Fall’s delicious treats may be a sweet way to transition from shorts and tanks to jackets and sweaters, but the caramel apple strudels and cream cheese-filled pumpkin muffins are also loaded with sugar, butter and saturated fat. And those ingredients can leave you feeling bloated, fatigued and less than motivated for your early-morning bootcamp class. Luckily, you don’t have to sacrifice your favorite seasonal treats. Here, we’ve rounded up healthified versions of your must-have autumn eats:
Healthy homemade pumpkin spice latte
Sure, it’s tempting to stop by your local Starbucks on the way to work, especially now that you know pumpkin spice is back on the menu. But when even a small (tall) non-fat latte has 200 calories and 37 grams of sugar, you probably don’t want to make them an everyday habit. Instead, make your very own version with all-natural ingredients and no added sugar. Your stomach won’t make noises before lunch time, and you’re not spending $5 a pop.
What’s in it: 8 ounces brewed coffee; ½ cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk; 3 tbsp pumpkin puree; 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice; ½ tsp vanilla; 2-3 drops liquid stevia; sprinkle of cinnamon
Get the recipe from: Eating Bird Food
Butternut squash and sweet potato soup
When a meal’s main ingredients are vegetables, it has to be good for you, right? Think again. Almost all store-bought or restaurant-ordered soups are made with a heavy cream base that’s loaded with unhealthy saturated fat full of cholesterol your body can’t break down properly. When it comes to spooning up your seasonal soup of choice, the safest bet is to make it yourself. Simply sub that heavy cream with a lighter (but still tasty!) alternative, like coconut milk.
What’s in it: 1 medium butternut squash; 1 large sweet potato; 2 carrots; 1 onion; 2 tbsp olive oil; 4 cups vegetable broth; ¼ cup coconut milk; ¼ tsp ground nutmeg; ¼ tsp ground ginger; ¼ tsp curry powder; ½ tsp garlic powder; ¼ tsp salt
Get the recipe from: Making Thyme for Health
Apple pie oatmeal cookies
It’s totally the American way to indulge in a good ol’ slice of apple pie, and fall is the best time for picking the dessert’s main ingredient. While apples pack some serious nutritional punch, they’re seriously diminished when loaded into a sugary pie shell. To get your apple fix the lighter way, combine the fruit with fiber-filled oatmeal. Not only does it help your body digest and process foods faster, it also keeps you feeling full longer and may even prevent constipation.
What’s in it: 1 cup instant oats; ¾ cup whole wheat flour; 1 cup diced apples; 1½ tsp baking powder; 1½ tsp ground cinnamon; 2 tsp coconut oil; 1 tsp vanilla extract; ½ cup agave; a pinch of salt
Get the recipe from: Amy’s Healthy Baking
Skinny sweet potato casserole
The casserole your mom made growing up doesn’t have to be bad for you. Just recreate it without the heavy ingredients like butter, added sugar and eggs. As its name suggests, sweet potato is already sweet and doesn’t need the extra white or brown sugar that most traditional recipes call for. Swap regular butter for vegan butter, which has more heart-healthy ingredients and is usually cholesterol-free.
What’s in it: 3.3 pounds sweet potato; 3 tbsp brown sugar; 3 tbsp maple syrup; ¼ cup unsweetened almond milk; 6 tbsp coconut oil; 6 tbsp vegan butter; 1 tsp cinnamon; ½ tsp salt
Get the recipe from: Jessica in the Kitchen
Pumpkin pie ice cream
Just because the weather’s a bit cooler doesn’t mean you can’t delight in an icy treat after a tough sweat sesh. Eating some pumpkin will not only satisfy your seasonal craving, but also give your dessert a nice nutritional boost. Surprisingly, you don’t need an ice cream maker to achieve that creamy texture and sweet flavor—all you need are bananas. Mushed together, the combo gives the same consistency as ‘scream but is dairy- and fat-free. Did we mention it’s made of only four ingredients? So easy! Top it all off with a little organic maple syrup and you’ve got yourself one healthy companion to your Netflix night.
What’s in it: 4 medium bananas; 1 cup pumpkin puree; ⅓ cup maple syrup; 1½ tsp pumpkin spice
Get the recipe from: The Gracious Pantry