How to Survive the Pumpkin Spice Craze

Posted September 15, 2014 in Pumpkin Spice, Fall, Pumpkin, Pumpkin Spice Latte, healthy eating, healthy living, health, autumn

A few years ago when the pumpkin spice trend was beginning to grow in popularity, I was all over it. If a product was labeled as pumpkin anything, I would buy it!

There's something about the pumpkin spice flavor that is so comforting and just feels like fall.

But last year, I started reading the ingredient lists of all of those pumpkin spice products a bit closer. I quickly realized that my beloved seasonal products weren't all that healthy, and most were made with lots of artificial ingredients.

I became a bit choosier about which pumpkin spice products I purchased, and turned my obsession to the kitchen - baking as many pumpkin spice recipes as I could find!

Follow my Pumpkin Pinterest Board for recipe inspiration. I've pinned over 80 pumpkin recipes (some healthy, some not as much). I'm constantly adding to this board as I find new pumpkin recipes that sound delish.

While it's best to just put on your apron and make all the pumpkin spice foods your heart desires at home, I completely understand the desire to purchase some of the pumpkin spice products out there. I totally believe in an 80/20 lifestyle. Eat whole foods 80% of the time and indulge a bit 20% of the time. 

I put together a list of pumpkin spice products that aren't terrible and a list of pumpkin spice products to avoid. There are hundreds of pumpkin spice products, so these are the products I've seen on store shelves, I've bought and tasted or that I've seen getting buzz online.

Here's how you can navigate the pumpkin spice craze and stick to healthy eating...

Pumpkin Spice Products That Aren't Too Terrible



Clif Bar Spiced Pumpkin Pie - This Clif Bar is made with mostly organic ingredients and actual pumpkin is one of the ingredients!

So Delicious Dairy Free Pumpkin Spice Coconut Milk - I haven't tried this so I don't know if it's good, but it's made with just a few ingredients including pumpkin. However, the ingredient list does have "natural flavors," which I'm always hesitant about. For more info on what "natural flavors" means, read this.

Siggi's Pumpkin & Spice Yogurt - Yes! Milk, sugar, cream, pumpkin, cinnamon - that's the kind of ingredient list you want to see! Plus their milk is growth hormone-free!

Food Should Taste Good Harvest Pumpkin Tortilla Chips - With just a few ingredients, these chips are a fab choice! And the tag line is "Like pumpkin pie, but crunchy." Mmmmm.

Larabar ALT Pumpkin Pie flavor - I love Larabars because they're only made with a few ingredients and naturally sweetened with dates!

Planters Pumpkin Spice Almonds - There's a pretty short ingredient list on these flavored almonds, but most of the ingredients are sugar - sugar, honey, corn syrup and brown sugar. These sound delicious, but would definitely be an occasional treat. 

Chobani Pumpkin Spice Greek Yogurt - This is also an occasional treat. I couldn't find the ingredient list on the Chobani website, but Chobani products contain "natural flavors." However, their products are non-GMO, don't contain artificial sweeteners and have no preservatives.  

Kashi Crunchy Granola Bars Pumpkin Spice Flax - Although the ingredient list on these Kashi Bars is longer than I prefer, it is made up of mostly healthy ingredients (however avoid if you're anti-canola oil and/or soy protein isolate). 

Tazo Tea Chai Pumpkin Spice Latte or Pumpkin Spice Chai Tea - While the main ingredients are black tea, cardamom, cinnamon and other spices, the tea and latte do have the always obscure "natural flavors" and no actual pumpkin. I'm a fan of chai teas and lattes, and don't mind indulging every once in awhile.

Pumpkin Spice Products to Avoid



Pumpkin Spice Oreos - Don't even get me started on Oreos. I admit, I think they are delicious. Besides the fact that they are made with nothing good, they have some kind of food crack in them that makes you feel the need to eat an entire package. Is that just me? There is a small part of me that wants to try these, but I just can't.

Eggos Pumpkin Spice Waffles - I tried these a few years ago and they aren't that fab. Also, making pumpkin spice waffles at home is super easy.

Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte - Find out more about the famous PSL from FoodBabe.

Extra Seasonal Pumpkin Spice Gum - Just gross.

Bolthouse Farms Pumpkin Spice Latte - I have always wanted to try this latte because it sounds so good, but I've always held off because it contains carrageenan, which can cause inflammation and gut issues.

Jet-Puffed Pumpkin Spice Mallows - I'm not a fan of the flavored marshmallows. Although I couldn't find the nutrition info for the pumpkin spice mallows, the Jet-Puffed brand uses lots of artificial colors and ingredients.

Pumpkin Spice Hershey Kisses - I couldn't find the ingredient list or nutrition information for these anywhere on the Hershey website. But their regular Hershey Kisses list "artificial flavor" as one of its ingredients (and that's for plain old chocolate), so I'm betting the Pumpkin Spice version doesn't actually have pumpkin in it.

Pumpkin Spice M & M's - The front of the package says, "Natural and Artificial Flavors."

Jell-O Pumpkin Spice Pudding - I admit, I've tried this one and it's actually good. But there's tons of artificial color and preservatives in this. It's not something I'll buy again.

Coffee Mate Pumpkin Spice coffee creamer - Again with artificial ingredients and preservatives.

Betty Crocker Pumpkin Spice Cookies - Come on! You can make homemade cookies! They will be much more delicious.

Pop-Tarts Pumpkin Pie flavor - Pop-Tarts are one of the worst foods ever invented. They contain absolutely no nutritional value. Skip!

What are your fave pumpkin spice products? What are your fave pumpkin spice recipes?

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