Today’s post is about some of the worst pumpkin products that come out every year. The reason why these products weren’t included in the pumpkin list is that these products are the worst of the worst. These pumpkin products are so bad that I think these items deserved to be talked about separate. I understand that that the foliage is beautiful and the air is crisp and refreshing, but we all know the real reason everyone looks forward to fall each year: the proliferation of pumpkin snacks—obviously!
Pumpkin and autumn have been having a steaming-hot love affair for years now, which puts your hard-earned summer bod in the danger zone. When enjoyed in its purest form, the orange gourd is a nutrient-filled addition to any weight loss plan, but many people mistakenly believe that anything spiked with pumpkin is a healthy choice. And in the era of Pumpkin Spice Lattes and Pumpkin Pop-Tarts, that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Pumpkin-laced candy is still candy, and things like pumpkin donuts still have sugar. It goes on to say that most of these products only use a small amount of pumpkin for its flavor, which means reaping the health benefits of the vegetable is near impossible. So which of this year’s pumpkin snacks are the worst in the pumpkin patch? I scanned the supermarket shelves to find out. Below, the sugar- and chemical-filled treats you should steer clear of this season.
Cosmo Creations Pumpkin Spice Premium Puffed Corn
1.25 cups, 130 calories, 5 g fat, 3 g saturated fat, 100 mg sodium, 21 g carbs, 0 g fiber, 13 g sugar, 1 g protein
Some news outlets are referring to this as a “healthy snack,” but I respectfully disagree. This puffed corn is mostly composed of sugar and fat, which makes for an addictively delicious flavor but offers little in terms of nutrition. And because Cosmo’s creation is totally void of belly-filling fiber, it won’t do much to sate your hunger, which ups the odds you’ll go back for a second serving.
Try This Instead! To make a healthy version of this snack at home, coat 3 cups of air-popped fibrous popcorn with ⅓ cup olive oil, 1 tablespoon of pumpkin pie spice, 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar and ¼ teaspoon of salt. Then, place the popcorn on a parchment-paper-lined cookie sheet and bake for 10 minutes in a 325° F oven.
Kellogg’s Frosted Pumpkin Pie Pop-Tarts
1 pastry, 200 calories, 5 g fat, 1.5 g saturated fat, 170 mg sodium, 36 g carbs, <1 g fiber, 14 g sugar, 2g protein
Pop-Tarts are notoriously indulgent, so we weren’t surprised to learn that this breakfast pastry is spiked with waist-widening soybean oil, high fructose corn syrup and a slew of artificial dyes. Though the toaster pastry actually does carry a bit of real pumpkin, it’s not enough to make up for its otherwise unimpressive nutritional profile and mile-long ingredient list. Without a doubt, this treat is better left on the shelf!
Try This Instead! Start your day with a bowl of Pumpkin Pie Overnight Oats. It has the fall-inspired taste you’re looking for, with far more satiating fiber and protein than a pastry.
1/2 cup rolled oats 1/2~ cup unsweetened almond milk ~2 tbsp plain greek yogurt ~1/4 cup organic pumpkin puree ~1 tbsp chia seeds ~1 tbsp pure maple syrup ~1/2 tsp vanilla extract ~3/4 tsp ground cinnamon ~1/4 tsp ground nutmeg ~Toppings (optional): chopped pecans, pepitas, and/or cinnamon
Combine the rolled oats, unsweetened almond milk, plain greek yogurt, organic pumpkin puree, chia seeds, pure maple syrup, vanilla extract, ground cinnamon, ground nutmeg, and stir to combine. Seal the container (mason jars work great) or cover with plastic wrap. Place in fridge for 4-6 hours, preferably overnight. Overnight oats can be eaten cold or reheated in the microwave for 1-2 minutes if you prefer it heated. When you’re ready to eat, just top with crushed pecans and cinnamon.
Pillsbury Ready To Bake! Pumpkin Cookies with Cream Cheese Flavored Chips
1 cookie, 140 calories, 6 g fat, 2.5 g saturated fat, 75 mg sodium, 21 g carbs, 1 g fiber, 13 g sugar, 1 g protein
These cookies are as dangerous as they are delicious. Each small treat carries a whopping 140 calories and 13 grams of sugar—and no one ever eats just one. To make matters worse, Pillsbury uses Red 40 and caramel color (two possible human carcinogens) to give their cookies an ultra-appetizing browned color.
Jif Whipped Peanut Butter & Pumpkin Pie Spice Flavored Spread
2 Tbsp, 140 calories, 12 g fat, 2.5 g saturated fat, 95 mg sodium, 6 g carbs, 2 g fiber, 2 g sugar
There should only be two things inside your peanut butter jar: peanuts and maybe a bit of salt. Jif, however, packs far more ingredients inside its pumpkin-flavored containers—and pumpkin isn’t one of them. So what is in there? Dangerous hydrogenated vegetable oils. The man-made fats counteract the effects of the peanut’s healthy fats by contributing to heart disease risk.
Try This Instead! Slather your bread with a 50/50 mixture of canned pumpkin and all natural peanut butter. For some additional flavor, top of the combo with some cinnamon.
Chobani Flip Pumpkin Harvest Crisp
5.3 oz container, 210 calories, 8 g fat, 3 g saturated fat, 100 mg sodium, 24 g carbs, <1g fiber, 17 g sugar, 12 g protein
Though this isn’t the worst pumpkin snack in the grocery store (it is Greek yogurt after all), it carries far more calories and sugar than similar treats of the same size.
Try This Instead! Go with Chobani Pumpkin Spice blended instead. Unlike its competition, the recipe is free of sweetened condensed milk, brown sugar, and rice syrup which gives it a more wholesome, slimming nutritional profile.
Ben & Jerry’s Pumpkin Cheesecake Ice Cream
1/2 cup 260 calories, 15 g fat, 7 g saturated fat, 140 mg sodium, 30 g carbs, 0 g fiber, 25 g sugar, 4 g protein
Four types of sugar, four sources of fat and a host of fresh fall spices join together to create this drool-worthy yet diet-derailing treat. Though 260 calories may not seem terrible for a dessert, that number represents a small half-cup serving. And let’s be honest: No one—no matter how strong-willed they may be—can stick to such a small portion.
Try This Instead! Whip up a batch of homemade Pumpkin Spice “Ice Cream.” The recipe replaces sugar and dairy with processed frozen bananas, which not only saves you mega calories but amps up the fiber and nutrient content, too.
2 ripe bananas cut into pieces~3/4 cup pumpkin puree (not pie filling)~1 tsp cinnamon (or to taste)~1 tsp of ginger (or to taste)~1 tsp nutmeg (or to taste)~a pinch of all spice~a pinch of cloves~and 2 tsp of honey or agave… If you have pumpkin pie spice you can do about 2-3 tbsp of pumpkin pie spice
Place frozen banana pieces into a food processor and process until smooth. The texture should look like soft serve ice cream. Add the remaining ingredients and blend until combined. Eat immediately or store in the freezer.
have you tried any of these products mentioned above? If so did you like them and will you be repurchasing them this year? And like always if you have any questions please don’t hesitate in reaching out and I will be more than happy to answer any questions you may have.
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