calories, but you like them too much to look at the nutrition facts for fear of never being able to drink them again?  Well, I'm here to break the news, but offer some good tips as well!

Starbucks says that just a "tall" (read: small) cup of pumpkin spice latte contains a whopping 300 calories!!  A grande (read: medium) contains 380.  That's a meal, not a drink!  That's an extra 3 miles to your run, or drink 9 of them and you've added a pound to your behind.

If you are drinking this wonderful seasonal drink, you probably enjoy the taste of pumpkin anyways, and more so the taste of "pumpkin spice".  You probably never eat anything pumpkin without pumpkin spice, which contains cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, ginger, and cloves.  You can find it in any spice section of any grocery store, and make that latte at home!  You probably don't have the right machines to make it frothy like Starbucks, but you can surely make it taste almost as good, with less than half the calories (and a very small fraction of the price!)

It's as simple as this:  brew your coffee, add a dash of pumpkin spice, add milk (or cream), and sugar.  Even 1/2 cup of 2% milk is only 70 calories, and 1 tbsp sugar is 50, putting you at 120 calories, still less than half of the tall latte.  You can make it have even less calories by using skim milk (or, if you want to keep it thick but be even lower in calories, use almond milk) and artificial sweeteners (I'm no expert, but I'm not exactly and advocate for artificial sweetners).

If you really want a real meal with pumpkin, add pumpkin spice to your oatmeal!!  I've been doing it every morning lately... I need to get real pumpkin and start putting that in it too!  Libby's canned pumpkin has only 40 calories in 1/2 cup and Quaker Oats has 150 calories in 1/2 cup uncooked oatmeal.  Give it 1 tbsp sugar at 50 calories and your total meal is 240 calories.  You will be full, satisfied, and still be consuming less calories than that tall latte.

In short, pumpkin spice is amazing, and it can cure your craving for seasonal pumpkin foods, without adding on the pounds.

Now, do you still want that pumpkin spice latte?  Maybe 1 or 2 this season won't be that bad I suppose ;)


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