THIS ARTICLE FIRST APPEARED ON RODALE’S ORGANIC LIFE.
If pumpkin’s your thing, but corn syrup and orange dyes aren’t, then look no further.
Like clockwork every October, coffee shops and stores begin filling their shelves with the requisite flavor of fall: pumpkin. But as much as we might enjoy it come autumn, there’s no avoiding the artificial flavors, dyes, and processed ingredients that come with this flavor.
“A medium pumpkin spice latte usually clocks in at over 300 calories, and anything ‘pumpkin’ flavored, whether it’s a muffin, a cookie, or a drink, is full of sugar,” explains Jennifer Calo, a registered dietician at Compass Nutrition in New York City. (Here’s how to make your own organic pumpkin spice latte from a real pumpkin.) And don’t be fooled into thinking that the word ‘pumpkin’ on a package indicates that a product is in any way natural, or even contains pumpkin at all, Calo warns. “Look for ingredients that you can pronounce,” she says. “Avoid anything with aspartame, sugar alcohol, or dyes, and if the product is bright orange in color—which natural pumpkin never is—then that’s a red flag.”
Pumpkin is a great source of fiber, so if there is a lot of pumpkin in a product, you should see at least three grams of fiber listed in the nutritional information, Calo says. Thankfully, more companies are making organic pumpkin snacks and pantry staples with all of the vitamins and nutrition of natural pumpkin, and none of the bad stuff. Below, a look at 10 of the best organic pumpkin treats on the market this fall.
(Brag your love of gardening with the Organic Life 2018 Wall Calendar, featuring gorgeous photographs, cooking tips and recipes, plus how to eat more—and waste less—of what’s in season.)
Go Raw Live Pumpkin Bar
“These Organic Pumpkin Seeds are guaranteed to be the tastiest you’ve ever tried,” says Christy Chan, COO of Go Raw. “Sprouted then dehydrated under 105 F, they are as alive as any sprout.” The bars are certified organic, gluten free, raw vegan, and kosher. They pack 320 mg of Omega-3, and 350 mg of Omega-6. Pumpkin seeds are high in zinc, protein, iron, and amino acids.
Primal Palate Organic Pumpkin Pie Spice
Primal Palate’s organic pumpkin pie spice is crafted using only four ingredients: Saigon cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and nutmeg. The result is a classic flavor that can be used for anything from pies to cakes to breads, and even your morning coffee. All Primal Palate spice blends are organic, gluten-free, contain no preservatives or anti-coagulants, and are non-GMO.
Daily Harvest, a superfood subscription service, offers pumpkin and chai overnight oats that are lightly sweetened with organic maple syrup. The dish contains organic pumpkin and rolled oats, chai spices, pecans, and organic sultanas (like raisins). The dish can also be prepared hot in a microwave if you’re looking for a warming breakfast instead. Daily Harvest’s Pumpkin + Chai Overnight Oats is available on DailyHarvest.com. If you’re looking for a hot oatmeal instead, Nature’s Path pumpkin spice oatmeal with chia is a great choice.
Organic Pumpkin Spice Black Tea
If you’re looking for a warm pumpkin-flavored drink without all the calories and sugar, look no further than Positively Tea’s organic pumpkin spice loose-leaf tea. The tea is non-GMO and the ingredients are simple: organic black tea, organic marigolds, and organic pumpkin spice.
Nature’s Path Organic Pumpkin Flax Granola
Although most people think of granola as being the healthier alternative to cereal, that’s not always the case, explains Rebekah Blakely, registered dietitian nutritionist at The Vitamin Shoppe. “It can be hard to find a healthy granola, as most are packed with sugar and other unnecessary ingredients. I like the pumpkin flax granola because it only has 10g of sugar for a decent (3/4 cup) portion size. It also starts your day right with 5g of fiber and 10% of your daily iron needs.” (They also have a yummy Nature’s Path pumpkin spice oatmeal with chia, as mentioned earlier.)