Tis the Season for Pumpkin! (Warning: for Pumpkin Lovers Only)

5 Nov

What is it that I love most about fall season? Yes, it’s great dressing up for Halloween, spending quality time with family over Thanksgiving, and cheering on our #1 DUCKS football team…But I have to admit, I get the most excited getting to try all the pumpkin flavored food and drinks offered in restaurants this season. Although not everything I’ve tried has been  perfectly health-conscious, there are certainly some great ways to get your pumpkin fix without feeling guilty and overly stuffed!

Trying to decide which pumpkin flavored desert to go for? Put down the pumpkin blizzard and go for pumpkin frozen yogurt! Fat free and just 110 calories a serving, this delectable treat can be found at the local Campus Sub Shop on 13th and Alder. The Sub-Shop’s service allows you to pick your own toppings and chose your own serving-size, so if you’re looking for a cheap and healthy treat, go for 1/2 cup (4 oz) serving size, and fruit or sprinkles instead of carb-filled candy. MMmmmmMM!

Another local spot that offers a great pumpkin fix, is Barry’s Deli, just a couple shops down from the Campus Sub Shop. Barry’s Deli offers a delicious pumpkin-and-rice soup that is low-fat and made with completely vegan ingredients. It is the perfect soup to keep you warm on a brisk fall day, without leaving you sick to your stomach. Skip the challah bread that comes on the side to keep the meal truly lo-cal.

Who doesn’t love when Starbucks brings out the pumpkin spice latte? This seasonal drink is hard to skip, but there’s a couple ways you can customize it to satisfy your sweet tooth with half the calories. Ordering a 20 oz., pumpkin spice latte with non-fat milk and whipped cream might sound like a typical drink for a Starbucks regular, but it’ll add up to a whopping 400 calories. By switching to a tall pumpkin spice latte with non-fat milk and zero whipped creme, you can come away with the same sweet treat for just 200 calories per cup. An even smarter way to order would be to get a 16 oz. coffee with 1 pump pumpkin syrup (30 calories), no milk, and no whipped creme. Add some non-fat milk at the side-bar with 1 packet of Splenda, and you can enjoy the same flavor for  less money and calories.

While on the topic of saving money, why not brainstorm the best ways to enjoy this seasonal vegetable from home, without having to fork over much cash? Purchase a pumpkin from your local grocer (I got mine at Safeway for $5), scoop out the insides and separate out the pumpkin seeds into a bowl. Preheat oven to 300 degrees, and scatter seeds onto a baking sheet. Sprinkle seeds with Molly McButter Buds (5 cals per serv.), cinnamon and some sea-salt, and bake for 45 minutes or until golden-brown. This is a great home-made snack that is loaded with health benefits! Read the attached link to learn about the 10 health benefits of pumpking seeds:

http://www.healthdiaries.com/eatthis/10-health-benefits-of-pumpkin-seeds.html

What are you waiting for? Run, bike, drive–get your pumpkin fix without the guilt!

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