I’m all about the pumpkin spice craze, whether it be candles, baked goods or coffee creamers, I want it all. My heart gravitates the most to the “pumpkin spiced” variation of common grocery store items, which I end up spending the whole season obsessing over. Given my passion for health and wellness, I’m always on the hunt for pumpkin-spiced goodies that aren’t overly processed or filled with sugar. Here are my top five pumpkin-spiced fall favorites that won’t lead to an intense sugar crash.
- Pumpkin spice popcorn
I’m a snacker at heart, so anything I can munch on while I crank out midterm study guides for each of my classes is right up my alley. Popcorn is already one of my all time favorite study snacks as it is, but sprinkle in pumpkin spice seasoning over top and you’ve just elevated this common snack to a whole new level. Trust me, munching on pumpkin spice popcorn will bring you all the joy you need during this fall season (even if you’re just studying for midterms).
- Nutpods unsweetened pumpkin spice almond and coconut creamer
Though my coffee order typically specifies “No added milk or sugar” I make an exception for the holidays when limited edition coffee creamers hit the stores around this time of year. Nutpods, one of my favorite dairy-free coffee creamers, recently came out with an unsweetened almond coconut creamer that has just the right amount of pumpkin spice goodness. I love that it’s unsweetened since I tend to steer away from most coffee creamers because of their sickeningly sweet taste. However, this one is able to deliver just the perfect level of pumpkin spice without the overwhelming amount of sugar that takes away from the coffee flavor.
- MUSH overnight oats: pumpkin pie
As college students, many of us have the unhealthy habit of skipping breakfast in the morning as we rush to class and forget to pack something. Even meal prepping the night before turns into a hassle when you have hours of homework to do and just want to sleep. Luckily, MUSH overnight oats are here to save the day. With an assortment of flavors available year round (Blueberry, Strawberry, Vanilla, etc.), MUSH also drops its pumpkin pie flavor during the fall (though I wish it was available every season!). The oats are decadent, creamy and rich without any of the added sugars, keeping me full and satisfied all while making my morning feel like I’m at the Thanksgiving table.
- Trader Joe’s gluten free pumpkin bagels
Towards the end of September when Trader Joe’s releases their pumpkin-themed products, the very first thing in my cart are their pumpkin bagels. Available in both regular and gluten-free versions, everyone can enjoy these hearty bagels. Hints of nutmeg, cinnamon, clove and ginger all come together to blast your taste buds with the ultimate pumpkin spice experience. Unlike other pumpkin breakfast items, these are not rolled in cinnamon sugar or have a bunch of artificial fillers. It’s all just solid pumpkin flavor in your classic bagel. You can find me on a Saturday morning, post-run with one of these in my hand, extra toasted of course. Pro-tip: For extra pumpkin-y goodness, top it off with their delicious pumpkin cream cheese!
- Alfred Coffee’s pumpkin spice latte
My one true wish came true: Alfred Coffee just opened a location in San Francisco! I no longer have to travel 350 miles to enjoy my staple fall favorite. As I’ve mentioned before, I’m not a fan of sickeningly sweet coffee drinks, but Alfred Coffee knows how to whip up the perfect balance. Alfred Coffee truly uses only the best, making their lattes with house-made pumpkin sauce, a special blend of 100% real pumpkin puree, brown sugar, apple cider, vanilla, cinnamon, allspice and clove, topped with your choice of milk and espresso. You can catch me on the BART to San Francisco all November just so I can sip on this cup of pure pumpkin magic.
There’s an abundance of new pumpkin spice flavored products on the market, but not all of them guarantee quality. Some are way too sweet or barely capture the true essence of the fall season. If you’re not already a crazy fan of pumpkin spice, you’ll soon become obsessed once you try one of my top favorite treats.