Sugar and spice and everything… pumpkin. It’s no secret that the moment cooler temperatures arrive, the pumpkin craze begins (and Cinderella thought it was a bad thing when her carriage turned into a pumpkin!). The pumpkin spice latté (aka #PSL) is clearly the belle of the pumpkin ball, but it’s also inspired everything from Pumpkin Spice Oreos to pumpkin spice condoms (which sadly aren’t actually coming to a store near you).
Whether you’re a PSL fanatic or fall-flavor hater, adding spice makes (most) recipes taste delicious. It doesn’t hurt that pumpkin is loaded with antioxidants and disease-fighting vitamins. That’s why we rounded up a list of nine amazing (and healthy!) pumpkin spice recipes that are way more inventive than the infamous Starbucks drink.
1. Spiced Pumpkin, Yogurt, and Granola Parfait
The only thing better than the flavor of this hearty breakfast recipe is the fact that it only takes 10 minutes to prepare. Simply layer spiced pumpkin purée, Greek yogurt, granola, and agave, and you’ve got yourself a crunchier, healthier version of pumpkin pie.
2. Pumpkin Spice Protein Pancakes
Want an excuse to eat pumpkin and pancakes for breakfast? Meet these fluffy, protein-packed flapjacks. Made with egg whites, oats, protein powder (try the chocolate kind to make them extra treat-like), and canned pumpkin, they’re the perfect way to celebrate a morning workout or the fact that it’s the freakin’ weekend.
3. Protein–Packed Spiced Oats in a Jar
Sure, strolling the streets with a piping hot PSL may be the ideal way to spend Saturday. But why settle for a to-go cup of sugar when you can stuff a mason jar with nutritious, seasonal oats? It’s a healthier, cheaper, and (soon-to-be) way trendier option. Go ahead, take the credit when #PSLmasonjars take over your Instagram feed.
4. Pumpkin-Spiced Almond Butter
Nut butter… so hot right now. What’s even hotter: pumpkin-spiced nut butter. A touch of pumpkin purée, drip of maple syrup, and blend of spices turn any jar of almond butter into a seasonal dip that pairs great with any fruit, cracker, or finger. Feel free to mix up the nut butter too! (We love the mix with cashew butter.)
5. Spiced Pumpkin Energy Bars
Though it may seem easier to opt for a KIND bar, these DIY energy bites are a much healthier option. Made with omega-rich ingredients like coconut and flaxseed, they’re both good for the heart and brain. Can any packaged energy bar say that? (OK maybe, but do they really mean it? Debatable.)
6. Pumpkin Pie Spiced Pumpkin Seeds
Have your pumpkin pie and eat the seeds too. Or skip the pie and have these tasty seeds instead! With cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and stevia, this snack provides the best of both worlds: pie flavor and health benefits.
7. Chocolate Swirl Pumpkin Spiced Smoothie
This recipe incorporates the best parts of a PSL and blends them into a healthy smoothie. You can even turn it into a protein shake by subbing chocolate protein powder for the cocoa powder—just make sure to use a type that’s less sweet, like hemp protein powder. (Lattés everywhere just got served.)
8. Spiced Pumpkin Chiffon Cups With Vanilla Maple Whipped Cream
Not sure what chiffon cups are? That’s OK, just think of this recipe as a paleo pumpkin spice mousse topped with a dollop of heaven. Made with pumpkin purée (we love homemade), maple syrup, and all kinds of spices, this dessert is a great way to satisfy that sweet tooth without overloading on dairy or sugar.
9. Pumpkin Spice Baked Apples
The arrival of fall ushers in all things apple: apple picking, apple cider, apple pie… you get the idea. This dessert takes the two fall staples and bakes them into one healthy dessert that’s full of vitamins and fiber. It also only has five ingredients, making it easy to prepare.
Every week, the Greatist Team scours the web for tasty, trendy, and (mostly) healthy recipes to help open both minds and palates to the wonders of food. Tune in next Wednesday to see what else we have in store!