Pumpkin Spice Maybe Not So Nice

By Ally Hochman

In case you missed it, this article was recently going around Facebook claiming canned pumpkin isn’t really pumpkin at all. I know! Thankfully, those rumors have been laid to rest (canned pumpkin is actually Dickinson Pumpkin which is a variety of squash but still part of the pumpkin family). And do you remember last year, when Starbuck’s famous Pumpkin Spice Latte was criticized for not containing real pumpkin? My sources confirm that the latte now does in fact contain pumpkin puree.  I have to wonder, how many of our favorite pumpkin products actually contain real pumpkin? I decided to take a closer look at what appear to be healthy pumpkin flavored foods.

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Siggi’s Pumpkin & Spice Yogurt

Siggi’s Icelandic yogurt has a reputation for containing simple ingredients. The strained low-fat yogurt is packed with protein (14g per serving). You know what else it’s packed with? You guessed it, pumpkin! Ingredients include milk, cream, sugar, pumpkin, vanilla, lemon juice, and live active cultures.

Cedar’s Pumpkin Spice Hummus

When I heard about pumpkin spice hummus (hommus?) I was intrigued. However, I had a hard time tracking down the ingredients for this one online. Does this product even exist? If you’ve had it, please let me know if there’s pumpkin in it.

KIND Healthy Grains Bar

It has healthy in the title…This bar is technically called Maple Pumpkin Seeds and Sea Salt, and while it doesn’t contain straight pumpkin, it is loaded with pumpkin seeds. I’m considering this one a win!

Sam Adam’s Harvest Pumpkin Ale

Okay, I wouldn’t exactly say this is healthy but hello Boston, and #balance, right? Special ingredients include real pumpkin, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and allspice.

So what I have learned in my search for healthy pumpkin food? It’s really hard to find healthy pre-made pumpkin products. Even if they do contain pumpkin, they are almost always loaded with sugar. Should we just go get pumpkin spice massages? The solution, make them yourself! Buy a Dickinson pumpkin-filled can and whip up your own fall treats. I’m sure they will taste better and ultimately be better for you. I’ll just be over here making these delicious Chocolate Pumpkin Brownies if you need me.

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