Experts show ways to enjoy pumpkin spice healthfully

Tuesday, October 17, 2017
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Pumpkin spice is a hit during the fall, but many products are swimming in sugar.

Cassandra Bodzak, who wrote "Eating with Intention", recites just what's in pumpkin spice.

"It's cinnamon, cloves, a little ginger, some allspice, nutmeg," said Bodzak. She didn't mention sugar.

"There are some really easy ways you can incorporate it in your fall plan that are still healthy for you," said Bodzak.

She makes pumpkin spice donuts that taste more like muffins, but rather than fry, she bakes them.

"There's actually no added sugar in it. It's healthy enough you can have it for breakfast," said Bodzak.

She also uses gluten-free flour, coconut milk and oil, canned pumpkin and spices. And because she follows a plant-based diet, Bodzak opts for an egg replacement.

She's also a fan of savory pumpkin spice.

"Pumpkin basil cream sauce over some brown rice gluten-free penne," said Bodzak.

Pumpkin, cannelli beans, coconut milk and more are all blended up to make a creamy, yet fiber-filled protein-packed dish.

But let's say you've just got to have a pumpkin spice latte.

"If I love a pumpkin spice latte then first of all, look for a better one. One that actually delivers you pumpkin which has some nutrients in it," said dietitian Ashley Koff.

Koff is a nutrition adviser for Califia, a company that makes holiday lattes. She suggests you check ingredients in your beverage, then make sure you have a little something to go with it.

"Make sure you're getting a source of protein as well as healthy fats," said Koff.

Here is the recipe for Cassandra Bodzak's vegan pumpkin spice donuts:


2 cups of Trader Joe's whole grain baking mix (Or any baking/biscuit mix -- for gluten-free try Bob's Red Mill!)

1 cup of organic pumpkin puree

3 tbsp. of coconut oil

2 flax -'eggs' (2 tsp flaxseed meal + 6 tsp. of water whisked) or 2 eggs

3 tsps. of pumpkin pie spice (or to your taste, I like a lot of spice!)

1 tsp. of vanilla extract

Oil the pan with coconut oil

Bake at 375 for 15 minutes or until golden brown on the edges.

-- dust top with coconut sugar + pumpkin pie spice ---