One of the most popular fall flavors is pumpkin, from pumpkin bread to pie to the ever-so-popular pumpkin spice latte. We have to thank Starbucks for introducing us to “fall in a cup.” But, do lovers of this drink, actually, know what really is in each sip? While pumpkin itself does boast many nutrients, it doesn’t when comes in the form of a latte.
Let’s break down the pumpkin spice latte and try a healthy alternative recipe.
What’s In Your Latte?
The standard order for a pumpkin spice latte is a 16-oz. grande made with 2 percent milk and topped with whipped cream. This version contains 380 calories and 13 g of fat.
You consume 49 g of sugar or 12.25 tsp. While some of the sugar is naturally occurring in the milk, these numbers far exceed the American Heart Association recommendations, which suggest that women have six added teaspoons of daily sugar and men have nine teaspoons.
A grande, 2-percent milk pumpkin spice latte offers 14 g of protein, 220 mg of sodium, and 50 mg of cholesterol. The drink provides 50 percent of the daily recommended allowance for calcium and also contains 15 percent of your daily vitamin A. Although, it may not taste like it, each drink contains 150 mg of caffeine.
As with many Starbucks beverages, treat these lattes as an occasional indulgence, rather than a morning staple!
Add Pumpkin to Your Diet, In a Healthy Way
Pumpkin seeds are an edible seed typically roasted for consumption. They are a common ingredient in Mexican cuisine and are often eaten as a healthful snack. Pumpkin seeds are often referred to as pepitas, Spanish for “little seed of squash.” These roasted seeds were a celebrated food among many Native American tribes, who treasured them both for their dietary and medicinal purposes.
Here’s what makes them great:
- Heart healthy: Good source of healthful oils, magnesium, and other nutrients that enhance the health of the heart, bones, and other functions.
- Sleep aid: They’re high in the sleep-enhancing amino acid tryptophan that converts to serotonin in your body and helps make ensure a good night’s sleep.
- High in protein: They’re high levels of easily-digestible protein helps stabilize blood sugar when eaten as a snack throughout the day.
- Iron source: Good source of blood-building and energy-boosting iron.
- Lower cholesterol: Their phytosterol compounds are believed to lower cholesterol levels. Out of all the nuts and seeds, pumpkin seeds have the second highest amount of sterols.
- Fiber: Pumpkin seeds are an excellent source of fiber which helps keep you regular.
Roasted Pumpkin Seed Recipe
- Preheat oven to 375°F. Separate the pumpkin seeds from the pulp and discard pulp. Place seeds in a colander and rinse well.
- Bring the water and salt to a boil in a medium-sized saucepan. Add the pumpkin seeds, return to a boil and let simmer for one full minute. Then cover the saucepan tightly and remove it from heat. Let the pumpkin seeds soak for 10 to 20 minutes, then drain.
- In a large bowl, toss the pumpkin seeds with the oil and spread them out in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake in the preheated oven, tossing occasionally, until browned and crisp, about 30 to 40 minutes. Remove, cool completely and store in an airtight container.
Makes about 2 cups